Region: Sweden

'Ungoogleable' removed from list of new words following objection by Google

Following objections from Google, and amidst much controversy, the Swedish Language Council has removed the term '<i>ogooglebar</i>' (which may be translated as 'ungoogleable') from its list of new words for 2012. The word was defined as "something that cannot be found on the Internet with a search engine”, and Google had asked that the definition be changed to show that the word specifically refers to Google, rather than search engines in general.

16 April 2013

Defendant acquitted in counterfeiting case despite far-fetched claims

In a case involving a shipment of counterfeit goods from China, the Stockholm District Court has acquitted the defendant, despite the latter’s implausible claims. The court found that it had not been established beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had bought the goods intentionally or through gross negligence. The judgment confirms that the standard of proof in criminal cases can be very high for trademark owners.

11 April 2013

Office must specify for which goods and services there is a likelihood of confusion

The Court of Patent Appeals has rejected an appeal against a partial refusal to register the international designation BAUHAUS. The Patent and Registration Office had concluded that BAUHAUS was confusingly similar to the earlier mark BAUHAUS DESSAU. This case shows that, as a consequence of the coming into force of the new Trademark Act in 2010, the court must assess whether a registration should be refused partially or entirely.

07 February 2013

Patent and Registration Office refusal of one-letter mark held to be invalid

The Court of Patent Appeals has found that the Patent and Registration Office’s decision to refuse the registration of the letter ‘D’ as a trademark was invalid. In doing so, the court cited EU case law regarding single-letter marks and confirmed that such marks may be registered in certain circumstances.

16 January 2013

Decision sets the bar for higher level of damages in counterfeiting cases

The District Court of Stockholm has issued its decision in one of the largest and most significant counterfeiting cases in Sweden in recent times. The case involved fake Canada Goose, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and Lyle & Scott clothes. The court calculated the damages based on a hypothetical licence fee of 20% of the retail price of the goods, which is significantly higher than in previous case law.

25 October 2012

Patent and Registration Office takes significant step towards simplified practice

As of October 1 2012, the Swedish Patent and Registration Office is applying a new practice concerning the examination of formalities in trademark and industrial design matters. In essence, the new practice simplifies the process for users in matters where the office used to require a signature in original handwriting.

23 October 2012

Relabelling of SodaStream gas cylinders held to constitute trademark infringement

In a case involving Soda-Club's consumer home carbonation product SodaStream, the First Instance Court has ruled that Swedish company Vikingsoda was not allowed to remove the trademarks SODASTREAM and ALCO2JET from Soda-Club's gas cylinders and relabel them with its own VIKINGSODA mark.

12 September 2012

Kraft's mark cancelled and Mars' mark partially cancelled in chocolate dispute

The First Instance Court has cancelled Kraft’s registration for the trademark M, and has also partially cancelled Mars’ registration for the trademark M&M. Among other things, the court held that Kraft’s trademark had not been put to use in its registered form. The decision shows that a mark should be used in the form in which it was registered, and that the scope for using the mark in a different form is very limited.

31 July 2012

Kia Motors' mark rejected based on sole trader's business name registration

The Court of Patent Appeals has rejected Korean car manufacturer Kia Motors’ application for the registration of a trademark for its auto repair and maintenance services based on a sole trader’s business name registration with the Companies Registration Office. The decision appears to contradict the preparatory works of the new Trademark Act and recent case law concerning the level of protection of business names in relation to trademarks.

11 June 2012

Supreme Court issues controversial decision on ‘genuine use’ of company name

The Supreme Court has issued its decision in a dispute between NonStop Television, which manages a television channel called TV 7, and a company registered as TV 7 Stockholm AB over the latter's use of its company name. The guidelines set forth by the Supreme Court in this case establish a fundamentally new approach to the requirement of 'genuine use' for companies.

29 March 2012

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