Finally some good news on the question of illegal copies and knockoffs of Italian furniture designs that have inherent creative and artistic value. The manufacture and marketing of products which "slavishly imitate the stylistic and aesthetic features of iconic pieces of Italian design" has been the subject of recent Italian courts decisions. This new ruling is aimed at the protection of original Italian industrial design through the enforcement of copyright protection.
This good news was hailed by Gianluca Armento, Cassina’s Brand Director, who says, “…the Italian Industrial Property Code states that the law can punish all those who produce or commercialize imitations of products protected by copyright as counterfeiters…This important result is thanks to the coordinated action between Cassina, other companies involved, and the various organizations and institutions who represent the furniture sector. This is an important step for our country towards the recognition of the rights of companies who invest in and produce works of authentic design on a daily basis.”
This success story in the Italian courts coincides with an important anniversary for Cassina, which will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the LC Collection, which includes some of the most copied products in the world. 2015 will be an important year to continue to raise awareness amongst the public and let the world know the true value of original, contemporary design.
In 2006, Flos, an Italian manufacturer of designer lighting, brought proceedings against the furniture producer and retailer Semeraro before the Court of Milan. They argued that Semeraro had infringed its copyright on the Arco Lamp, a masterpiece of post-war Italian design created by the Castiglioni brothers in the 1960s. Semeraro denied any infringement by arguing that the Arco Lamp was not eligible for copyright protection because it lacked “inherent artistic value” under the Copyright Law. The Court ruled that Semeraro infringed on Flos’ design rights, ordered the seizure of the imported lamps and prevented Semeraro from continuing to market them.
The Court of Milan also recently granted copyright protection to the well-known Panton Chair designed by Verner Panton and produced by Vitra. According to the Court, the exposure of this work in famous exhibitions and museums was considered evidence of its artistic value, making this item eligible to copyright protection.
There is still a long way to go in this battle against copyright infringement and the production of “Franken-Chairs” and everyone is strongly urged to please be sure that what you are buying is original, authentic and that the designer is receiving credit for their creative works. GRShop only sells original designs. We are as our logo states, Always Authentic.