On the ever-growing market for streaming services and online access to TV broadcasts, illegal services are common and sometimes difficult to shut down due to their technical complexity and the multi-jurisdictional scope of the infringing activities. The Patent and Market Court recently held three persons liable for global retransmissions of TV broadcasts, sentencing them to prison and awarding rights holders significant compensation for damages.
A new Trade Secrets Act, which implements the EU Trade Secrets Directive, recently entered into force. Even if the strengthened position for trade secret owners is welcome, discrepancies remain between trade secrets and other IP rights. Further, any dispute on trade secrets will not be subject to the jurisdiction of Sweden's specialised IP courts – jurisdiction will remain vested in the courts of general jurisdiction and often subject to labour dispute rules.
The Supreme Court has confirmed that domain names are property which can be forfeited to the state, providing rights holders with another measure in their fight against online infringement. The court noted that the concept of 'property' is central for the rules on forfeiture. It concluded that a person who registers a domain name is granted an exclusive right to that domain name and the right to a domain name may be subject to dispute resolution and entitlement claims.
The Supreme Court recently clarified that copyright infringement is not a crime where the presumed penalty is imprisonment. This decision marks a change in relation to previous case law regarding the penalty for copyright infringement through illegal file sharing. The Supreme Court has now aligned the view on the severity of IP infringements. This is a welcome development, although rights holders may have benefited from a stricter view and a development in the opposite direction.
The debate regarding hidden marketing by influencers has been ongoing for some time, as social media's influencer scene grows from strength to strength. A recent judicial court judgment that the indication that a post constitutes marketing must be made at the very beginning of the post is perhaps unsurprising, as it is based on an established principle that the consumer must be able to identify marketing before he or she has read the entire advertisement.
The Supreme Court recently outlined the assessment of the terms 'trader' and 'marketing' with regard to a municipality's use of a private individual's picture in newspaper advertisements and other informative material. After a city in a municipality had been named the European capital of culture, the municipality used a picture showing a person. The person sued the municipality for damages on the grounds that it had used the picture in marketing the municipality and its business without his consent.