Vittoria Coffee wins trademark infringement case

Cantarella Bros, the owner of coffee brand Vittoria Coffee, has won a trademark infringement case, protecting their 'Oro' and 'Cinque Stelle' trademarks from further unauthorised use.

In what was the final chapter of a two year lawsuit, a coffee distributor, Modena Trading, owned by Ian Pagent who also operates a number of luxury car dealerships, was yesterday found to have used Vittoria's signs as trade marks.

Cantarella Bros filed proceedings in 2011, alleging that Modena Trading, the exclusive distributor for Caffe Molinari, infringed Cantarella Bros' rights by selling coffee under the 'Oro' and 'Cinque Stelle' brands.

Cantarella claims it has built these two trademarks into powerful sub-brands', and has produced million of packs of coffee bearing the trademarks.

However, Modena argued that the usage of both terms (which translate to 'gold' and 'five stars', respectively) was a commonplace way of portraying quality and was used by numerous Italian-style coffee traders, including Lavazza Coffee, reports BRW.

In handing down the decision, Justice Emmett said, "I am not persuaded by Mr Pagent's evidence that he believed that Cinque Stelle and Oro were being used on the Molinari products simply as an indication of quality … I am satisfied that the use by Modena of Cinque Stelle and Oro is use of those signs as trade marks.

"I have concluded Modena's use of Cinque Stelle and Oro constitute infringement of the Trade Marks.

"It follows from the findings and conclusions set out above that Cantarella is entitled to orders restraining future infringement of the Trade Marks by Modena," Justice Emmett said.

Vittoria CEO, Les Schirato, said he is disappointed that his attempts to resolve the matter out of court failed, but is determined to protect the Vittoria brand.

"We have been roasting coffee in Australia since 1958. Over that time, we have built a significant reputation and consumer trust, in all our trademarks. We are committed to protecting our intellectual property rights," he said.

It's not all good news for Cantarella, however, which failed in its claim for damages. According to BRW Modena was found not to have engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, or for passing off their products as Cantarella's.

 

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