Hermes appeal to protect iconic ‘Kelly’ and ‘Birkin’ bags upheld

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The appeal of the luxury maison Hermes – which produces the iconic bags worth thousands of euros for which the wait for delivery lasts even years from booking – against the decision of the Court of Appeal of Florence, which believes that anyone can produce and sell bags of the same shape as the ‘Kelly’ – in honor of Princess Grace of Monaco, former favorite actress of Alfred Hitchcock – and the ‘Birkin’, named after Jane Birkin, actress and singer linked to the ‘transgression’ sixty-eight (Fashion bags, the timeless charm of vintage models).

The magistrates of Florence had declared “for lack of distinctive capacity” the nullity of the two brands, ‘Kelly’ and ‘Birkin’, both at first instance in 2016 and on appeal in 2018 following a legal dispute initiated by Hermes against a manufacturer bag of tarot bags (Buti Amerigo, Buti srl, Buti Italia srl). But the Supreme Court, while sharing the assumption that three-dimensional shapes are not patentable, observed that too hastily the extensive “documentation produced” by Hermes on the “distinctiveness and notoriety of the brand” was not taken into account. Now there will be an encore appeal.