In December 2011, Länförsäkringar applied to prohibit the Estonian manufacturer of timber frame houses, Matek’s, use of its brand in Sweden.
Länsförsäkringar suggested that Matek’s line of business was identical or similar with the operations that Länsförsäkringar’s European trade mark was registered within. Therefore, Länförsäkringar implied that it was a risk of confusion between the two companies’ trademarks. Furthermore, Länförsäkringar claimed to have an expanded protection for its trademark due to the fact that it was such well known.
Stockholm District Court agreed with Länförsäkringar and in May 2013 the court prohibited Matek to use its trade mark in Sweden. In addition, Länförsäkringar was awarded with a substantial compensation.
The likelihood of confusion is non-existing
Matek, represented by Moll Wendén, appealed the judgement to the Court of Appeal. On the 3rd of June 2014, the Court of Appeal has repealed the District Court’s judgement and stated that Matek is allowed to freely use its trade mark in Sweden. The Court of Appeal assessed the likelihood of confusion as non-existing, primarily due to differences in each company’s turnover and the fact that Matek’s customers are well informed about the company and its products when purchasing from them.
Complete success for Matek against Länsförsäkringar
Regarding the expanded protection for well-known brands, the Court of Appeal assessed that the relevant group of customers in this case would not perceive a connection between the two companies. In conclusion, it was a complete success for Matek against Länsförsäkringar in a case with several interesting trademark questions. See Svea Hovrätt, ruling T 6270-13.
Matek was represented in the Court of Appeal by Moll Wendén. The Moll Wendén team consisted of Stefan Wendén with assistance from Lars Thyresson, Hansson Thyresson Patentbyrå.