BPV Grigorescu Stefanica has successfully represented Mondialacqua SRL before the court of the first instance in Romania in a dispute over a utility model for a public water fountain technically similar to a Mondialacqua product.
Mondialacqua has sold public water fountains since the beginning of 2000 and, in Romania, operates under the trademark “Frizzy.” According to BPV Grigorescu Stefanica, in 2012 a competitor of Mondialacqua registered a utility model for a public water fountain with similar technical characteristics.
According to BPV Grigorescu Stefanica, it first filed a motion with the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM) requesting that the utility model registered by Mondialacqua's competitor be annulled. The OSIM granted the motion and annulled the model. In the subsequent court dispute, the Bucharest Tribunal upheld the competitor's challenge to the OSIM`s decision. Finally, the Bucharest Court of Appeal ruled that the utility model be annulled and awarded the claim of Mondialacqua in full.
The BPV Grigorescu Stefanica team was coordinated by Partner Daniel Stefanica and included Managing Associate Raluca Marcu and Senior Associate Serban Dumitrescu.
“The dispute was challenging, considering that it is the first dispute, in Romania, aiming to annul a utility model," explained Daniel Stefanica. "From this perspective, the lack of any case law raised the difficulty of the case, as the team was required to provide the court with an adequate and accurate interpretation of the legal provisions in the broad context of patent laws. Further, the dispute was demanding both in terms of duration (it was initiated in 2015) and required evidence. Two complex expert reports were required to answer the objectives approved by the courts. Finally, we are anxious to read the full text of the court ruling in order to understand how it is likely to shape the future case law in these matters. We expect the court to rule one of the main questions raised in the dispute: [whether], in order to enjoy protection, is it required that a utility model shows a minimal inventive activity or element, beyond the mere juxtaposition of pre-existing elements that does not lead to a new effect?”