Fashion Clothes vs Internet Service Providers. It’s illegal to block, through the internet service provider, the websites suspected of violate intellectual property, an Italian Court said.

Rome, 8th November 2011.

Italian Appeal Court: it’s illegal to block, through the Internet access service providers,  the  Websites containing the term suspected of violating a trademark  within their domain names or  that offers content that seems to be infringes the rights of the  trademark owner.

The Moncler Group,  that is  on of the  major Italian clothing group headquartered in Milan, owns other brands such as Henry Cotton’s, Marina Yachting as well as Coast Weber&Ahaus, and holds a license for 18CRR81 Cerruti, was defeated by two  Italian Internet Service Provider Association,  AIIP ( that belongs to  Confindustria, the Italian employers’ federation)  and ASSOPROVIDER ( belonging to Confcommercio The Italian General Confederation of Enterprises, Professional Occupations and Self-employment is the largest enterprise-representative in Italy, with more than 770,000 members from the trade, tourist, service and transportation  sectors),  in Italian historic Court ruling.

The Entreprises Confederations,  assisted from Fulvio Sarzana di S. Ippolito , Senior Partner of Sarzana e Partners Law Firm,  a law firm based in Rome, specialized in Internet related  and telecommunicaions matters,  have successfully obtained an  order, from The Criminal Court of Padua, to stop the block of  493 Internet Websites which  containing the term “Moncler” within their domain names or  that offers content that seems to be infringes the rights of the Moncler  trademark owner .

Padua Court has said that, without serious evidence under the Italian Criminal Code,  an ISP (Internet service provider), that give internet acces to end-users, cannot be forced to block or filter intellectual property-infringing files at the behest of  intellectual property rights holders.

The Story:

On September 29, the Italian Court of Padua ordered 493 websites to shut down as a consequence of an action brought by Moncler.

The plaintiff applied for a seizure and claimed that the websites were in breach of Section 474 and 517  of the Italian Criminal Code, which provide for penalties for whoever trades goods or services under false marks or in violation of trademarks.

Thus, the Court ordered to shut down all the websites containing the term “Moncler” within their domain names.

In an appeal held November 2th three judges decided  to reverse the  decision of Judge of first instance ( GIP) .

IT’s the first time that an Italian Court  recognize  the right of providers associations to defend the freedom of the of Internet users in Court.

 Here the PDF with the Court Ruling  riesame-sequestro-moncler

Fulvio Sarzana
Studio Legale Roma Sarzana & Associati
Share Button

Articolo disponibile anche in lingua: Italian