On 3 February 2023, the Swedish Patent and Market Court delivered its judgement in the dispute between Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (”ATG”) and Dressmann AB, LeeWrangler Sweden AB, and Wrangler Apparel Corp. (the “Clothing Companies”). The Patent and Market Court found that the Clothing Companies had committed infringement of the registered EU trade mark “ATG” by using it in a clothing collection.
The dispute between ATG and the Clothing Companies arose from ATG having noticed that Wrangler, in 2019, had launched a clothing collection under different names containing “ATG” in North America, Europe and Asia. In Sweden, the clothing collection was sold by, inter alia, Dressman. The Clothing Companies objected that “ATG” was used as a shortage for “All Terrain Gear” and emphasized that “ATG” was describing. However, the Patent and Market Court found that the actual usage was likely to be perceived as a trade mark and accordingly, that the Clothing Companies had failed to show that the average consumer would understand “ATG” as describing for clothing.
The Patent and Market Court declared that there was a risk of confusion and prohibited the Clothing Companies, by risk of liquidated damages of SEK 3,000,000, to further sell clothes with the trade mark in the course of trade within the EU. The Court further ruled that the Clothing Companies are liable to pay reasonable compensation to ATG for the use of the trade mark in Sweden.
The Clothing Companies have appealed the decision to the Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal.