Laws & Labels

Italy’s Supreme Court cracks down on spaghetti labels

The use of distinctive signs “improperly resembling Made in Italy” brand on foreign origin pasta packs has been banned. The Turkey case

Italy’s Supreme Court has recently banned the use of distinctive signs improperly resembling Made in Italy brand on foreign origin spaghetti packs. This decision has confirmed the breach of the rules on the use of Made in Italy brand in the case regarding the seizure of a huge quantity of pasta in the port of Genoa. It was a million pounds of spaghetti produced in Turkey for Campania’s pasta factory Garofalo (Gragnano).

Misleading indications

According to Italy’s supreme Court, the Court of Appeal was correct in assuming that the labels on pasta packs were misleading, so as to deceive the consumer with regard to the origin of the imported goods. In fact, the “Made in Turkey” brand was hard to see and easily erasable whereas the reminder of Italy and Gragnano was in plain view. In the end, the shipment has been seized. With this decision, Italy’s Supreme Court starts a strict view on Made in Italy protection. Furthermore, the judgment sets an important precedent in place. From now on, even the mere storage in customs holding will oblige to comply with the bill punishing the import, export and trading of products with false or misleading indication as to their origin.