I should be importing a product in Italy bearing a famous Italian trademark. Since the manufacturing company of the mark is in italy, do I risk a lawsuit from it or is it legitimate my selling these products?

The trademark’s owner has the sole right to sell products indicated with a certain mark in the country where he has got the exclusivity. Therefore, if it is known that in Italy the right to a certain mark is of competence to a certain firm, only this latter can sell the specific products. However, there is a principle based on the exhaustion of the mark, upon which if an owner of a mark sells a certain product in a country, he cannot prevent others re-selling it. Thus if a firm holding the trademark sold the products in Germany and these products are re-imported in Italy, considering if it is convenient doing so, it is possible buying and selling them without any opposition, given the fact that the right of the owner has been completed with the first sale. This principle, though, is only valid within the European Union and its purpose is to avoid that excessive constrictions to the free circulation of goods are created. If, on the other hand, products with a trademark were imported from a company that is not a European Union member, then there would be a “parallel importation” which is forbidden, or better still, it constitutes a counterfeited trademark and, if it were a famous mark, the goods would probably be stopped at customs.