SBC News Sweden’s court rules in favour of ATG over Svenska Spel trotting product dispute 

Sweden’s court rules in favour of ATG over Svenska Spel trotting product dispute 

Svenska Spel Sport & Casino is rebranding its trotting venture after losing a legal dispute against horse betting firm Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG). 

The Patent and Market Appeal Court’s ruling determined that the use of the phrase “Trav och Galopp” by Svenska Spel is in direct infringement of ATG’s brand name. 

In a statement by Svenska Spel, customers were informed that the catalogue of Swedish and international trotting and galloping competitions will remain the same, with changes being introduced only to the product’s name, which is now called Svenska Spel Hästar. 

“For our customers, this means no changes apart from the name change,“ said Fredrik Wastenson, CEO and Business area Manager, Svenska Spel Sport & Casino.

“We are proud of our fantastic offer on horses, which will be available just like before, but now under Svenska Spel Hästar. We think it is strange that the court considers that descriptive words for a business can have such high protection, but obviously respects the court’s decision.”

The decision of the legal dispute comes three years after ATG filed the initial trademark lawsuit in December 2020, when the firm’s Chief Executive Hasse Lord Skarplöth went against Svenska Spel’s outgoing CEO Patrik Hofbauer.

Svenska Spel continues to lick its wounds after recently announcing that it will go ahead with the closure of the land-based Casino Cosmopol venues in Gothenburg and Malmö. 

According to the firm, Casino Cosmopol is suffering from a reduced number of visitors and therefore reduced revenue – a direct impact of the growing popularity of online casino. 

After the closures take place, the Casino Cosmopol in Stockholm will remain the only land-based casino in the territory of Sweden.

Svenska Spel’s financial records could further be impacted by Sweden’s Parliament and the proposal to raise gambling taxes from 18% to 22% of gross gaming revenue (GGR). 

Ironically, ATG is currently at the forefront of opposing the tax hikes with a counter-offer to introduce a differentiated tax instead, which would see sports betting rates remain at 18% while igaming receives the higher uptick of 22%.

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