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Academy Settles Lawsuit with RAI


Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has amicably resolved a trademark lawsuit against the Italian television broadcaster RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana). The lawsuit, which was filed in 2005 in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, concerned RAI’s broadcast of several Italian language “Oscar” award programs. Among the titles at issue were “Oscar del Vino” (Wine Oscars), “Oscar della Moda” (Fashion Oscars), “Oscar TV” (TV Oscars) and “Oscar del Teatro” (Theater Oscars).

Terms of the settlement were read into the Court record last Friday but were not publicly disclosed. However, Academy attorney David Quinto confirmed that the Academy continues to maintain the exclusive right to use the name “Oscar” for awards shows and that the name has not become generic in Italian or any other language. The case settled after the Academy submitted evidence showing that the “Oscar” trademark is strong with Italian speakers. The evidence included a consumer survey that determined RAI viewers would likely be confused by RAI’s use of the Academy’s trademark. Additionally, there was undisputed evidence that Italian dictionaries first and foremost define “Oscar” as the award given by the Academy.

Despite the settlement, other Academy lawsuits against RAI are still underway in Germany and Switzerland, as well as in Austria where a court issued a preliminary injunction against RAI’s use of the “Oscar” mark.


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