Ladbrokes Wins Trademark Case Against Svenska Spel

18th September 2009 8:12 am GMT

A Swedish Court has this week ruled in favour of Ladbrokes against Swedish state monopoly Svenska Spel, who had filed a lawsuit against the UK bookmaker for breaching trademark laws in connection with the company's "Swedish games with English odds" advertising campaign in the country.

Svenska Spel had filed a law suit against Ladbrokes back in 2008, claiming that the bookmaker had misused the Svenska Spel trademark, and that only the state monopoly was allowed to use the terms "Swedish" and "games" for commercial use in advertising and marketing.

The Market Court in Sweden today ruled however that Ladbrokes did not violate the trademark act of Sweden.

Ladbrokes had also countered with a lawsuit against Svenska Spel for violation of the Marketing Act, for the use of terms such as "Svenska Spel is a world leader in responsible gaming" and "the most effective age verification online."

The Court again ruled in favour of Ladbrokes and Svenska Spel now faces a penalty of SEK750,000 (approximately €74,200) if these statements are used in future marketing activities.

The ruling also noted that Ladbrokes did not sufficiently manage to demonstrate that the use of statements such as "same game" and "major gains" in the company's 2008 ad campaign was relevant to the facts, and therefore contrary to the Marketing Act.

Commenting on the result of the case, Ladbrokes CEO Christopher Bell, said: "This case means that Swedish monopolies cannot extend their power to monopolising language. We will continue to highlight the consumer benefits of a competitive market in betting and gaming in contrast to disproportionate state monopoly laws and actions that restrict competition and choice."

Last week Ladbrokes won a similar case again 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 (more).

Shares in Ladbrokes plc (Co. Profile) (LSE:LAD) are currently trading at 199.30 pence per share in London this morning.

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