12/04/2018 - “LA MAFIA SE SIENTA A LA MESA”: THE TRADEMARK IS INVALID BECAUSE IT CONTRASTS WITH EU VALUES

The award of March 15, 2018 of the General Court of the European Union dismisses the action brought by the Spanish company La Mafia Franchises SL against the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Italian Republic and confirms the EUIPO’s decision concerning the invalidity of the registration of the trademark “La Mafia se sienta a la mesa.”

According to the General Court the trademark, referring to a criminal organization, conveys a globally positive image of that organization and trivializes the word element ‘la mafia’, thereby distorting the serious connotations of that word and the harm done by that organization to the fundamental values of the EU.

The invalidity of the registration of the trademark was asked, in the first place, by the Italian Republic on July 23, 2015. The Italian Republic filed an application with EUIPO asking for the declaration of invalidity of the trademark “La Mafia se sienta a la mesa”, arguing that the trademark is contrary to public policy and to accepted principles of morality.

 

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avv. Sondra Faccio