Landmark Decision On The Distinctiveness Of Vespa 3D Trademark

Whenever you find a sign that says Vespa for sale at a dealer, you will find a crowd of people who prefer the convenience of the scooter. Vespa is Italian for wasp. Enrico Piaggio came up with the name Vespa for the MP6 prototype because the wide back end that is joined to the front end by a narrow waist looks like the body of a wasp with the steering column as its antenna.

In a recent decision that was issued by The Court of Appeal of Turin, Italy, Piaggio’s 3D trademark and copyright over the popular Vespa has been infringed by the commercialization of a certain kind of scooter by Zhejiang and Zhongneng Industry Group and Taizhou Zhongneng Import and Export.

The copyright infringement case started in 2013 during the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan when Italian police seized 11 scooters that were put on display by 7 exhibitors. The shape of the motorcycles appeared to imitate the popular Vespa 3D trademark that was registered to Piaggio.

One of the companies that were involved in the seizure was China-based Taizhou Zhongneng. It began legal proceedings against Piaggio in Turin. The Chinese company claimed invalidation of the 3 dimensional trademark of the Vespa scooter by Piaggio. On the other hand, Piaggio claimed that it was an infringement of the copyright and the 3D trademark.

In the decision released by the Court of Appeal of Turin, the claims of the plaintiff were rejected. The court based its decision on 2 points: copyright over Vespa is valid and infringed. The Italian Copyright Law protects “industrial work that shows per se creative character and artistic value.” The 3D trademark which is even rarer to be recognized has high distinctiveness and known worldwide. A consumer can immediately connect the product to the company that produced it.

Vespa is a work of art that is why people always look for Vespa for sale at dealerships. There are many scooters available in the global market but they do not have the class, style and heritage of Vespa. Purchasing a Vespa scooter means you are buying a brand and a lifestyle that could not be replicated by other scooter and motorcycle manufacturers.