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Justice: the EU Court grants Italy’s case and annuls the Spanish restaurant brand “La Mafia se sienta a la mesa”

(Brussels) The “La Mafia se sienta a la mesa” brand (which means “Mafia sits at the table”) is “against public order”, plays down organised crime, and might show what is against the values of the European Union in a good light. It is on these grounds that the European Court of Justice, based in Luxembourg, granted Italy’s case and banned the registration of such brand as a EU brand. “In 2006, the Spanish company La Honorable Hermandad (eventually replaced by La Mafia Franchises) asked the EU Intellectual Property Office (Euipo) to register the EU brand, especially for restaurants”, as explained by the Court in a notice. In 2015, Italy applied to Euipo to have such brand banned, “stating that it was against public order and public decency”: such application was granted by Euipo, because the “La Mafia se sienta a la mesa” brand “clearly promoted the organised crime known as mafia and also because all the words in the brand conveyed a message of conviviality and played down the significance of the word ‘mafia’, thus distorting the seriousness conveyed by it”. Dissatisfied with Euipo’s decision, La Mafia Franchises appealed to the Court of the European Union, to have the ruling overturned. With today’s ruling, the Court finally rejected the La Mafia Franchises’ appeal.

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