Supreme Court awards ATG naming rights against Svenska Spel
Since 1973, ATG has registered the company name Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp with the Swedish Companies Registration Office.
When Svenska Spel 2020 launched betting on horses, they still used the word combination “Trot & Gallop” in their communication. ATG therefore chose to sue Svenska Spel for infringement of ATG’s company name.
In the first instance – the Patent and Markets Court (PMD) – ATG won. Svenska Spel appealed and now the Patent and Market Appeal Court (PMÖD) has also ruled in ATG’s favor.
That the Supreme Court also followed our line was expected. It must never be okay to use someone else’s company name and it feels good that the matter is now settled once and for all, says ATG CEO Hasse Lord Skarplöth.
The background to the dispute is that in November 2019, Svenska Spel applied for registration of a figure mark containing the word combination “Trav & Galop” with the Patent and Registration Office (PRV). PRV’s approved application and registration was thus granted.
The registration concerns a so-called figure trademark. Since then, Svenska Spel has used the trademark “Trot & Gallop” (often together with the Svenska Spel logo) in marketing for its horse games in, among other things, TV, daily press, social media and on its own website.
ATG considers that Svenska Spel’s use of “Trot & Gallop” constitutes an infringement of ATG’s company name and that Svenska Spel’s launch and exposure of “Trot & Gallop” is to be considered an unauthorized trademark use. Against this background, ATG chose in December 2020 to sue Svenska Spel in the Patent and Market Court (PMD) at the Stockholm District Court.
In May 2022, PMD gave ATG the right and Svenska Spel was ordered to cease using the trademark “Trot & Gallop” in its marketing of horse betting.
Svenska Spel appealed to PMÖD and on Thursday the decision came and PMÖD also ruled in ATG’s favor. This means that Svenska Spel must bear ATG’s legal costs in both PMD and PMÖD.
The judgment cannot be appealed, but becomes legally binding immediately.
It was important to establish that a competitor does not have the right to use our company name and exploit its good reputation, concludes Hasse Lord Skarplöth.