Operator forced to change horseracing game name to Svenska Spel Hästar after ATG claimed using “Trav & Galop” was an infringement on company name
The Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) on 25 January after the operator claimed Svenska Spel Sport & Casino was using its trademarked name.
Svenska Spel can no longer use “Trav & Galop” (translated as “Trot & Gallop”) in its marketing of horseracing betting despite having it approved by the Swedish Patent and Registration Office back in November 2019, forcing the firm to change the name of its horseracing betting games service to Svenska Spel Hästar.
Svenska Spel used the trademark for marketing not only horseracing games but also across social media, television and on Svenska Spel’s website.
However, ATG opted to sue Svenska Spel in December 2020, claiming “Trav & Galop” was an infringement on its company name and therefore an “unauthorised trademark use”.
The Patent and Markets Court ruled in favour of ATG in May 2022 and, upon appeal by Svenska Spel, the court once again ruled against the operator’s right to use “Trav & Galop”.
The state-owned operator cannot reappeal the decision and must pay ATG’s legal fees in both courts.
Fredrik Wastenson, Svenska Spel Sport & Casino CEO and business area manager, said the ruling felt “strange” but reassured players the only thing that will change is the name of its horse games.
Wastenson said: “For our customers, this means no changes except for the name change. We are proud of our fantastic offer on horses, which will be available just as before but now under Svenska Spel Hästar.
“We find it strange that the court considers that descriptive words for a business can have such a high level of protection, but of course we respect the court’s decision.”
Hasse Lord Skarplöth, ATG CEO, said he expected the court to reach this decision.
He remarked: “That the Supreme Court also followed our line was expected. It must never be okay to use someone else’s business name and it feels good that the matter is now settled once and for all.
“It was important to establish that a competitor does not have the right to use our company name and exploit its good reputation,” Skarplöth added.