Hanse Yachts obtains preliminary injunction against an Italian imitation of Fjord motor boats
Sunday, January 21, 2018 9:19 AM
With the order of an Italian court of 16 January 2018 an Italian company has been forbidden to further manufacture, advertise, hold, exhibit, promote, sell or transfer the imitative boat, limited to economic relations already existing or that will be instituted in the future in the Italian territory. The court order also set considerable penalties due by the defendant in case of any future breach of the orders, and awarded the petitioner the costs of the procedure.
The court reasoned that the imitative yard has committed acts of unfair competition. Its yacht is a slavish imitation of Fjord yachts, it misappropriates Fjord’s qualities and conflicts with the principle of professional fairness. The court has found that the imitative yacht is likely to be perceived as a “Latin version” of the Fjord 42, therefore giving rise to both a likelihood of confusion and a freeriding on HanseYachts’ commercial success on part of the Italian shipyard. The decision is not final yet since the company could still appeal against it.
“This is an important partial victory,” says Dr Jens Gerhardt, CEO of HanseYachts AG. “Usually, certain details have been copied to date, such as the Dehler Uni Door or the signature window lines of the Sealine and Hanse families. We have taken this sportive until now, and see it as a compliment in many ways for our innovative and outstanding quality in design. But the copy of an entire boat is something that we cannot accept.”