Strindberg schnapps hard to swallow for author’s family

Should the name of the great August Strindberg be allowed to be used as a label for schnapps with a hint of absinthe? Yes, according to the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV), which has rejected a complaint by the Swedish author's family.

Strindberg’s relatives said it was extremely poor taste to reduce the name of a major literary figure to a brand of booze, reported Dagens Nyheter.

They demanded that the patent organisation cancel the registration of the name, arguing that Sweden’s biggest literary name was being devalued and commercialised.

PRV maintained that the registration of the name cannot be withdrawn since it is more than 70 years since Strindberg’s death – longer than the time for which a dead person’s name is protected by law.

The manufacturer of the schnapps pointed out that it already sells a brand named after Carl Michael Bellman.

And the family can take comfort from the fact that Strindberg is in even grander company abroad: they may like to drown their sorrows with a bottle of Tolstoy vodka or Victor Hugo wine.