ATG sues Svenska Spel in trademark battle

ATG claims it registered "Trav och Galopp" as a trademark.
ATG claims it registered "Trav och Galopp" as a trademark.

The Former Swedish horse race betting monopoly is suing the state-owned operator over its use of the term Trav och Galopp.

Sweden.- Two Swedish gaming giants look set to face a legal battle after the former horse racing betting monopoly AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) filed a lawsuit against state-owned Svenska Spel. 

ATG claims that the latter’s new Svenska Spel Trav och Galopp racing product infringes on its trademark for the term Trav och Galopp. The company says it registered the term with the Swedish Companies Registration Office in 1973. 

Svenska Spel launched its new horse racing betting product with France’s Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) in September.

ATG chief executive Hasse Lord Skarplöth attacked the move at the time, saying the product would take revenue from ATG and harm funding of the Swedish racing industry.

Following the announcement of the lawsuit, Skarplöth said: “ATG thinks that competition is good. But the rules and rights that exist must be respected. 

“Protecting our brands is part of our duty to our owners, Svensk Travsport and Svensk Galopp, and all the tens of thousands in the country who work in the equestrian sports industry.

“ATG is the only gaming company that contributes to the wellbeing of equestrian sports, so this is about protecting the future of Swedish racing.”

ATG’s legal representative Per Ericsson, from law firm Gulliksson, said: “We have made Svenska Spel aware of this, but Svenska Spel has nevertheless chosen to continue with the use of Trav och Galopp in its marketing for betting on horse racing.

“Therefore, we have now chosen to file a lawsuit against Svenska Spel, which will be tried by the Patent and Market Court.”

Skarplöth had called for a mandatory levy on racing profits for all betting operators rather than ATG alone but that proposal was rejected by Sweden’s Gambling Market Commission (Spelmarknadsutredningen).

Svenska Spel’s CEO Patrik Hofbauer has said that the company was negotiating a funding agreement with the national racing governing body, Svensk Travsport.

ATG has reported revenue growth despite Sweden’s introduction of temporary deposit limits for online casinos.

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