Swedish Purity in Absolut Vodka brand battle
Published: 09 Jan 2014 13:17 GMT+01:00
Swedish upstart distillery Purity Vodka has taken beverage giant Absolut to court, in an attempt to straighten out a branding and marketing dispute.
Stockholm district court will look into a claim by small Swedish distillery Purity Vodka's complaint that Absolut used the word 'purity' in a marketing campaign that the former claims infringes on the Purity trademark.
The Dagens Industri business daily reported on Thursday that Absolut Vodka has used the term 'purity vodka' in a series of advertisements targeted at the US market.
"We thought they should remove the word 'purity', it is our trademark, but they refused," chairman and Purity Vodka co-founder Göran Bernhoff told the paper.
The complaint lead to Absolut Vodka countering the act by suing Purity Vodka both in Sweden and in the US.
"I'm surprised that they want to scare us, we are a small company," Bernhoff commented. "But we won't give up."
Absolut Vodka has a long past of fiercely guarding its trademark.
In 2010, the Swedish distillers sued British broadcasters at the Absolute Radio station. The dispute resulted in a confidential agreement between the two companies, allowing the radio station to keep its name.
READ ALSO: Sweden axes new word after Google intervenes
Last year, a hairdresser in Washington state in the US had to re-brand his salon after the vodka giant objected to his use of Absolute in the business name. His British colleagues appear to have stayed clear of disputes so far. A quick yellow pages search revealed on Thursday that there are still scores of Absolute Beauty salons, from Stirlingshire to Cornwall.
In Sweden, meanwhile, there are Absolute Car Towers and Absolute Catering, among seventeen other entries on phone and address directory website Hitta.se spanning cleaners to dentists.
Absolut is owned by French drinks group Pernod Ricard, which acquired the famed Swedish brand in 2008 when it purchased the Vin & Sprit (V&S) group from the Swedish state for 55 billion kronor ($8.88 billion).
What's on in Sweden
The Medieval Week on Gotland. Photo: Marie-Anne Björkman/Medeltidsveckan
Sweden is gearing up for a number of great festivals this week. Check out our favourite five picks as well as a handy interactive guide to all of Sweden's best events.
An earthquake hit the Gothenburg area on Wednesday evening. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
An earthquake shook the Gothenburg area in western Sweden on Wednesday evening.
Participants were outnumbered by some 100 counter-demonstrators. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT
Fewer than a couple of dozen demonstrators turned up to walk in a controversial gay rights parade organized by far-right campaigners in Sweden on Wednesday, according to police.
A Swedish police car. File photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT
UPDATED: Suspicious white powder sent to Sweden's public broadcaster SVT's offices in Blekinge has been found to be harmless, a police spokesperson told The Local on Wednesday afternoon.
The centre suspects that at least ten of the 118 hedgehogs the centre has taken in so far this year have been hurt by people. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/Scanpix
Shocking reports from a rescue centre in western Sweden about cruel abuse of hedgehogs have put the Nordic country's reputation as an animal-friendly nation in a different light.
Swefilmer administrator Ola Johansson has announced that the site will close for good on Friday July 31st. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad / TT
A popular Swedish film-streaming site has announced that it will shut down after police arrested and searched the home of one of the site’s administrators.
Welcome to Sweden actors Lena Olin, Greg Poehler and Josephine Bornebusch. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT
The creator of 'Welcome to Sweden' has announced that NBC has cancelled the Swedish-American sitcom in the US because of "craptastically low ratings".
Ocean X Team members Peter Lindberg and Dennis Åsberg. Photo: Ocean X Team
Speculation was running high on Wednesday over the discovery of a wrecked submarine off the coast of Sweden, after the military said it was likely a Russian vessel which ran aground a century ago.
The Local List
How to become a Swedish woman. Photo: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se
Have you ever paid for yourself on a date - or yelled at a man for whistling at you on the street? Then you may be more typically Swedish than you think. We’ve put together a list of nine experiences that make a truly Swedish woman.
Police investigating the latest in a series of explosions in Malmö on Sunday. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Malmö's summer of violence coupled with police staff shortages over the holiday season could be putting the public at risk in Sweden's third biggest city, a police union said on Wednesday.