I am the owner of a firm producing chimneys. I would like to use the name of the town where I was born as a trademark for a new line. Can I do it or there are any particular reasons preventing this?

Registering the geographical origin as a trademark of a company is quite clearly prohibited by the art.13 of the Industrial Property Code. Such a prohibition though, is not entirely absolute, in the sense that it is possible registering a geographical name as a trademark that, in relation to the product or service for which the registration is required, does not represent indication of origin, but a fancy name. The courthouse of Rome expressed itself in this manner with the sentence of 2/3/1993, which ruled ”That the use of the trademark “Capri” for foreign cigarettes cannot deceive the origin of the product, knowing that in the island of Capri there are no tobacco plantations and the area in question is not at all connected to the idea of smoking”. The roman judges have also said “The right to the name of a Commune is protected by the Art. 7 c.c. and by the Art. 21 (nowadays Art. 8 of the Industrial Property Code) in relation to the aspects connected to the subject of trademarks”. When the place name coincides with the denomination of a public subject, detectable, to be precise, then we should evaluate first the right to protect the name and then the descriptive or deceiving value of the mark: the art. 7 c.c. (as sustained also by the Supreme Court 26/2/1981 n. 1185), is applicable also to the individual juridical public or private person, in relation to which there is the same need of protection given to the natural individual person. In both cases, in fact, subsist a right to one’s own individuality, so intended as the complex of the characteristics distinguishing a certain subject in the social context where he operates.