Confirmed Invalidity of the Trademark of a Well-Known Italian Pasta Manufacturer

The Court of Cassation, in judgment number 53 dated January 4, 2022, confirmed the invalidity of the trademark “spaghetto quadrato” (square spaghetti) belonging to the historic pasta manufacturer La Molisana, as it represents a pasta shape. According to the Court of Cassation, it was explicitly stated that the trademark in question is not capable of distinguishing a new product. Instead, it references a pasta shape already part of the Italian culinary tradition, specifically the so-called “spaghetto alla chitarra” (guitar spaghetti). Furthermore, the court excluded the existence of secondary meaning due to the brief duration of use (only 14 months) and the weak nature of the trademark. The trademark consists not only of common words but also words associated with the nature and characteristics of the product.

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