Author - alessandra.feller

1
A bed Called ‘Nathalie’ – A Dispute Over Creative Designs Protected by Italian Copyright Law
2
Is it Still Popcorn Time?
3
Legal Works as Creative Works: The Original Decision of the Court of Venice
4
The Protection of ‘Weak’ Trademarks Having Acquired Secondary Meaning
5
The Chinese Translation of a Registered Word Trademark can be Used as a New Figurative Trademark in Italy
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Yahoo! Vs. Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.a: A Turning Point in ISP’s Liability in Italy?
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Do not use Audrey Hepburn’s Iconic Elements
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More Transparency on the Use of App Users’ Personal Data!

A bed Called ‘Nathalie’ – A Dispute Over Creative Designs Protected by Italian Copyright Law

A recent judgment on 16 June  2015 (no. 7432/2015), saw the Court of Milan ascertain the difference between a shape trademark and an artistic shape classified as industrial design protected under copyright law.

The dispute concerned the use and the reproduction of the design of the renowned ‘Nathalie’ bed (the Design), which was created in the ‘70s by Italian designer and architect Vico Magistretti. Mr. Magistretti (and later his heirs) granted an exclusive licence of the Design to the plaintiff.

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Is it Still Popcorn Time?

On 31 August 2015 the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Genova (Italian Prosecutor) issued a sequestration order for copyright infringement against popular streaming software: Popcorn Time.

Popcorn Time (the Software) is open source software  which links users through a peer-to-peer network by allowing them to stream and watch movies or TV series. In other words, the Software does not allow users to download data from a server, but users can download files directly from different sources (i.e. other users).

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Legal Works as Creative Works: The Original Decision of the Court of Venice

In March, the IP Court of Venice (Court) provided a unique ruling on copyright law.

The Court ruled on an issue concerning the application of Italian copyright laws to protect a legal work created by a lawyer works.

A lawyer (Plaintiff) sued an entity (Entity), which was organizing an exposition for the infringement of Plaintiff’s moral rights due to the non-authorized use of a document containing IP policy guidelines (Document) to be distributed among the exhibitors, which entirely reproduced a document drafted years ago by the Plaintiff for another entity.

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The Protection of ‘Weak’ Trademarks Having Acquired Secondary Meaning

On February 2, 2015, (judgment no. 1861) the Italian Supreme Court ruled on a case involving two Italian companies active in the sector of furniture: Natuzzi S.p.A., owner of the Italian and European trademark ‘Divani & Divani’ (Trademark 1), and Divini & Divani S.r.l. (Divini & Divani), which started to use the trademark ‘Divini & Divani’ (Trademark 2).

Natuzzi claimed that the use of Trademark 2 was illegitimate, constituted an act of unfair competition as well as trademark infringement claiming the use generated confusion amongst customers. In particular, Natuzzi stated that, even if Trademark 1 was composed by two common words (literally in English ‘Sofas & Sofas’), it acquired specific distinctiveness. Consequently, Natuzzi sought to prevent Divini & Divani from using Trademark 2 as a company name and a trademark for its products. Divini & Divani counterclaimed that Natuzzi’s requests were groundless because there could not be any confusion between the trademarks and, in any case, Trademark 1 was weak and consequently, not worthy of protection.

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The Chinese Translation of a Registered Word Trademark can be Used as a New Figurative Trademark in Italy

On January 9, 2015, a decision of the Italian Patent and Trademark Office (Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi, hereafter ‘UIBM’) rejected an opposition made by Jaguar Land Rover Limited (Land Rover), in order to prevent the registration, in Italy, by China Depend Limited (China Depend) of a figurative trademark. The trademark was formed by two Chinese ideograms corresponding to the sign used in China by Land Rover to identify its activity, which once translated means ‘land’ and ‘tiger’, but allegedly commonly translated into ‘Land Rover’ ( Ideogram Trademark).

Land Rover, owner of the two Italian word trademarks ‘Land Rover’ and ‘Range Rover’ (Land Rover Trademarks), filed an opposition pursuant to Article 12, paragraph 1, letter d) of the Italian Intellectual Property Code setting forth the likelihood of confusion between similar trademarks. In particular, the provision provides that signs cannot be registered as trademarks if, at the date of the registration filing, they are similar or identical to other trademarks previously registered by third parties in the same country or are enjoying protection in the same country.

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Yahoo! Vs. Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.a: A Turning Point in ISP’s Liability in Italy?

On January 7, 2015 the Court of Appeal of Milan (Court of Appeal) rendered a relevant judgment on a dispute involving Yahoo! Italia S.r.l and Yahoo! Inc. vs. Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.A. (RTI), one of Italy’s major broadcasters. RTI sued Yahoo! Italia S.r.l. and Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!) because of the reproduction of RTI’s copyrighted videos on the Yahoo! Video-sharing platform (Yahoo! Video Italia). RTI requested the removal of such videos and the implementation by Yahoo! of a filtering and blocking system in order to detect and prevent any infringement of copyright. The Court of Appeal concluded that the hosting provider is only exclusively responsible if it takes active part in the uploading activity or is aware of the unlawful content or use of the material and does not erase them.

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Do not use Audrey Hepburn’s Iconic Elements

That’s what the Court of Milan has stated on January 21, 2015 (judgment no.766/2015)!

This dispute originated with the use by an Italian company, Caleffi S.p.A. (Caleffi), of an image recalling the famous scene from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ in which the actress, well-dressed in black, wearing sunglasses and pearls, was staring into the window of Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue boutique. Caleffi was promoting the prize contest ‘The dream diamond’. Audrey Hepburn’s heirs sued Caleffi and brought before the Court of Milan (Court) an action for damages based on the claimed violation of article 10 of the Italian Civil Code, on the use of the images of a person, and article 96 of Italian Copyright Law, on the protection of portraits.\

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More Transparency on the Use of App Users’ Personal Data!

Italian Data Protection Authority Focuses on Medical and Wellness Apps Sector

On September 10, 2014, Italian Data Protection Authority (Authority) released the findings of a survey conducted on the medical/wellness apps sector within the initiative ‘Privacy Sweep 2014’, promoted by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network, which enhances the cooperation amongst international data protection authorities.

As a result of such survey, just 15% of the medical apps surveyed – out of a total of 1,200 – provide clear privacy policies and the Authority is now considering issuing specific measures or sanctions for non-compliant subjects. Read More

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