Piaggio Wins Vespa Design Trademark Battle


Vespa Primavera

Winning a Trademark Battle With a Chinese Scooter Company

Vespa is one of the best-known vehicle manufacturers in the world. The company makes scooters and it works hard to keep its brand and its intellectual property safe. Piaggio recently announced it won a EUIPO decision in court against Motolux and Dayi Motor. The Chinese scooter maker copied the design of the Vespa Primavera.

The court determined that it was “unable to elicit a general impression different from the registered design” of the Primavera. Vespa’s design for the Primavera was registered in 2013, so the company has very clear rights to the design. While some companies may have not fought that battle, Vespa did. The parent company Piaggio aggressively defends trademarks around the world. 

These battles don’t always work in Piaggio’s favor. RideApart points to a 2019 case where Piaggio lost to a Zhejiang Zhongneng. Piaggio felt the company copied its Vespa LX design. However, in that case, EUIPO found significant differences between the products. 

There are a couple of ways to look at this. On one hand it appears Piaggio’s designs are getting ripped off frequently (there have been 50 or so cases of this recently). On the other, it could appear that Piaggio is using its dominant place in the market to quiet competition. The fact that Piaggio won this case and has lost others tells me that the EUIPO seems to be doing a decent job.

If the design is actually different from Vespa’s designs then the company should be able to produce those scooters. However, if it’s just a rip-off of a Vespa, the Piaggio has a legitimate right to take action. This time it won, and this won’t be the last time Piaggio will need to protect its trademarks. 

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