Writer Carl-Johan Seth claimed royalty rights to Kristina from Duvemala because he wrote the first draft of the show, which concerns 19th-century Swedish immigrants who are forced by poverty to forge a new life in Minnesota.
Ulvaeus and Andersson — on whose ABBA songs the musical Mamma Mia! is based — countered that Seth's script was unusable and that director Lars Rudolfsson and playwright Jan Mark had to write an alternative version.
The show's plot is based on four novels by Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg. Kristina from Duvemala premiered at the Malmo Music Theatre on Oct. 7, 1995, and has transferred to Gothenburg's Opera House and to Stolkholm's Cirkus Theatre.
According to the BBC, the court ruled that Seth is not entitled to royalties from past or future productions of the musical.
For the American version of the musical, called Kristina, Ulvaeus collaborated with Les Misérables lyricist Herbert Kretzmer. The show was recently workshopped in New York, and the Tony-nominated Alice Ripley (Side Show) has reportedly been given the nod for one of the principal roles. The Broadway Theatre, currently hosting The Color Purple, is considered to be a possible venue for the musical. Seth's lawyer has said his client will appeal.