The Italian Alisea takes Apple to court
Alisea challenges the American giant Apple in court to defend its patent. The Italian benefit company, founded and directed by Susanna Martucci, believes that the American apple group has illegitimately appropriated the characteristics of their Perpetua pencil in zantech (material made with 100% recycled graphite powder) for the production of ApplePencil 2 generation, thus violating their intellectual and industrial property rights. Precisely for this reason, Alisea has initiated legal proceedings at the Court of Companies of Venice, which will see the first hearing on next May 31st.
The Perpetual pencil
The small Italian company, born in 1994, transforms waste materials deriving from differentiated collection or from industrial processing waste and reuses them for the production of Made in Italy design objects, as in the case of the Perpetua pencil which, due to its technical characteristics and production process, can be used in "extreme" situations, including the interior of spacecraft and orbiting stations. Recognizable for its particular design, winner of the Compasso d'Oro ADI - Association for Industrial Design honorable mention in 2016, Perpetua has particular characteristics: it can write even without a tip, it can be used both on paper and on tablets, it it is subject to breakage if subjected to impact or accidental fall, it is devoid of glues and protective varnishes, has a life cycle about 20 times higher than simple pencils and also exists in the magnetic version.
«Our Perpetua pencil, with its particular design and its innovative technical characteristics represents - as always - the synthesis and expression of the values of environmental and social sustainability underlying our company, of our ethics and, above all, of the hard work , of the efforts and sacrifices made to get to certain levels of specialization and excellence, specialization and excellence that characterize not only us, but - it should be remembered - most of the small and medium-sized Italian companies» comments Susanna Martucci.
The reasons for the lawsuit
The perpetual design was, as mentioned, also awarded the honorable mention Compasso d'Oro ADI. It is precisely on this that the lawsuit filed by Alicesa is based, which "following a series of reports received about the similarity between its Perpetua pencil and that of the Apple company (i.e. the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation") and the consequent and necessary comparative examinations carried out between the products in question, found that the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation presented an external appearance almost identical to that of Perpetua and, therefore, the same aesthetic characteristics: the same combination of lines, the same round shape spaced out on one side “flat”, the same proportions, the same contours. In short, the same elements of form that give Perpetua its own individual character» the company explains, adding: «Some of these "exterior" elements, moreover, are used by both companies to advertise their respective products, making them even more confuseable. For this reason - and being Perpetua, it should be specified, on the market well before the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation - Alisea believes that there has been a violation of its industrial and intellectual property rights, as well as a violation of the rules protecting the competition".
The decision to proceed legally was not the simplest. «By now all too often the small medium Italian enterprise, and the excellence it brings with it, is forced to suffer (or considers it less burdensome to remain silent) when it believes that its industrial or intellectual property has been harmed, if this infringement was carried out, as in the present case, by "colossus" multinationals» explains Martucci, concluding: «For this reason Alisea - in the face of what it believes to have been a violation of its industrial and intellectual property rights, of its identity and entrepreneurial image, or of the rules established to protect competition, has decided to defend itself and fight".