Friday 02 December 2022

The legal fight between Zara and Italian artisan coffee roaster Bazzara continues

Franco and Mauro Bazzara: “A surreal sequence of events that in some way is exhausting but, at the same time, does not worry us. We would talk of it as an history opposing David against Goliath, an evidence of the fact that the European Union should reduce the bureaucracy burden also in situations like this one. However, the passion for our job urges us to fight and never give up. We will always be optimist and fearless”

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TRIESTE, Italy – The legal fight between the historical Trieste roasting company and the Spanish multinational giant fashion corporation Zara is going on. Back in 2015, Zara presented a notice to the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) for the four letters shared by the two brands, questioning both the name and the logo.

On one hand a small Italian artisan company specialised in the exportation and sale of coffee, on the other one of the richest corporations worldwide working in the field of fashion and worth hundreds of billions of Euros of the Stock Exchange.

A fight that began 7 years ago, that still has very long times and, it is needed to say, that opposes two brand which have nothing in common. Something which is worth to remember: the brand Bazzara is not an invented name, but rather the family name of the owners.

The legal fight between Zara and Bazzara

The corporation Zara is, on the contrary, owned by the Spanish multinational group Inditex S.A. It’s not even competition: the goals, the sectors, and the mission of the two companies are completely different.

However, Zara believes that the small roasting company can be a threat due to that vaguely similar name and that, according to its law representatives, it can lead to a situation of confusion which can also jeopardise the good name of the company” and mislead the customers.

Franco and Mauro Bazzara, president and ceo of the small roasting company, represented by the Trieste lawyer Andrea Piras, have been fighting for a long time now for a topic that goes against their values. It is important to remember that their constant compromise in networking and creating not only collaborations but also human relationships among the companies and also among their employees.

During the several meetings with famous and non-famous people, during the presentation of their books, just reprinted, on important events or exhibition, the brothers Bazzara are often asked the same question: “How is the fight David against Goliath going?”. However, nothing can discourage them. A source of inspiration is for them their family tradition which pushed them to carry on the work of their father Dionisio and to transmit it now with love to their children.

Franco and Mauro say: “The solidarity expressed by many friends and companies in the coffee world is for us a source of solace. They have shared with us their experiences and useful pieces of advice, showing us, how much is important to network in the Italian coffee world”.

The brand name

Unfortunately, this situation is a reminder of the long times of red tape. The stage of EUIPO is only one of a very long legal proceeding with an unpredictable result. EUIPO isn’t, indeed, a judiciary body. This means that when the office has pronounced about the fight, both Zara and Bazzara can judicially impugn it until a definite sentence is issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

As the lawyer of the brothers Bazzara, Andrea Piras, underlines, there are some specific criteria that have to be considered when someone wants to go against a brand. The first one is related to the soundand “in this specific case the two words are pronounced very differently”.

The second one is related to the graphic differences. However, it must be said that the history of Bazzara dates back to more that 50 years ago when Dionisio Bazzara decided to take over the roasting company “La Brasiliana Caffè” in 1966. From that moment the family Bazzara has been selecting the best varieties of Arabica and Robusta to offer every day a very high-quality coffee.

The European Court

The change in the brand name is something that happened later, and the choice fell on the family name to carry on a long and old tradition which the owners are deeply attached to.

Over the past 7 long years, there have been several news on the topic, many of them recent and positive for the roasting company: in 2019 the proceeding began by Zara against the registration of the brand “Bazzara” was suspended after the victory of FFAUF Italia S.p.a., owner of the brand Pasta Zara, in a proceeding against the Spanish brand.

It is necessary to remember that the European Court backed up the pasta factory from Treviso in the legal fight against the fashion corporation of the group Inditex that wanted to expand its business also to the restoration and café sector.

FFAUF Italia won and in 2020 Inditex S.A. decided to appeal against the decision in front of the European Court in Luxemburg. In June 2022 the European Court decided, sentence published in august 2022, that the appeal issued by Inditex was unacceptable and therefore could not be brought on.

“This should mean a stop in the complaint decision of the Commission”, says the lawyer Andrea Piras. “However, we will have to wait at least until the end of the year for the decision to be permanent”.

“A surreal sequence of events that in some way is exhausting but, at the same time, does not worry us”, state Franco and Mauro Bazzara. “We would talk of it as an history opposing David against Goliath, an evidence of the fact that the European Union should reduce the bureaucracy burden also in situations like this one. However, the passion for our job urges us to fight and never give up. We will always be optimist and fearless.”

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