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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Italian newspapers (among others, this one) reported last week that a bar called “Bunga Bunga” was forced to change its name because of an earlier trademark registration for the expression Bunga Bunga.

For those who are now puzzling over the meaning of this expression, the “bunga bunga” phrase has become inextricably linked with the private life of Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the latter’s now famous name for his alleged sex parties, in which barely dressed, single women are said to cavort for the amusement of the Italian Prime Minister’s rich and powerful pals.

    The bar in the centre of Livorno, a port city on the western edge of Tuscany, had only been open for 5 months when it received a cease and desist letter from the 80-year-old owner of the trademark (no, not Berlusconi) which asked the bar to cease all use of the name or, alternatively, to pay a 30 million Euro license fee.

Since the managers of the bar weren’t too enthusiastic about paying such a large sum of money, and they felt that the bar would lose its humorous touch and its best bait for clients (their “Ruby roll”  ̶  a sandwich named after the underage belly dancer at the heart of the most recent Berlusconi sex scandal  ̶   was a true best seller!), the bar is now closed.

P.S. A check of the Italian PTO database learnt that since the end of 2010, not less than 29 Italian BUNGA (BUNGA) trademarks have been filed...

Posted by: Edith Van den Eede @ 13.20
Tags: Italy, trade mark, infringement, trade name ,
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