The General Court of the European Union TGUE has rejected the registration of the community mark “THE MAFIA SITS AT THE TABLE», for catering services.

The Italian Republic has opposed the registration of the Trademark, based on Article 7, Part 1, f) of the Community Mark Regulation: the Trademark was contrary to public order and to good customs: “Mafia” refers to a famous criminal organisation; “THE MAFIA SITS AT THE TABLE” generates negative sentiment, “manipulates” the positive image of Italian gastronomy and trivialises the negative sense of the word.

The European Office of Trademarks EUIPO denied the registration. Its owner appealed to the General Court, which has ratified said rejection.

The Court considers that the trademark “THE MAFIA SITS AT THE TABLE” can hurt the feelings of the public at whom the services are aimed; including other people that see the Trademark. The court takes into account the very negative connotations of the word “Mafia” in Italy, although this may not be the same in other European states.

The sentence concludes that the word “Mafia” evidently evokes the name of a known worldwide criminal organisation. In addition, the addition of the words «sits at the table» gives a positive and convivial image of the organization and trivializes its criminal severity, against the fundamental values of the European Union.

Santiago Nadal