Trademarks, Brands, Patents, Designs, Made in Italy, Copyrights, Competition Law, Contracts and Enforcement

02 luglio 2008

Italy: Copyright, Design and FLOS


On June 30th 2008, Mr. Marangoni, Judge of the Specialized Section in Intellectual and Industrial Property of the Court of Milan, confirmed the previous seizure and injunction orders issued on December 29th 2006 towards SEMERARO.

Such order is of the utmost importance in light of previous ones which, on the contrary, denied precautionary measures which had been originally granted (see the case of PANTOM chair of Vitra) because of a new provision.

On April 7th 2007, Law 46/2007 had actually adopted in the Italian system a position according to which the protection of copyright “does not apply to products accomplished according to designs and models which, before the date of entry into force of the legislative decree dated February 2nd 2001, No. 95, were or had become of public property.”

Such formulation has caused some case law to judge the (turned up) ine
xistence of copyrights for design works created before 2001. The first company which suffered from such position was VITRA, assisted by Trevisan & Cuonzo Law Firm, which, on December 2007, saw the revocation of the originally granted seizure, with the consequence that, during the fair “Salone del Mobile”, held on 2008, newspapers and leaflets reproducing slavish imitations of well known design works indicated the lawfulness of such copies, derived from the new Italian regulation.

FLOS, despite such events, has resisted and fought against such regulation, which has been defined as “aberrant” by its attorney (Mr Giovanni F. Casucci, renowned expert in industrial property and a teacher by Bicocca University and MIP), avoiding the huge economical loss caused by the imitators to some other competitors and succeeded in keeping the originally granted position, convincing the Judge of the fact that the new regulation totally contrasts with the superior communitarian and international regulations. Today, thanks to FLOS, (Italian and foreign) design companies can hope in a successful protection of their icons of design in Italy.

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