Milan’s Court of First Instance: Moon Boots are industrial design works
With the judgment no. 493 of January 25, 2021, the Milan’s Court of First Instance ruled on the copyright protection of the well-known Moon Boots.
The Court stated that the boots produced by Chiara Ferragni represented a counterfeit of Moon Boots footwear, as the former have the same distinctive shapes and characteristics of the industrial design work “Moon Boots”.
Therefore, the judge ordered the popular fashion blogger to pay damages for the infringement of intellectual property rights.
This case represents one of the few examples in which the protection of copyright has been recognised for industrial design works, as provided for by Article 2(10) of the Italian Copyright Law no. 1941/633.
Industrial Property Strategy: Italian Patent and Trademark Office’s guidelines open for public consultation until 31 May 2021
On April 29, 2021, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the Italian Patent and Trademark Office (in Italian, “Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi”, “UIBM”) published the “Industrial Property Strategy Action Guidelines” – in public consultation until May 31, 2021 – to guide Government action on industrial property.
The document follows the “Action Plan on Intellectual Property” adopted on November 25, 2020 by the European Commission, to help companies to make the most of their inventions and creations, calling Member States for a rapid rollout of the unitary patent system to create a one-stop-shop for patent protection and enforcement across the EU.
Dissemination of images without consent: lawful the publication if it meets the needs of public information the Milan’s Court said
The Milan’s Court of First Instance, with the judgment no. 726 of February 2, 2021, has ruled on the cases – provided for by Article 97 of the Italian Copyright Law no. 1941/633 – in which the image of a person may be published without his or her consent.
Such cases can be grounded on the public need for information and, as these provisions derogate the image right, are to be applied following the so-called “principle of strict interpretation”.
Therefore, the Court, in accordance with the former case-law, stated that the disclosure of an image without the consent of the subject is lawful only if it meets the needs of public information, not also when it is intended for other purposes (advertising, business, etc.).
Right to report does not legitimise publication of children’s pictures
With the judgment no. 4477 of February 19, 2021, the Civil Section of the Italian Supreme Court ruled on the public interest in the dissemination of news in connection with the right to report.
In particular, according to the Supreme Court, the public interest of a news should be distinguished from the lawfulness of the publication or dissemination of the image of the individuals involved, for which the conditions required are:
- a specific and autonomous public interest in knowing the features of the people involved; or
- their consent; or
- other exceptions provided for by the applicable law.
In any event, the aforementioned conditions do not authorise the publication of children’s pictures.
Trademark opposition: +137.5% of proceedings concluded in 2019-2020
According to a study made by the Italian Patent and Trademark Office (in Italian, “Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi”, “UIBM”), 5.625 opposition proceedings to the registration of trademarks were closed by the Office during the period 2019-2020.
The data collected during the pandemic shows an important increase of +137.75%, compared to the period 2017-2018, during which the same procedures were a total of 2.371.
Unlawful broadcasting of music tracks recorded in a public place for profit purposes
The Court of Appeal of Taranto, in a decision dated March 15, 2021, ruled on the broadcasting of music tracks recorded in a public place in order to gain a profit.
In this context, the Court stated that the protection of copyright is to be considered overriding the protection of the free circulation of intellectual works.
Therefore, according to the Court, the unauthorised broadcasting of music mastered in a public place, accessible on payment, falls within the scope of the criminal offence set out in Article 171-bis of Italian Copyright Law no. 1941/633, given the obvious profit-making purpose.