1899-1963: The untold story of the Italian model of GI protection and of how it failed

Andrea Zappalaglio, “1899-1963: The untold story of the Italian model of GI protection and of how it failed” 

The paper explores the history of the early Italian attempts to introduce a law on the protection of geographical names. It will reveal that Italy, in the decades before World War II, tried to develop its own rules independently from the French paradigm of sui generis GI protection. The history of this early ‘Italian way’ of GI protection has never been told before not only by the English-speaking but also by the Italian literature. The present paper will introduce this legislative evolution and analyse the reasons why this original system never eventually came to life. Thus, it will show that in the early days of sui generis GI protection in Europe, the French model was not alone.