Victory for Ladbrokes

Trademark infringement action dismissed

The long-running legal feud between the Danish state gambling monopoly Danske Spil and UK gambling group Ladbrokes appears to have reached its end with a victory for Ladbrokes, according to Danish media reports.

Danske Spil had claimed trademark infringement by Ladbrokes in a cheeky play on words in adverts using the words 'Dansk' and 'spil' in the context of Danish Game - [better] English Odds" (see previous InfoPowa reports).

This week the Maritime and Commercial Court in Copenhagen dismissed the Danish claim, finding that the exclusive right to use the words 'Dansk' and 'spil' claimed by the state monopoly was unreasonable. The state company's request for compensatory damages was also turned down.

Ciaran O'Brien, a Ladbrokes spokesman, said that the company appreciated the court's confirmation that it could use the contentious words in its advertising: "We will continue to highlight the disadvantages of monopolies in our sector and promote free and fair competition from regulated operators to the benefit of consumers," he added.

The judges were critical of certain advertising phraseology used by both parties in the marketing scrap.

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