ONLINE SALE OF LUXURY GOODS. PROHIBITION OF SALE FOR A RETAILER OUTSIDE THE SELECTIVE DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

The Court of Milan, Enterprise Section, by order no. 3755 of 11 May 2021, reaffirmed a well-known principle concerning luxury brands and selective distribution networks.

The Court ruled that a trademark owner who sells luxury products through a selective distribution network may object to sales made, including online, by another retailer outside the network, if such sales methods do not comply with the quality standards required by the its proprietary selective system and are therefore detrimental to the prestige and image of the luxury products and the relevant trademark.

In this case, the Courts upheld the action brought by a company owning a well-known perfume brand against an online retailer of body and hair care products, which was not part of the applicant's selective distribution network. The Court stopped the retailer from continuing unauthorised sales, imposed a penalty for infringement and ordered the publication of the extract of the order on the retailer's website. 

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avv. Marco Falsiroli