On July 15, 2021, the Italian manufacturer of a micro-fiber product used in the automotive sector Alcantara S.p.A. (Al) filed a request to obtain interim injunction against one of its main Italian competitors who markets a suede-like microfiber product, Miko S.r.l. (Miko), before the Court of Gorizia (a town in the North of Italy). According to Al, Miko advertised its suede-like microfiber product to the public as having many green features and promoted it as environmentally friendly. The "green claims" made by the Miko included statements such as "made of recycled polyester", "environmentally friendly”, “natural choice”, “eco-friendly microfiber”, “the first and only microfiber that guarantees environmental sustainability throughout the productive cycle”, “the first sustainable and recyclable microfiber”, “100% recyclable”, “100% recyclable at the end of its lifecycle”, “reduction of energy consumption and GHG emissions by 80%”, “reduction of carbon footprint through polyester recycling”, “absence of harmful substances”, “use of non-harmful dyes”, and “use of neutral and non-toxic dyes”.
Al argued that Miko's "green claims" constituted an act of unfair competition under Article 2598, §3 of the Italian Civil Code in the form of misleading advertising as defined in the Unfair Commercial Practice Directive no. 2005/29/CE (implemented in Italy by Legislative Decree no. 145/2007), alleging that the claims were vague, false, non-verified or non-verifiable. On that basis, Al requested an interim injunction preventing its competitor from continuing to make such environmental claims.
On November 25, 2021, the Court ruled in favor of the claimant, stating that these statements were vague, generic, false, and non-verifiable and needed to be immediately removed from any website, social media platform, tv advertisement, magazines, and other promotional material. The Court also ordered Miko to publish the Court's decision on its website for 60 days.
On March 12, 2022, the decision has been reversed on appeal, on mere procedural reasons.
No case documents are available.