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Legal framework

Domestic law

What is the primary legislation governing trademarks in your jurisdiction?

The Trademarks Act (2010:1877) and the Trademarks Regulation (2011:594) are the primary legislation governing trademarks in Sweden. Sweden is also an EU member state and has implemented the EU Trademark Directive (89/104/EC).

International law

Which international trademark agreements has your jurisdiction signed?

Sweden is a party to the following international trademark agreements:

  • the Madrid Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks;
  • the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property;
  • the Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks;
  • the Vienna Agreement establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks;
  • the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks; and
  • the Trademark Law Treaty. 

Regulators

Which government bodies regulate trademark law?

In Sweden, legislative power is vested in Parliament. The Patent and Registration Office is the government authority for intellectual property and is responsible for the registration of Swedish trademarks, patents and designs.

Rights and protection

Ownership

Is ownership of a trademark in your jurisdiction determined on a first-to-file or first-to-use basis?

Trademark ownership in Sweden is not determined exclusively on a first-to-file or first-to-use basis. Rather, the party which first acquires rights to a trademark – whether by use or registration – will be considered the owner. Further, a trademark cannot be registered if it can be confused with a mark that is used in Sweden or abroad if the applicant filed the application in bad faith. 

Unregistered trademarks

What legal protections are available to unregistered trademarks?

Unregistered trademarks can acquire the same protection as registered trademarks if used in such a way that the mark has become known as a sign for the goods or services provided thereunder. If the mark is known as a sign only for the goods or services provided thereunder in a certain part of Sweden, it is protected only in that part of the country.

How are rights in unregistered marks established?

An unregistered mark is protected if it is known by a significant part of the relevant public in Sweden (generally around 30%) as a sign for the goods or services that are being offered thereunder. In order to establish this, information concerning the time during which the mark has been used in trade, details of the value, number of products or services sold under the mark, marketing investments and market surveys is typically required.

Are any special rights and protections afforded to owners of well-known and famous marks?

Yes, the protection of well-known and famous marks extends to not only the use of an identical or similar mark for identical or similar goods or services, but also dissimilar goods or services where the use would take unfair advantage of, or damage the reputation or distinctiveness of, the well-known and famous mark. 

To what extent are foreign trademark registrations recognised in your jurisdiction?

EU trademarks are recognised in Sweden, as well as international trademark registrations administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation designating Sweden. Further, if the applicant was acting in bad faith at the time of application or registration, the Trademarks Act (2010:1877) provides for actions against the registration of a trademark if it can be confused with a mark which, at the time of the application, was being used by a third party in Sweden or abroad and is still in use. 

Registered trademarks

What legal rights and protections are accorded to registered trademarks?

Trademark owners can prevent third parties from using a mark in the course of trading which is:

  • identical to a trademark for identical goods or services;
  • identical or similar to a trademark for identical or similar goods or services if there is a likelihood of confusion, including the likelihood of association between the user of the mark and the owner of the trademark; or
  • identical or similar to a trademark which is known in Sweden by a significant part of the relevant public if the use concerns goods or services and takes unfair advantage of or, without due cause is detrimental to the distinctiveness or the reputation of the trademark.

Protection is valid for 10 years and can be renewed for an unlimited number of consecutive 10-year periods. 

Who may register trademarks?

Individuals or legal entities can register Swedish trademarks.

What marks are registrable (including any non-traditional marks)?

A trademark can be any sign capable of being represented graphically – including words and personal names, figurative elements (eg, fonts and colours), letters, numerals and the shape of goods or their packaging – provided that it is distinctive. Further, non-traditional marks such as sounds and smells may in some cases be registered as trademarks (eg, melodies that are capable of being represented in sheet music).

Can a mark acquire distinctiveness through use?

Yes, a mark can acquire distinctiveness as a result of extensive use and promotion. Acquired distinctiveness can be established if the mark has become capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one business activity from that of another. 

On what grounds will a mark be refused registration (ie, absolute and relative grounds)?

A trademark will be refused registration if it:

  • lacks distinctiveness;
  • consists exclusively of a shape which results from the nature of the goods;
  • is necessary in order to obtain a technical result or gives substantial value to the goods;
  • is contrary to law, regulations, principles of morality or public policy;
  • could deceive the public concerning the nature, quality, geographical origin or any other circumstance relating to the goods or services;
  • includes, without permission:
    • a state or international emblem or a municipal coat of arms which, under law or regulations, cannot be used as a trademark without authorisation; or
    • something that can easily be confused with such an emblem or municipal coat of arms;
  • includes, without permission, or can be confused with a mark that cannot be used as a trademark under the Act on Protection for Marks in International Humanitarian Law (2014:812); or
  • contains or consists of any sign which is liable to be conceived as a geographical indication for wines or spirits and relates to wines or spirit of a different origin.

A trademark must not be registered without the consent of the relevant owner of an earlier mark (eg, a trademark, registered company name or protected surname) if it;

  • is identical to an earlier mark used for identical goods or services;
  • is identical or similar to an earlier mark used for identical or similar goods or services if a likelihood of confusion exists, including the likelihood of association between the applicant and the owner of the earlier mark;
  • is identical or similar to an earlier mark which is known by a significant part of the relevant public and its use would take unfair advantage of or, without due cause, be detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the earlier mark; or
  • can be confused with a symbol that, at the time of application, was being used by a third party in Sweden or abroad and is still in use, if the applicant was acting in bad faith at the time of the application.

Further, a trademark will not be registered if it contains or consists of;

  • an element that is likely to be perceived as another party’s company name;
  • an element likely to be perceived as another party’s distinctive surname, a well-known artist’s name or similar if the use would cause a disadvantage for the bearer and the name does not obviously refer to someone who is long deceased;
  • a picture of someone who is not obviously long deceased; or
  • an element that infringes another rights holder’s copyright, photograph or design.

Are collective and certification marks registrable? If so, under what conditions?

Yes, certification marks are registrable by public authorities, foundations, associations, companies and other organisations establishing conditions for, or exercising control of, goods or services. Collective marks are registrable by associations, companies or other organisations.

The same conditions apply for registering collective and certification marks as ordinary trademarks with some exceptions. Marks that serve to designate the geographical origin of goods or services may be registered as collective or certification marks, even if they are normally considered to lack distinctive character. Further, an application for registration of a collective or certification mark must, in addition to the regular requirements, contain details of the conditions under which the mark may be used.

Filing and registration

Filing procedure

Do agents filing for registration of a mark on behalf of the owner require power of attorney? If so, is notarisation or legalisation required?

There is no requirement for a power of attorney if the applicant uses an agent to file for registration of a mark on its behalf. If an application is nonetheless accompanied by a power of attorney, it must be submitted in the original form. There is no requirement for notarisation or legalisation. 

What information and documentation must be submitted in a trademark registration application?

A trademark application must include:

  • a description of the mark (written or by way of an attached image);
  • a specification of the goods or services that the application concerns; and
  • the applicant’s signature.

The applicant must pay the registration fee in order for the application to be reviewed by the Patent and Registration Office. 

What rules govern the representation of the mark in the application?

Under the Trademarks Act (2010:1877), a trademark may consist of any signs capable of being represented graphically. In order to fulfil the criteria of graphical representation, a trademark must have a representation that is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective. 

Are multi-class applications allowed?

Yes.

Is electronic filing available?

Yes.

What are the application fees?

Electronic filing costs Skr1,800 for the first class and Skr900 for each additional class. An additional fee of Skr500 is payable if the electronically filed application includes goods or services that have not been chosen from the list of pre-validated terms offered by the Patent and Registration Office. Non-electronic applications cost Skr2,300 for the first class and Skr900 for each additional class. 

Priority

How are priority rights claimed?

An applicant wishing to claim priority must indicate the time, place, applicant and application number of the priority application. The Patent and Registration Office may direct the applicant to prove its right to priority by filing:

  • a certificate indicating the applicant’s name and the filing date issued by the authority that received the priority application;
  • a copy of such application certified by the relevant authority; and
  • a representation of the trademark. 

Searches

Are trademark searches available or required before filing? If so, what procedures and fees apply?

The Patent and Registration Office offers pre-filing search services, but it is not required.

Examination

What factors does the authority consider in its examination of the application?

The Patent and Registration Office examines whether:

  • the application meets the formalities (ie, if it contains all required information); and
  • there are any absolute or relative grounds for refusal, including if the mark lacks distinctiveness or can be confused with an earlier right. 

Does the authority check for relative grounds for refusal (eg, through searches)?

Yes, the Patent and Registration Office conducts searches in order to ascertain whether the trademark is confusingly similar to for example Swedish trademarks, EU trademarks, Swedish company names and distinctive surnames.

If the authority raises objections to the application, can the applicant take measures to rectify the application? If so, what rules and procedures apply?

Yes, the Patent and Registration Office will ask the applicant to fix the deficiencies or file a statement within a specified period if the application fails to meet the formal requirements or the Patent and Registration Office raises any objections. For example, if objections have been raised due to a risk of confusion with an earlier trademark, a statement might include proof that the applicant has received consent from the earlier trademark’s owner. If the applicant fails to respond in due time, the application may be removed from the Patent and Registration Office’s files.

Can rejected applications be appealed? If so, what procedures apply?

Yes, a rejected application can be appealed to the Patent and Market Court within two months from the decision. The appeal will be sent to and examined by the Patent and Registration Office. If the office does not reconsider its decision following such an examination, it will forward the appeal to the Patent and Market Court. Patent and Market Court decisions may be appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal is required. Decisions of the Patent and Market Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the Patent and Market Court of Appeal grants a right to appeal. Leave to appeal is required for the case to be tried by the Supreme Court.

Registration

When does a trademark registration formally come into effect?

If the Patent and Registration Office finds that the application meets all of the requirements, the trademark will be registered and a notice of the registration will be published in the Trademark Journal. If no oppositions are filed, the trademark will become effective from the date the application was filed.

What is the term of protection and how can a registration be renewed?

The registration takes effect from the date of filing the application for registration with the Patent and Registration Office and is valid for 10 years after the date of the registration. The registration can be renewed for 10 years from the expiry of the previous 10-year period. The renewal is accepted when the renewal fee is paid. Payments can be made online or through a bank giro payment.

What registration fees apply?

The registration fee is the same as the application fee. The same fee applies regardless of whether the application is approved or rejected (ie, there is no additional fee).

What is the usual timeframe from filing to registration?

Approximately three to six months.

Opposition

Can third parties formally oppose an application? If so, on what grounds and what rules and procedures apply?

Third parties can oppose a trademark registration. Once notice of the trademark registration is published in the Trademark Journal, third parties may oppose the registration wholly or partly. An opposition of the registration specifying on which grounds it is filed must be filed with the Patent and Registration Office within three months from the date of publication. The trademark registration owner and the opposing third party can then file statements arguing their case before the Patent and Registration Office (the number of statements vary and there is no set number). Following the exchange of statements, the Patent and Registration Office decides whether to revoke the registration as a result of the opposition.

Any third party may oppose a registration on the grounds that the trademark:

  • lacks distinctiveness;
  • consists exclusively of a shape which results from the nature of the goods or a shape that is necessary in order to obtain a technical result or a shape which gives substantial value to the goods;
  • is contrary to law, regulations, principles of morality or public policy;
  • could deceive the public concerning the nature, quality, geographical origin or any other circumstance relating to the goods or services in question;
  • includes, without permission:
    • a state or international emblem or a municipal coat of arms which, under law, cannot be used as a trademark without authorisation; or
    • something that can easily be confused with such an emblem or municipal coat of arms;
  • includes, without permission or can be confused with, a mark which cannot be used without authorisation as a trademark under the Act on Protection for Marks in International Humanitarian Law (2014:812); or
  • contains or consists of any sign, which is liable to be conceived as a geographical indication for wines or spirits and concerns wines or spirit of a different origin.

Subject to an objection by the rights holder of the trademark registration, only third parties with a legitimate interest may oppose the registration on the grounds that the trademark:

  • is identical to an earlier mark for identical goods or services;
  • is identical or similar to an earlier mark for identical or similar goods or services if a likelihood of confusion exists, including the likelihood of association between the proprietor of the trademark registration subject to the opposition and the holder of the earlier mark;
  • is identical or similar to an earlier mark which is known by a significant part of the relevant public and the trademark registration subject to the opposition would take unfair advantage of or without due cause, be detrimental to the distinctive character or reputation of the earlier mark;
  • can be confused with a symbol that, at the time of the application, was being used by a third party in Sweden or abroad and is still in use, if the applicant was acting in bad faith at the time of the application.
  • is likely to be perceived as another party’s company name;
  • is likely to be perceived as another party’s distinctive surname, a well-known artist’s name or similar if the use would disadvantage the bearer and the name does not obviously refer to someone long deceased;
  • is a picture of someone who is not obviously long deceased; or
  • infringes another party’s copyright, photograph or design.

What is the usual timeframe for opposition proceedings?

The timeframe for opposition proceedings is determined primarily by how many statements the opposing third party and the owner of the trademark registration file. After the exchange of statements between the parties has finished, the Patent and Registration Office will render its decision within approximately two to three months. 

Are opposition decisions subject to appeal? If so, what procedures apply?

Yes, opposition decisions can be appealed to the Patent and Market Court. Patent and Market Court decisions may be appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal is required. Decisions of the Patent and Market Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the Patent and Market Court of Appeal grants a right to appeal. Leave to appeal is required for the case to be tried by the Supreme Court.

Removal from register

Non-use cancellation

Can a mark be cancelled for non-use? If so, what term of non-use applies and what is the procedure for cancellation?

Yes, a trademark registration may be wholly or partially cancelled if the owner has not – within five years from the final decision on the registration matter or a consecutive five-year period – made genuine use of the mark in Sweden in respect of the goods or services for which it was registered and the owner has no valid reasons for non-use. Any party that wants to initiate cancellation proceedings may bring an action to the Patent and Market Court or apply for administrative cancellation with the Patent and Registration Office.

Revocation

On what grounds can a trademark registration be revoked (eg, loss of distinctiveness, incorrect registration)?

A trademark registration can be revoked if:

  • the trademark has been registered in violation of the Trademarks Act (2010:1877)and is still unlawful by the time of the assessment and the rights of the mark may not persist pursuant to acquiescence;
  • the trademark has, as a consequence of the rights holder’s acts or inactivity, become a common name in the trade for goods or services for which it has been registered;
  • the trademark conflicts with law, regulations, principles of morality or public policy; or
  • the trademark deceives the public about the nature of the product or service (eg, the quality, geographical origin or other circumstances).

Further, a trademark registration may be revoked on the ground of non-use.

Who may file a request for revocation and what is the statute of limitations for filing a request?

Any party may file a request for revocation based on the absolute grounds for refusal (eg, that the mark lacks distinctiveness or is contrary to law, regulation, principles of morality or public policy). With respect to revocation based on the relative grounds for refusal (eg, that there is a likelihood of confusion with an earlier trademark), the applicant must be able to show a legitimate interest in the matter. There is no statute of limitation for filing a request for revocation, but if the owner of a mark has been aware and acquiesced to the use of a later trademark registered in good faith for a successive five years after the date of its registration, the earlier mark and the later trademark will be allowed to co-exist.

What are the evidentiary and procedural requirements for revocation proceedings?

If an application for administrative revocation is filed and the trademark owner does not contest the application within the time set by the Patent and Registration Office, the trademark will be revoked in accordance with the application. If the trademark owner contests the application, the Patent and Registration Office must inform the applicant thereof. If the applicant wants to maintain the claim, he or she may, within one month from the date on which the applicant was notified that the application was contested, request the matter to be transferred to the Patent and Market Court. In such a case, the applicant has the burden to prove that there are grounds to revoke the registration.

Appeal

What is the appeal procedure for cancellations or revocations?

Patent and Registration Office decisions can be appealed to the Patent and Market Court within three weeks from the decision. The Patent and Market Court’s decisions may be appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal is required. Decisions of the Patent and Market Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the Patent and Market Court of Appeal grants a right to appeal. Leave to appeal is required for the case to be tried by the Supreme Court.

Surrender

What is the procedure for surrendering a trademark registration?

Trademark owners may choose not to renew a registration or request the Patent and Registration Office to remove, wholly or in part, a registration from the Trademark Register.

Enforcement

Jurisdiction

Which courts are empowered to hear trademark disputes?

Since September 1 2016, there has been a new court format for IP, marketing and competition law cases. The Patent and Market Court (a division of the Stockholm District Court) has exclusive jurisdiction as first-instance court to hear trademark disputes. Its decisions may be appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal (a division of the Svea Court of Appeal). Leave to appeal is required in civil cases and some criminal cases.

Decisions of the Patent and Market Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Supreme Court if leave to appeal is granted. In civil cases, a prerequisite for appeal is that the Patent and Market Court grants a right to appeal. 

Actions

What actions can be taken against trademark infringement (eg, civil, criminal, administrative), and what are the key features and requirements of each?

A trademark owner or licensee may request an injunction under penalty of a fine by filing an application for summons with the Patent and Market Court. The owner or licensee may also claim damages. (Please see Injunctions and Remedies below).

In order to secure evidence, a trademark owner or licensee may request that the court:

  • order the suspected infringer (or certain other parties involved in the commercialisation) under penalty of a fine, to provide information about the origin and the distribution network in relation to the infringed goods and services (ie, an order to provide information); and
  • order an investigation to be undertaken in respect of a suspected infringer (or contributor) to search for objects and documents that can be assumed to be of importance for the investigation (ie, an infringement investigation).

To obtain an order to provide information, the applicant must show probable cause that a trademark infringement has been committed and the requested information must be assumed to facilitate the investigation. To obtain an order for an infringement investigation, it must be reasonably assumed that someone has committed (or contributed to) an infringement and the reasons in favour of an investigation must outweigh the opposing interests of the alleged infringer or contributor. Detailed rules apply for the processing of infringement investigations.

It is also possible to bring an act of prosecution for trademark infringement or call for prosecution by a public prosecutor. If an infringement is committed wilfully or with gross negligence, the infringer may be fined or sentenced to up to two years’ imprisonment. However, in practice, it is uncommon for an infringer to be sentenced to imprisonment. An important legal restriction is that if a party has violated an injunction under penalty of a fine, he or she may not be held liable for infringements covered by the injunction.

Finally, a trademark owner or licensee may file a request for revocation of a registered infringing trademark with the Patent and Market Court or the Patent and Registration Office, on the ground that the trademark has been registered in violation of the Trademarks Act (2010:1877).

Who can file a trademark infringement action?

A trademark owner or a licensee may file an action for injunctions, damages, orders to provide information and infringement investigations.

The injured party may bring an act of prosecution for trademark infringement. A public prosecutor may also bring an act of prosecution if:

  • the injured party calls for prosecution; or
  • prosecution, for specific reasons, is called for in the public interest.

What is the statute of limitations for filing infringement actions?

There is no limitation for filing infringement actions, but if the owner of a mark has been aware of and acquiesced to the use of a later trademark registered in good faith for a successive five years after the date of its registration, the earlier mark and the later trademark will be allowed to co-exist. Further, an unregistered trademark will be allowed to co-exist with an earlier mark if the proprietor of the earlier mark has not taken action to prevent the use of the later mark within a reasonable period (normally shorter than a successive five-year period).

The statute of limitations for damages is five years from when the damages occurred.

What is the usual timeframe for infringement actions?

The usual timeframe for an infringement action is roughly:

  • 12 to 18 months from the filing of the application for summons in the court of first instance; and
  • eight to 12 months in the court of appeal.

The timeframe for preliminary injunctions is roughly three to six months and one to three months, respectively.

Injunctions

What rules and procedures govern the issuance of injunctions to prevent imminent or further infringement?

A trademark owner or licensee may file a petition for an injunction under penalty of a fine at the Patent and Market Court against a party that commits, or contributes to, a trademark infringement. The court may issue a preliminary injunction if:

  • the plaintiff shows probable cause that a trademark infringement or a contribution to an infringement is taking place; and
  • it can be reasonably expected that the defendant, through the continuation of his or her acts, will diminish the value of the exclusive right in the trademark.

Before a preliminary injunction is issued, the plaintiff will be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations if such delay will not entail a risk of damage. A preliminary injunction may generally be rendered only if the plaintiff provides security to the court. When the infringement case is adjudicated, the court will decide if the injunction will remain in force.

To prevent imminent infringement, the rules regarding injunctions, orders to provide information, infringement investigations and criminal liability also apply in relation to attempts and preparations to commit acts that constitute trademark infringement. 

Remedies

What remedies are available to owners of infringed marks? Are punitive damages allowed?

A trademark owner is entitled to reasonable compensation for use of its trademark and compensation for any additional damages caused by the trademark infringement if it is committed with intent or negligence. When calculating the damages, the following will be considered:

  • loss of profit;
  • profit made by the infringer;
  • damage to the reputation of the trademark;
  • moral damage; and
  • the right holders interest that the infringement ceases.

The court may also order the infringer to pay pecuniary compensation for appropriate measures to spread information about the judgment. If trademark infringement is committed without intent or negligence, a trademark owner may be entitled to reasonable compensation for use of the trademark if and to the extent that it is reasonable.

Punitive damages are not allowed under Swedish law. Damages must always reflect the actual economic loss suffered by the trademark holder.

In addition to the other remedies set out above, the Patent and Market Court may decide on measures to be taken with regard to property used in connection with a trademark infringement – for example, market recall, alteration or destruction. 

Customs enforcement

What customs enforcement measures are available to halt the import or export of infringing goods?

Customs may intervene against goods suspected of infringing IP rights that are brought into Sweden from a non-EU country. Interventions can be made either on the agency’s own initiative or following an application from a rights holder. However, Customs may not intervene against parallel imported goods or goods carried by passengers in their personal luggage, unless there are indications that commercial traffic is involved.

Defence

What defences are available to infringers?

Possible defences include:

  • that the owner has consented to the use;
  • that the trademark has not been used in the course of trade;
  • that there is insufficient similarity in relation to the older trademark or the relevant goods and services;
  • that the use does not adversely affect any of the trademark’s functions or that there is no likelihood of confusion;
  • that the exception for use in accordance with honest business practice applies (eg, if the trademark describes the relevant product’s characteristics);
  • that the rights of the older trademark have been exhausted;
  • that requirements for co-existence are met; and
  • that the plaintiff’s trademark is invalid or should be revoked (eg, due to registration in violation of the Trademarks Act (2010:1877), non-use or because the trademark has degenerated).

Appeal

What is the appeal procedure for infringement decisions?

Patent and Market Court decisions may be appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal is required in civil cases and some criminal cases. 

Patent and Market Court of Appeal decisions may be appealed to the Supreme Court. In civil cases, a prerequisite for appeal is that the Patent and Market Court grants a right to appeal. Leave to appeal is required for the case to be tried by the Supreme Court.

Assignment and licensing

Assignment

What rules and procedures govern the assignment of trademark rights? Must an assignment be recorded to have legal effect?

Under the Trademarks Act (2010:1877), a trademark may be assigned separately or in connection with a transfer of the business in which it is used. An assignment of a registered trademark will, on request, be recorded in the Trademark Register and published. An assignment of a Swedish trademark must not be recorded to have legal effect between the parties or against third parties, but has procedural benefits and is therefore generally recommended. 

Licensing

What rules and procedures govern trademark licensing? Must a licensing agreement be recorded to have legal effect?

Under the Trademarks Act, a trademark owner may grant another party the right to use the mark in part or all of the country. Licensing of a trademark in Sweden is mainly governed by the agreement between the rights holder and the licensee. A licensee is not allowed to sub-license his or her right to a third party without the licensor’s consent.

A licence concerning a registered Swedish trademark will, on request, be recorded in the Trademark Register and be published. Recording of the licence is not needed in order for the licensing agreement to have effect between the parties or against third parties. 

What provisions are typically included in a licensing agreement (eg, quality control clauses)?

Swedish trademark licence agreements typically include information on whether the licensee is awarded an exclusive licence. Quality and control provisions – including usage requirements – are common. The same goes for provisions governing the licensee’s right to sub-license and sub-contract its rights under the agreement. Further, provisions governing the parties’ responsibility with respect to third-party rights are typically included.

Security interest

Can a security interest be registered over a trademark? If so, what rules and procedure apply?

Under the Trademarks Act, a registered trademark may be pledged through the registration of a pledge agreement with the Patent and Registration Office. The trademark owner or the pledgee may request registration of the agreement. The right of pledge arises on the date of registration and is protected in relation to third parties from that date.

Related rights

Related IP rights

Can trademarks be protected under other IP rights (eg, copyright, designs)?

There is no formal limitation against a trademark obtaining protection under other IP rights. A trademark can be protected under the Copyright Act (1960:729) as long as it fulfils the requirements for such protection. A trademark may also be protected under design legislation, including the Design Protection Act (1979:485), if it meets certain criteria with respect to, for example, novelty and originality.

Company names are protected under the Trade Names Act (1974:156), according to which, registered or established trade names enjoy protection against identical and confusingly similar trade names. Further, a bearer of a characteristic surname is protected under the Name Act (1982:670) against third parties using his or her name as an indicator of trade origin if such use would be disadvantageous for the bearer of the name.

Online issues

Trademarks online and domain names

What regime governs the protection of trademarks online and domain names?

There is no specific regulation for the online use of trademarks. To the extent applicable, the Trademarks Act also covers online use.

Swedish law does not specifically regulate the right to domain names. The Foundation for Internet Infrastructure is generally responsible for the registration of domain names. A trademark registered as a domain name by someone other than the trademark owner does not necessarily constitute a trademark infringement. Further, a trademark registration does not automatically entail a right to a domain name incorporating that mark.