Court Backs Ladbrokes in Danske Spil Trademark Case

14th September 2009 12:08 pm GMT

A Danish court has backed UK bookmaker Ladbrokes in its case against Danish monopoly Danske Spil, who had claimed a breach of primary trademark and marketing law in connection with Ladbrokes' "Danish game, English odds" TV advertising campaign last year.

Danske Spil filed a lawsuit against Ladbrokes claiming that the UK bookmaker had improperly used its trademark, and that only Danske Spil could use the word combination "Dansk" and "spil" for commercial use in advertising and marketing.

The Maritime and Commercial Court in Copenhagen ruled however in favour of Ladbrokes and refused Danske Spil's request for compensation, allowing Ladbrokes to continue to use the words Danske spil in its advertising. The court confirmed that the Danish monopoly had no exclusive rights to the use of those words professionally.

"We're pleased to have confirmed that Danske Spil cannot extend its monopoly power to cover the very words €˜Danish games'. We will continue to highlight the disadvantages of monopolies in our sector and promote free and fair competition from regulated operators to the benefit of consumers," said Ladbrokes spokesman Ciaran O'Brien.

While the Judges also ruled that Ladbrokes had not adequately justified its own marketing statement which included the claim: "Same Game" and "Larger Gains" as relevant to factual circumstances, Danske Spil were also found by the court to have used advertising that was misleading, discrediting and contrary to good business practice.

O'Brien continued: "We are very pleased that the judges came to the conclusion that Danske Spil's campaign 'To the delight and benefit' was misleading and unfairly discredited licensed gaming providers."

The news is a further blow to the beleaguered Danish monopoly, with the Danish government set to move forward with plans to regulate the country's gaming market, thereby ending the 60 year-old monopoly of Danske Spil.

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