Meilland Successfully Enforces its PVR and the Knock Out® Trademark in Italy
January 13, Milan - The Court of Milan has ruled in favour of the plaintiff Meilland International, represented by the law firm Studio Legale Gamba Associato, in a case against a grower from the Como area, Italy.
The case was initiated after discovering several thousands of unauthorized plants of the varieties Radrazz and Meigadraz (marketed under the KNOCK OUT® Trademark) at the defendant's premises.
The Court confirmed the full exclusivity of the titleholder's rights both in respect of the plant varieties and the Trademark, pointing out that the exhaustion of such rights can only take place with authorization by the titleholder. The burden of proof of such authorization is on the defendant. Although the defendant argued that the plants had been purchased from an authorized dealer years ago and, therefore, the rights were exhausted, the Court did not accept the latter as evidence as the defendant failed to present original labels of guarantee of origin. The judges declared that the defendant violated the exclusive rights of Meilland International and ordered the defendant to pay EUR 15,000.00 in damages and the additional EUR 15,000.00 in legal fees. The Court also ordered the defendant to stop illegal behaviour and for the unauthorized plants to be destroyed, establishing a penalty for any future violations.
Picture credit: Meilland International.