LEGAL NEWS IN THE SPOTLIGHT | The Italian Supreme Court on the protection as three-dimensional mark (and through copyright) of the Vespa design

Newsletter n. 91 – December

LEGAL NEWS IN THE SPOTLIGHT 

The Italian Supreme Court on the protection as three-dimensional mark (and through copyright) of the Vespa design

On 28 November 2023, the Italian Supreme Court issued its judgement no. 33100/2023 on the protection of the shape of the iconic Vespa scooter as three-dimensional trade mark (the “Decision”). By overturning the second instance decision rendered by the Court of Appeal of Turin, the Italian Supreme Court held that the artistic value of the Vespa design (which allows its shape to protected pursuant to Italian copyright law) prevents the latter from being protected as three-dimensional trade-mark. According to the Decision, the artistic value of the Vespa design confers to it substantial value, amounting to an absolute ground for refusal of trademark registration according to Italian Industrial Property Code and European trademark law. The Decision confirmed however copyright protection to the design, and that the design of the claimants’ scooter amounted to copyright infringement.