Matek and Länsförsäkringar in proceeding at the EU Court of Justice

Matek LF Litigation

As previously reported, the Estonian wooden house producer Matek succeeded in a trade mark dispute against Länsförsäkringar in Svea Court of Appeal (see press release dated 09/06 2014). By the Svea Court of Appeal’s judgement, dated 3 June 2014, the Court decided that Matek was free to use its trademark in Sweden (see Judgement T 6270-13).

Länsförsäkringar argued that Matek’s trademark infringed Länsförsäkringar’s registered Community trademark. However, the Court of Appeal held that there was no risk for interchangeability, first and foremost since it is the real and effective activity of the proprietor that needs to be compared to the activity of the alleged infringer. Länsförsäkringar is not a wooden house producer. Svea Court of Appeal held that formal-registered Community trademarks – i.e. trademarks not used for the goods or services that they have been registered for – offers no protection if not corresponding to the actual use of the mark. The judgement discussed a number of interesting issues relating to trademarks.

The case is Currently Pending

After Länsförsäkringar’s appeal to the Swedish Supreme Court, the Supreme Court concluded that the case contains questions regarding EU trade mark law that are not yet clarified. Hence, the Swedish Supreme Court has decided to stay the proceedings and ask the EU Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation and application of the EU trademark regulation in regards to what effect that the proprietor has not made actual use of the Community trade mark for the goods or services that the registration entails, within the period of five years from the registration, has on the exclusive and sole right of the proprietor. The case is pending.

Matek is represented by Moll Wendén in the proceedings in the EU Court of Justice, as well as in the higher instances of the Swedish courts. Moll Wendén’s team consists of Stefan Wendén and Maria Yngner, with the assistance of Lars Thyresson, Hansson Thyresson Patentbyrå.


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