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German firm wins trademark lawsuit against Swedish neo-Nazis

July 5, 2017

Logistics firm Nordfrost has won a suit against the Nordic Resistance Movement, a far-right group. Researchers say the organization is among the most violent white supremacy groups in Sweden.

Schweden Stockholm - Demo des Neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement
A march in Stockholm led by the neo-Nazi NRM group in 2016Image: Getty Images/AFP/J. Nackstrand

Deep-freeze logistics company Nordfrost has won a copyright lawsuit against a Swedish neo-Nazi organization, local media reported Wednesday. The firm claimed that the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) using the term "Nordfront" for their website and promotional materials could be mistaken for their brand.

"The two labels are phonetically and visually similar, differentiated only by one letter," read Nordfrost's complaint, according to Austrian public broadcaster ORF. "In our opinion, there is a clear risk of a third party getting the impression that there is a commercial connection."

The Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) agreed with the "number 6 in the world in the deep-freeze sector." NRM will no longer be able to use the Nordfront label.

NRM and the rise of racist violence

The NRM neo-Nazi movement has been around since the mid-1990s, when it was known as the White Aryan Resistance. Since then, it has changed its name and grown from its base in Sweden to include chapters in Finland, Norway and Denmark. Over the years, the group has been linked to a number of crimes including murder, anti-Semitic hate crimes, assault, drug trafficking and illegal possession of weapons.

According to author and journalist Stieg Larsson, the group originally modeled itself after the short-lived US white supremacy group The Order, most famous for its role the murder of liberal radio commentator Alan Berg.

In early 2017, the Swedish anti-racism magazine Expo said that NRM was mostly responsible for the uptick in racist incidents in Sweden in the previous year.

Elizabeth Schumacher
Elizabeth Schumacher Elizabeth Schumacher reports on gender equity, immigration, poverty and education in Germany.