In a ruling issued today, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the mark corresponding to the shape of a scooter “Vespa” is recognizable throughout the European Union, accepting the appeal presented by Piaggio against the decision of the EU Intellectual Property Office, which in 2021 had decreed the lack of evidence of the distinctive character of the trademark. In 2013, specifies a note from the European Court, Piaggio submitted an application for registration of the EU trademark to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (Euipo) for the three-dimensional sign corresponding to the shape of a "Vespa" scooter. This trademark was registered on January 16, 2014 for the product classes “scooters” and “small scooter models”. The Chinese motorcycle company Zhejiang Zhongneng Industry Group Co. Ltd, continues the note, then submitted an application to EUIPO for the invalidity of this trademark. October 25, 2021 Team accepted the Chinese company's request due to the lack of proof of the distinctive character of the trademark representing a scooter, a decision against which Piaggio subsequently appealed before the General Court of the European Union.
“With today's ruling, the Court agrees with the Piaggio, stating that the evidence demonstrates the distinctive character acquired by the use of the trademark throughout the Union", reads the note from the Court of Justice of the EU. A registered EU trademark cannot be declared invalid if, due to the use made of it, it has acquired a distinctive character after registration, the press release specifies. “Piaggio presented to Euipo several relevant pieces of evidence, such as opinion polls, data relating to sales volume, as well as the circumstance of the presence of the 'Vespa' at the Museum of Modern Art of New York, the use of 'Vespa' scooters in world-famous films such as 'Roman Holiday' or the presence of 'Vespa' clubs in numerous Member States. These elements indicate the iconic character of the 'Vespa' and therefore its global recognisability throughout the Union", specifies the European Court in its decision. “By canceling the registration of the trademark, Euipo has therefore committed an error in assessing these elements”, concludes the note.