Mario Valentino, an Italian producer of shoes, handbags and leather goods, has won a case in the Milan court against the e-retailer Farfetch UK and Modes, a boutique owner affiliated with Farfetch, for the improper use of the brand name Valentino.
According to the terms of a co-existence agreement between Mario Valentino and the iconic fashion house Valentino founded in 1979 by Valentino Garavani, Mario Valentino can register and use the ‘Valentino’ brand name for shoes, handbags and accessories while the fashion house Valentino must use full name ‘Valentino Garavani’ for these products, but can use the Valentino label for clothing.
Mario Valentino charged that Farfetch and Modes sold shoes and handbags that should have been labelled as ‘Valentino Garavani’ under the name ‘Valentino’, violating its trademark. The court prohibited Farfetch and Modes “the further use of the brands Valentino and Red Valentino in relation to shoes, handbags or other leather goods,” set a penalty for the eventual violation of this injunction and ordered the two companies to cover legal expenses.
Farfetch UK attempted to justify itself by saying it had simply passively hosted information that had been provided by its boutique partners. The court did not agree with this assessment, saying that Farfetch instead plays an active role in marketing products sold through its website.