Sweden 14 Nov 2018

Updates to the Swedish Trademarks Act from January 1, 2019

As of January 1, 2019, an update to the Swedish Trademark Act will come into force. The update includes a series of news that are good to know if you currently have or are going to register trademarks in Sweden. On the same day as the new update will be implemented, Sweden will also receive a new law governing company names.

The objective from the legislator is to modernize and simplify Swedish trademark law. But above all, the changes will lead to the Swedish law being harmonized with other EU countries and the rules applicable to EU trademarks. The Trademark Act will also become more technologically neutral in terms of what can be considered a trademark, and the requirement for graphical representation is abandoned altogether. This means that it will become easier to register trademarks in the form of, for example, sounds, animations or graphical sequences.

Trademark protection is also extended to cover goods in transit, i.e. goods that only pass through Sweden without being sold here. The purpose is to strengthen the trademark rights and make it easier for the Customs Office to intervene against piracy and counterfeit goods.

Changes to opposition proceedings are also being implemented – for example, a due date for settlement of objections, requirements of use as a basis for revocation, and that decisions on revocation applies retroactively.

A new law, the Company Name Act, replaces the existing Trade Names Act of 1974. The new law will have a more modern language, and will therefore make it easier for business owners to understand the rules and act according to the legislation. In connection with this, some additions in the practical processing is also implemented. 

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