July 6, 2017
You know, if I was the cynical sort, I would wonder if the Swedish court was even operating in good faith with this anti-Nazi trademark ruling.
But then, it may be that the Swedish court system isn’t so much virulently anti-Nazi as it is virulently pro-freezer.
Swedish neo-Nazi group, the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), will no longer be allowed to use one of its names after a German company successfully challenged that their brand could be confused with the far-right group.
The NRM use the name ‘Nordfront’ on its website and on neo-Nazi promotional material such as fliers. The group also has the name emblazoned on riot shields they carry with them while on demonstrations and had registered the trademark with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV).
Following a complaint to the PRV by German deep-freeze company ‘Nordfrost’ the neo-Nazi group will now have to find another name for their website.
Nordfrost successfully argued that the names were too similar and that there was “an obvious risk that third parties will mistakenly get the impression that there is a commercial link,” The local reports, citing the company’s complaint.
This is, of course, disappointing. I very much like the name “Nordfront,” and I’m sure they do too.
Of course, they will still be able to use it in other countries, I would assume – unless this ruling has some kind of bizarre resonance with weird international copyright treaties. I would also assume this is the kind of thing they can win on appeal, given that “Nordfront” really does not sound like “Nordfrost” and I think one can very easily argue that this ruling was influenced by politics.
Besides just being a cool name for a group, causing them to have to change this also means costing them a lot of money – and not just in the value of their brand, but in immediate real costs, as this name is printed on logos on all of their stuff.
It is also the name of their website.
Is the traffic sign company going to sue them because their logo looks too much like the “drive forward” sign?