A few days ago, the Supreme Court ruled on the risk of confusion between a famous CTM trade mark (Alessi) with the trademark "Exclusive Giacinto Alessi srl" which correspond to the name of the founder (Mr. Giacinto Alessi).
In the first two degrees, the courts had excluded any risk of confusion between “Alessi” and “Exclusive Giacinto Alessi” judging that the use of the latter was therefore legitimate.
The decision of the Supreme Court was however different according to the principles of limitation of the use of a surname which corresponds to a trademark.
The Supreme Court stated that "once a sign identical to the name of a person was validly registered as a trademark, the person who legitimately carries that name cannot adopt it (as a trademark) in sectors identical or similar to the previous trademark. The right to a name is, therefore, a clearly compressed in the economic and commercial sectors due to the prior registration of the name as a valid trademark.
The Court also argued that "Alessi" is a trademark which has no links with the products / services offered and therefore stronger than the trademark “Exclusive Giacinto Alessi” which contains a descriptive term (the word exclusive).