For The Gander: Bahnhof Sends Copyright Troll Spridningskollen A Trademark Violation Settlement Letter

from the turning-the-tables dept

We were just talking about Bahnhof, the Swedish ISP with a reputation for protecting its customers privacy, and its script-flipping battle with a copyright troll called Spridningskollen. At issue is that Bahnhof has for some time operated a website,, and has applied for a trademark registration for it more recently. The copyright troll is new in town, so to speak, and Bahnhoff is relying on common law trademark rights while its application goes through the process, but that isn’t keeping the ISP from continuing to give Spridningskollen a taste of its own medicine.

In a move laced with irony, Bahnhof has sent Spridningskollen a settlement letter on the basis of its trademark infringement.

Previously they accused Spridningskollen of trademark infringement and this week they followed up this threat with a more concrete warning. Giving the “trolls” a taste of their own medicine, Bahnhof sent them an invoice for the exact amount they also ask from accused pirates, to settle the alleged trademark infringement.

“You’re infringing our trademark ‘Spridningskollen.’ Bahnhof filed for the trademark on 2016-08-31, with the launch of the website,” the settlement invoice reads.

Now, Spridningskollen will almost certainly not take Bahnhof up on its offer, but that isn’t really the point. The point is that a copyright troll that wraps itself in the flag of anti-piracy, but which actually simply looks to bully settlement money out of the public, couldn’t be bothered to come up with a name for itself that wasn’t already in use and has now been served with the exact sort of settlement letter it itself wants to send to others. It’s response to the letter is going to look bad either way. Bowing to its demands will be a public acknowledgement that the “anti-piracy” group violated another group’s intellectual property. Not a good look. Fighting back against the letter, as it surely will, casts doubt on the legitimacy of its own threat-settlement letters and provides the public with a role-model example for what to do if they receive such a settlement notice.

It’s a checkmate move, in other words. That Bahnhoff is asking for the exact amount that Spridningskollen plans to ask for in its own letters simply layers on a bit of snark to all of this. Which makes Bahnhoff an early favorite for the ISP doing the most to protect its customers from copyright bullies while entertaining the rest of us.

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Companies: bahnhof, spridningskollen

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Comments on “For The Gander: Bahnhof Sends Copyright Troll Spridningskollen A Trademark Violation Settlement Letter”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“And as a native German speaker the name of the ISP keeps on irritating me in that context. “

As another German speaker I wonder, is it because of the given name to the latest train by the people in charge of all Bahnhofs, you the Angelina Jolie train because it has lights and a red line below those lines like those lips…
Or is it because a Bahnhof aka trainstation costs more than 6 billion or in US terms, more than Trumps wall to Mexico?

wdac (profile) says:

Re: Re:

dont work like that in Sweden…

you can only sue them by 2 ways, a Gov made list over different types of issues you get sued by.

and secondly
you can “only” sue some one or company for acutaly lost income, not the fantasy sums they do in USA for example.

there for the thing Bahnhof did is much more efficient money wise.. tho the point is not money this time…

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