Piaggio wins EU backing in fight against Chinese Vespa copycats 

The Piaggio Group wins backing from the European Union to stop the sale of a Chinese model it says copies its Vespa Primavera scooter

Vespa Primavera

The Piaggio Group has announced it has won the backing of the European Union Intellectual Property Office in its fight against the production of what it believes to be a Chinese-made copycat design of its Vespa Primavera.

The Italian company has long fought against companies using the iconic design of the Vespa as a base for its models, with the practice proving particularly rife in the Chinese market.

Matters came to a head during the 2019 EICMA show in Milan when a ‘design registered by a Chinese party’ was removed from the exhibition following a complaint lodged by Piaggio.

Though the company has had middling success when it comes to preventing these facsimile models from reaching the market, the backing from the EU marks a boost for the Italian firm in its fight.

According to the EUIPO invalidity division, it said it was annulling the unnamed model’s registration since it was ‘incapable of eliciting a different general impression with respect to the registered design” of the Vespa Primavera, and pointed out that the registration was an unlawful attempt to reproduce the scooter’s aesthetic elements’.


However, the ruling will likely only mean the model in question will not be permitted for sale in Europe.

Piaggio has been particularly sensitive to the Vespa’s trademarks over the years, launching numerous activities to prevent counterfeiting. The company claims to regularly monitor databases of internationally registered designs and trademarks and has so far managed to cancel ‘more than 50 trademarks registered by third parties in the last two years’.