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Comment on the Italian Supreme Court Decision “Vespa”

Italian Criminal Code, Art. 474

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Notes

  1. See Tribunal of Turin, 6 April 2017, available at http://www.giurisprudenzadelleimprese.it/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/20170406_-RG13811-2014-1.pdf. The decision mentions a ruling by the Paris District Court, 3rd Chamber, 4th Section, pronounced on 7 February 2013, which recognised copyright protection for Vespa in France.

  2. On the concept of the “artistic value” of industrial designs in Italy, see the ruling by the Italian Supreme Court in Metalco, in IIC 47:859–862 (2016), https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-016-0520-7.

  3. See European 3D trade mark registration No. 11686482, available at http://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/.

  4. Article 3(1)(e) of Council Directive 89/104 on Trade Marks (subsequently repealed and re-enacted) provides:

    “The following shall not be registered or if registered shall be liable to be declared invalid: …

    (e) signs which consist exclusively of:

    • the shape which results from the nature of the goods themselves, or

    • the shape of goods which is necessary to obtain a technical result, or

    • the shape which gives substantial value to the goods.”.

  5. For instance, see Arts. 171 to 174quinquies of the Italian Copyright Act.

  6. See Supreme Court of Cassation, III Criminal Division, Decision No. 26754/2001 (relating to items reproducing Pokemon characters, Scooby Doo and Winnie the Pooh); Supreme Court of Cassation, III Criminal Division, Decision, No. 28159/2006 (relating to items reproducing well-known cartoon characters).

  7. See Supreme Court of Cassation, V Criminal Division, Decision No. 27032/2004 (relating to toys reproducing the chick Calimero, which is a well-known character in Italy); Supreme Court of Cassation, V Criminal Division, Decision No. 25147/2005 (relating to items reproducing Tweety Bird); Supreme Court of Cassation, II Criminal Division, Decision No. 20040/2011 (relating to items reproducing Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat).

  8. See Supreme Court of Cassation, V Criminal Division, Decision No. 3403/2009.

  9. See Supreme Court of Cassation, V Criminal Division, Decision No. 9362/2015 (relating to items reproducing The Pink Panther by Metro Goldwin Mayer).

  10. As to the consistence of Vespa with earlier European trade mark case law, including the seminal decision of the CJEU in Adidas-Salomon (2003), see Rosati (2017).

  11. CJEU, C-408/01, Adidas-Salomon AG e Adidas Benelux BV v. Fitnessworld Trading Ltd., ECLI:EU:C:2003:582.

  12. See Pila and Torremans (2016), p. 421.

References

  • Pila J, Torremans P (2016) European Intellectual Property Law. Oxford University Press, Oxford

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  • Rosati E (2017) Italian Supreme Court rules that mere reproduction of Vespa image may amount to counterfeiting. JIPLP 12(7):537

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Correspondence to Marco Bellia.

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For a translation of this decision by Marco Bellia, see this issue of IIC at https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-018-0687-1.

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Bellia, M. Comment on the Italian Supreme Court Decision “Vespa”. IIC 49, 373–378 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-018-0688-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-018-0688-0

Keywords

  • Italian Supreme Court
  • Vespers
  • Court Of Justice Of The European Union (CJEU)
  • Reproductive Items
  • Trade Mark Owner