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Hotel Cipriani wins ‘what's in a name' court battle

29 January 2013
Hotel Cipriani wins ‘what's in a name' court battle

The owners of Venice's world famous Hotel Cipriani triumphed today in a "what's in a name?" courtroom battle in London with the grandson of the Cipriani's founder over his use of the family name in connection with his two Mayfair restaurants.

Now, in a sequel to that case, Hotel Cipriani has won a further ruling from the same judge, Mr Justice Arnold, that the renamed restaurant, C London, and Mr Cipriani's newly opened restaurant, Downtown Mayfair, both breached the original 2008 court order by using the phrase "by G. Cipriani" in their logos.

Despite finding that the average consumer would be aware that Cipriani is an Italian surname, thanks in part to England rugby international Danny Cipriani, the judge found that the use of the phrase "by G. Cipriani" in connection with the restaurants until December 2011 would give rise to a likelihood of confusion.

And he ruled that in the eyes of the law that amounted to "unfair competition" with Venice's Hotel Cipriani. He declared that the same would be true of the proposed use of "Giuseppe Cipriani", even if preceded by the words "managed by".

Ruling in favour of Hotel Cipriani, he said: "In my judgment Giuseppe should have appreciated that the statement "by G. Cipriani" would give rise to a likelihood of confusion. I concluded in the first judgment, and the Court of Appeal agreed, that the understandable fact that Giuseppe wanted to call the restaurant by his family name was not a sufficient justification for the use of the signs complained of."

He said that his use of the name could interfere with Hotel Cipriani's ability to exploit its trademark in the UK, such as by opening a hotel or restaurant here.

Giuseppe had maintained that there was no likelihood of confusion and that customers would conclude that the restaurants were managed an individual named G Cipriani, rather than connected to the Venice hotel.

Cipriani London calls in administrators after losing trademark battle >>

Giuseppe Cipriani saves Automat from administration >>

Cipriani London loses name-change appeal >>

Cipriani London told to change name after trademark battle >>

By court reporter

E-mail your comments to Court Reporter here.

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