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Protection of “Made in Italy” as an Indication of Source: Challenges Posed by Chinese Manufacturers in Italy

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Valentina BJ

on 16 December 2010

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Transcript of Protection of “Made in Italy” as an Indication of Source: Challenges Posed by Chinese Manufacturers in Italy

Valentina Burger-Jimenez & Alberto Spoto
Challenges Posed by Chinese Textile Manufacturers in Italy Purpose of Research Exploring the legal basis of the protection of the indication “Made in Italy,” at the different levels.

Special attention to its use by Chinese manufacturers in the country.

Understand applicability of the several recent modifications to domestic legislation.
Chinese Manufacturers in Italy Prato Largest concentration of Chinese in Europe
25,000 workers (15%), where one in five is undocumented (2007)
Workers paid as little as 3 euros / hour
The Chinese have become the “backbone of Italy’s textile industry, taking jobs the Italians no longer wanted”
Protection of “Made in Italy” as an Indication of Source: Turin, December 16, 2010 "Made in Italy" An indication that the product originates from the country of Italy
Specifically for textile, perceived as:
Leader in design and quality
Style, elegance, expensive
Renowned high-end brands, e.g. Prada, Gucci, Versace

Its reputation warrants protection! Terminology Trademarks Signs that aid consumers identify the origin of a product or service
Origin in terms of enterprise
Geographical Indications Common usage as a general term
Similar trademark function; but
Only for products;
Only for origin in terms of location, not enterprise; and
Non-exclusive (subject to production location and product characteristics) TRIPs: “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member [of the WTO], or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of the good is essentially attributable to its origin” Appellations of Origin Lisbon Agreement: “the geographical name […], which serves to designate a product originating therein, the quality and the characteristics of which are exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors.” Simplest, most general term
Paris Convention & Madrid Agreement: no formal definition Indications of Source Sui Generis system
Trademark law: collective or certificate marks
Anti-Unfair competition law
Consumer Protection law Regional Protection International National Paris Convention: Article 10 “False Indications”
Madrid Agreement: Article 3bis “Misleading indications”
Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and International Registration
WTO TRIPs Agreement: Articles 22 to 24 “False Representations Community Customs Code (CE 2913/1992)

Article 23.1 : “Goods originating in a country shall be those wholly obtained or produced in that country”

Article 24 : Goods whose production involved more than one country shall be deemed to originate in the country where they underwent their last, substantial, economically justified processing or working in an undertaking equipped for that purpose and resulting in the manufacture of a new product or representing an important stage of manufacture.
Article 30 provides that is prohibits the use of Geographical Indications and Indication of Source or any other indication or presentation of a product that could mislead the consumer about the place of origin and the quality of it. The amended text of article 30 now expressly prohibits also any use that allows for the undue exploitation of the reputation of the protected indication. Legislative Decree 30/2005 of February 10 ,2005
“Industrial Property Code” Civil
Law Legislative Decree 206/2005 of September 6 ,2005
“Consumer Law Article 21 provides that the false indication of a geographical or commercial origin of the product shall be regarded as misleading commercial practices Article 2598 Civil Code
“Unfair Competition” Criminal Law Article 517 Italian Criminal Code
“Products with misleading signs”
Law 350/2003 (Finance Law 2004) Article 4.49; and

517 bis
“Aggravating circumstances” Specific
Law Article 16 Law 166/2009 “Made in Italy and products entirely Italian” Where the design, planning, production and packaging of a product has been carried out exclusively in Italy, the producer could fix an indication or a sign such as “100% made in Italy”, “100% Italia” or “tutto italiano”, in whichever language, on that product. Law 55/2010 of April 8, 2010 “Made in Italy” in
Textile, Leather and Shoe Industry Compulsory labeling for finished and semi-finished products, with the following requirements:

Information about the place of origin of each stage of production and their traceability.
At least two substantial manufacturing process have been carried out in Italy.
The Italian Chambers of Commerce will be responsible for checking the correct labeling and use of the “Made in Italy” indication. Enforcement Matters:
Complexity of managing the scheme of information.
Discrimination with foreign companies and Italian companies that produces abroad
Obstacle to the free movement of goods within the EU market.
The implementing provisions are still under the EU approval process.
Enforcement Matters Analysis It seems the Italian legislator sought to protect its national, traditional textile manufacturing process through stricter parameters for the “Made in Italy”

Chinese manufacturers in the country have the advantage of being able to carry out a larger part of the manufacturing process due to reduced production costs Conclusions Therefore, this new law is most likely to favor Chinese textile manufacturers in Italy by asserting their right to include the indication of source “Made in Italy” in their products.

The “Made in Italy” for textiles as country-wide indication of origin for an industry-wide is not able to seek the stronger protection of a Geographical Indication or Appellation of Origin, mainly because:

- The textile industry must be able to satisfy a wide range of demand: cheap (low quality) – expensive (luxury)
- The geographical origin covers an extremely vast area (an other industries
- Its reputation is mostly to luxury clothing So long as two or more phases of the production take place in the country (textiles: spinning, weaving, finishing, packing) and for the remaining phases it is possible to track their origin. Solution: Perhaps a new collective trademark for luxury clothing made in Italy? Thank You!
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