The EU Court confirmed the 2018 decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”)
Bibano, May 20th 2019. Last 8th May the Court of the European Union delivered a judgement at the Court of Justice of Luxembourg, confirming the decision made by the EUIPO on 14.3.2018. Indeed, the EUIPO had recognised, at both first and second instance, the validity of the three-dimensional marks registered by the Italian wine-making company Bottega S.p.A. to protect the distinctive features of its bottles Bottega Gold and Bottega Rose Gold.
More specifically, the EU Court has confirmed that the shape of the bottle and the mirrored effect of the colours (gold and pink) are undeniably elements of the Bottega marks, which even prevail over other components, such as the letter B in relief and the flame-shaped label used on Bottega wines. This decision is important insofar as it confirms, once again, the reasons of protection of the mark on which Bottega’s claims are hinged.
The Court of Padua views the matter differently, having a few days ago absolved the managers of the Tombacco wine-making company of Trebaseleghe (Padua) from the charges brought against them for counterfeiting, on the basis that the only distinctive element of the Bottega marks is the letter “B”, placed in relief on the neck of the bottle. The grounds of the EU Court judgement could have been useful to the Court of Padua in guiding and motivating its decision. Indeed, Bottega had actually made such a request, rejected by the Paduan judge, however, depositing the grounds for the judgement directly in the hearing.
Bottega designed the mirrored bottles back in 2001, thereby confirming a lengthy career in which it has always shown great originality and innovation: these entrepreneurial characteristics have led it to be one of the most imitated wineries worldwide. The validity of the registered marks has been recognised in both Italy and in Europe by the various competent bodies, even if over the years, some difficulty has been experienced in assuring their protection, which has led Bottega S.p.A. to seek legal action to remedy unfair action by certain competitors.
As counterfeiting is punished in both a criminal and civil court, the company based in Bibano di Godega will without doubt be appealing against the judgement given by the Court of Padua, reserving the right to also bring a civil suit, considering that the Court of Padua itself had envisaged the existence of a possible slavish imitation, rather dishonourably on the part of the Padua-based company.
Bottega is a family owned company located in Bibano, Treviso (45 km North of Venice) that has been producing premium quality, typical Italian wines, grappa, spirits and food products since 1977.
Bottega is a third generation business, today led by Sandro, Barbara and Stefano Bottega. Headquarters are located in a 19th-century farmhouse, renovated to preserve the original architectural and environmental characteristics, surrounded by 10 hectares of vineyards. The group also runs a winery in Valpolicella and one in Montalcino: here, the great red wines of the Veneto and Tuscany, including Amarone and Brunello, are produced. The company manages several different brands, amongst which are Alexander, Bottega and Cantina dei Poeti.
With the goal of delivering health, wellbeing and pleasure through its products distributed in more than 130 countries worldwide, Bottega advocates Quality (Italian taste and authenticity), Design (expression of the excellent aesthetic character of being made in Italy) and Social Responsibility towards the environment and the community. www.bottegaspa.com