Tag: Divini & Divani S.r.l.

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The Protection of ‘Weak’ Trademarks Having Acquired Secondary Meaning

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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