Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 3, 2012 05:05 PM
Note: This is an update of a story that was originally published on July 27th —
The Gucci family likely doesn't relish any unpleasantries airing out in the open, but two great-grandsons of the company’s namesake founder who are also in the fashion business ended up in an Italian court of law as a result of an intellectual property case brought by the Gucci Group. An interim legal ruling in that case follows a different case involving Gucci, which scored a recent victory against the would-be interlocking G's of Italian rival Guess.
The back story to the case involving Guccio Gucci's great-grandsons: the brothers, Guccio and Alessandro Gucci, own and operate a handbag (that's an example above) and accessories brand called ToBeG. In the words of London's Daily Telegraph, a court in Florence ruled on July 12th that ToBeG was “guilty of infringement of Gucci’s trademarks” and so cannot use the name "Gucci" or "Guccio Gucci" for "marketing communications or website activities."
Roberto Calabresi of SLCG, the legal firm representing ToBeG in the case, provided this statement to brandchannel clarifying that interim legal order:
"Such decision rejected the request of Guccio Gucci spa (the 'Gucci Group') to ban the use of the words 'Guccio Gucci' — which is the name of my client's CEO and designer — in all of ToBeG's commercial activity, and merely ordered ToBeG not to use the words 'Gucci' or 'Guccio' in its advertisements if and to the extent that such use may have a 'distinctive function.' In the event of a violation of the order, ToBeG would be subject to a fine of Euro 500.00 (five hundred), an amount much smaller than the penalty requested by the Gucci Group.
Such decision was made on a prima facie basis, is subject to appeal and can always be modified in the course of future proceedings. Having no res judicata effect, teh order contains no final assessment or evaluation of the facts, and in no way could it find — nor did it find — ToBeG or Allesandro or Guccio Gucci 'guilty of infringement' [as the Telegraph stated] of the Gucci Group's trademarks.
In addition, there are no similarities between this case and the other disputes between the Gucci Group and other members of the Gucci family. In contrast with the other cited cases, ToBeG's trademark contains no reference to the Gucci Group's name or brand. As such, the ToBeG trademark cannot in any way infringe or violate the Gucci Group's intellectual property rights."