Pizza baker escapes Olympic penalty

Sweden's Olympic Committee has dropped its claim for compensation from a pizzeria owner whom it had accused of infringing its trade mark.

The committee had demanded 50,000 kronor from Mammad Wallérion, a restaurateur in Västerås, and 90,000 from the owner of a cheese shop for using the abbreviation ‘OS’ – the Swedish acronym for the Olympic Games, in advertising campaigns.

Wallerion had named one of his creations the ‘OS Pizza’. The cheese shop owner had advertised her cheese (‘ost’ in Swedish) as ‘(OS)T’.

In a phone call recorded by Wallerion, the committee’s lawyer said that if he did not agree to pay 5,000 kronor immediately, the damages would rise to 50,000 kronor.

The lawyer was widely accused of using Mafia-style techniques and Olympic Committee chairman Stefan Lindeberg made a public apology.

The committee said it was withdrawing the demands for compensation from four small companies, but would pursue a further 29 cases involving larger companies.

It added that it stood by the principle that other organizations must not infringe its trademark.

The Local