We wouldn't be surprised to see Chinese knockoffs of well-known car and motorcycle brands - in China. But a handful of Chinese scooter exhibitors at last week's 71st International Motorcycle Exhibition (EICMA) had their goods seized by the Italian financial police, according to a Piaggio Group press release, because they had brought imitation Vespa scooters to the show.

The Guardia di Finanza descended upon the show last Thursday, on opening day, and seized 11 Vespa copies from seven different Chinese exhibitors. Italian company Piaggio Group has exclusive rights to the iconic Vespa's shape. Yes, seven companies brought shameless copies of the iconic Italian scooter to an international motorcycle show held in Italy.

"The Piaggio Group considers the initiative of the Guardia di Finanza to be of great significance in the defense of industrial property rights," the manufacturer said in a statement. "As in every other country where Piaggio has taken specific action against counterfeits, the action of the Italian police is a further element for protection of companies that compete lawfully on world markets."

Take a look at the press release below for a bit more information.
Show full PR text
Guardia di Finanza completed its seizure of imitations of Vespa

Nov 07, 2013 14:05

Milan, 7 November 2013 – The Piaggio Group said that today, with the opening to the general public of the EICMA 2013 motor show, the Mobile Unit of the Rho division of the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian military police corps responsible for financial law enforcement, completed its seizure of 11 scooters – showcased by 7 different exhibitors – whose design constitutes an imitation of the "Vespa".

The Guardia di Finanza seized the vehicles after determining that they were in breach of the exclusive Piaggio Group right constituted by the three-dimensional trademark registered by Piaggio, which protects the characteristic shape of the Vespa. This right plays a fundamental role in safeguarding the Vespa's distinctive and unique design and is the most complete instrument for the protection of the iconic shape of this global product.

The Piaggio Group considers the initiative of the Guardia di Finanza to be of great significance in the defence of industrial property rights. As in every other country where Piaggio has taken specific action against counterfeits, the action of the Italian police is a further element for the protection of companies that compete lawfully on world markets.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      Talk about giving the finger to intellectual property. "Not only will we copy your designs, but we are going to show them in your own country"!
      johnb
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is great news. Gotta publicly shame these companies into designing their own product.
      Firefly
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://gemssty.com/2006/10/29/top-10-copycat-cars/ http://www.autoblog.com/2012/01/31/chinese-carmaker-blatantly-copies-ford-f-150/ ...need I say more?
      rcavaretti
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bravo.
      rstonnerdd
      • 1 Year Ago
      "You got balls as big as church bells," Dabney Coleman, "Dragnet" movie. I think that about sums it up.
      kz1000st
      • 1 Year Ago
      "they were in breach of the exclusive Piaggio Group right constituted by the three-dimensional trademark registered by Piaggio, which protects the characteristic shape of the Vespa." Oh please, patented shape?? Spare me. Old Lambrettas and Vespas all look alike. This is right up there with Harley patenting their sound. I'll bet the patent is in Italy,the land of junk and dying industry. I wonder if Vespa seized Piaggios over the look of the Fly 150, which bears as much resemblance as a Chinese scooter. I'm guessing Piaggio is annoyed that you can actually get parts for a Chinese scooter and Piaggio dealers can't.
      Josh Turner
      • 1 Year Ago
      oops
      Alex Ellsworth
      • 1 Year Ago
      First of all, after scrutinizing Piaggio's models and the ones pictured, all of the visible parts are slightly different in shape (lights, grill, moldings, etc.), even if the overall look is undeniably Vespa-inspired. So I guess the question is where to draw the line between "similar" and "copy." Secondly, the blue and gray scooters in the second photo are not Chinese at all, but South Korean Hyosung Eva electric scooters. So I don't know if those were included in the batch of alleged "copies?"
      Derek L. Washington
      • 1 Year Ago
      Shocked! Shocked I tell you!
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stupid crooks.
      Basil Exposition
      • 1 Year Ago
      This goes to show that intellectual property rights are not even a passing thought in the minds of the Chinese. They had no concept that what they were doing is wrong.
        RocketRed
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        What exactly is the "mind of the Chinese"? Coming as close as possible to copying successful products, without getting sued, is biznis. It's not a defect of national character. Going over the line, and getting sued, is not a mistake characterized by national origin. Nonetheless, when we speak of China (and before them, Japan), we seem to assume that the actions of a corporation speak for each person within the country. Why is that? I suppose no one can know the mind of the Americans.
          ThinkAboutIt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @RocketRed
          NO, designing your own competing product with using your competitions proprietary ideas is "business". The problem is most people in "business" are not capable of an original thought or idea and need to steal from someone else to survive.
        Jake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        You couldn't be more correct. They think we're weird for thinking that it is wrong to copy someone else's stuff and pass it off as your own. From school up to the business world.
      Famsert
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did anyone actually read the article? Counterfeit? Copies? Um.. the Italians apparently consider the Vespa SHAPE a copyright. No sane non-European would consider a vehicle shape IP.
        justgoawaymad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Famsert
        YOU really need to get out more. Did you NOT see the federal judge in flordia that basicly just ruled that all kit cars are copies and there for illegal because you copied the shape of said car.
          Famsert
          • 1 Year Ago
          @justgoawaymad
          Show me when a judge decides a F150 infringes that of a Silverado or vice versa. Or a Sedona with a Freestar, etc. Hasn't happened has it? Thought so.
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