Win in the Swedish Patent and Market Court

Lawyer Hanna Vikström is legal advisor for Swedish National Organisation for Estheticians (Sveriges Hudterapeuters Riksorganisation, SHR), Sweden’s leading branch organisation for estheticians and the only independent organisation in Sweden that issues authorization of estheticians. The requirements on the members of SHR are high, including (among other things) postgraduate education, further education and ethics in the profession, which ensures the quality and safety for the customers in a branch that is not yet regulated by legislation. Despite that SHR is the only organisation that authorizes estheticians, it is common that salons and employees at salons that aren’t members of SHR – and consequently not approved and supervised by SHR – market themselves as “authorized”, which is prohibited under the Swedish Marketing Practices Act (marknadsföringslagen). During the years SHR, assisted by Hanna Vikström, has expressed the opinion that you must be a member of SHR to be called authorized, as SHR is the only organisation authorizing and supervising estheticians. Assisted by Hanna Vikström SHR has, and will continue to, take measures against non SHR members using the term authorized.

Hanna Vikström has now, on the behalf of SHR, brought legal actions against a salon that is not a member of SHR, in the Swedish Patent and Market Court (Patent- och marknadsdomstolen) regarding a prohibition for the salon to market itself as authorized. The actions are taken as a part of SHR’s work to prevent unlawful use of the term authorized, a term strongly associated with SHR, and unauthorized use of the term is misleading consumers in the market. The Swedish Patent and Market Court has recently ruled in favor of SHR and prohibited the salon from using the term authorized, under penalty of a fine of SEK 500,000 (about € 50.000), due to that the salon was not a member of SHR or under any other independent supervision, which is required according to case law. The salon was also ordered to reimburse SHR in full for the litigation costs.

The ruling confirms the long held view by SHR regarding the use of the term authorized within the esthetician profession.

(The Swedish Patent and Market Court case no. PMD 7277-17)

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