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Between company names and identical insignias, the first one who used them, wins
星期二, 14 2月 2017 10:40

Between company names and identical insignias, the first one who used them, wins

Gilberto Cavagna

Recently, the Supreme Court of Cassation passed judgment regarding company names and identical insignias. 

On January 17, 2017, the Supreme Court of Cassation ruled over a dispute supported by a Neapolitan pharmacist. Having registered the company name and having used the insignia with his own surname as a way to distinguish his business, the pharmacist asked the court to prevent another pharmacist from using the same name in the same city and for the same kind of activity.

The controversy provided the court the opportunity to declare that “the deciding factor constituting the right to use an insignia is represented by the simple use of it due to the absence of an advertising or registration system” in our set of rules for insignias.  Furthermore, the court claimed that “in case of conflict between owners of identical or similar insignias, who are using the same surname as the essence of the insignia, after a lawfully registration, the judge can modify, add or eliminate the surname from the insignia, if the dispute is such to risk creating confusion between the object of the company and the place where the business operates”. 

Therefore, in a case of conflict between owners of identical insignias, we must always consider that the first user always prevails. The first user prevails also against someone who preregistered the insignia (as a company name) if the coexistence of the two insignias could create confusion around the object and place in which this activity is carried out.  Finally, before adopting an insignia, it would be appropriate not to limit the research conducted by earlier users in the database, but also to make a research on the internet and further explore the area where the insignia would be adopted. 

gilberto.cavagna@milalegal.com