- 24 November 2022THE CASE Our client, originally from Mexico, lost the right to use her mother’s surname after obtaining the Italian citizenship since, at the time, our legal system did not allow the use of a maternal surname. THE SOLUTION Having analysed all …
- 8 July 2022The EU Trademark Court overturns the decision of the EU Intellectual Property Office which had declared the forfeiture for “five-year non-use” of the European brand “Ballon d’or”, the well-known football award …
- Decree no. 78/2010 on the reduction of public expenditure does not automatically apply to contracts (case followed by our study)10 March 2022A university professor, consultant for an important public body, turned to our firm for not having received payment of fees established by contract. Having obtained an injunction for payment in favour of the client, the public body appealed against …
WHO WE ARE
Pennisi Studio Legale is a boutique law firm founded by Fabio Pennisi in 2007.
We provide legal advisory and representation services to businesses, organizations and individuals.
Since 2008, we have operated a legal helpdesk for the Rome office of an international organization, providing legal advice and assistance to the office as well as to diplomatic missions and their staff.
Since 2015, we have performed debt recovery services for a national copyright collecting society.
At the Pennisi Law Firm, we believe in continuing professional development, timely services and constant communication with our clients. Our values allow us to deliver quality, cost-effective legal services.
WHAT WE DO
A description of the firm’s practice areas
ongoing legal advice, including at clients’ premises – litigation – medical liability – contracts – family law – condominium law – rents and leases – debt recovery
administrative proceedings – court proceedings – administrative obligations – infringement of rights – assistance with litigation
CRIMINAL CYBER LAW
cybercrime offences – defamation – stalking – unlawful access to data – violations of the confidentiality of correspondence
sports justice – preparation and negotiation of contracts – sports arbitration and ordinary court proceedings
drafting of contracts – management of transactions – assistance with claims for damages – debt restructuring – assisted negotiation
PRIVACY, CONFIDENTIALITY AND PUBLICITY RIGHTS
personal data protection – exploitation of image or likeness – exploitation of name – protection of reputation
Whenever we assist clients with a dispute, we always try to avoid litigation, including through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, in order to provide more cost-effective and timely solutions.
However, if the dispute cannot be resolved through ADR, we assist our clients in arbitration and/or court proceedings (including before the higher courts of law), offering specific expertise in the following areas:
We offer legal advice on the following areas:
- business law (distribution and agency agreements; general terms and conditions of contracts, including contracts with consumers; in- and out-licensing of intellectual/industrial property rights);
- real estate (buying and selling, transactions, leases);
- exploitation of personality rights of sports and show business figures.
Our firm also provides an ongoing advice service at client’s premises.
Examples of the work we have done
- Since 2009, we have assisted an ‘innovative startup’ (within the meaning of Italian Law no. 221/2012, i.e., a SME with high technological value) that specializes in the development and B2B supply of digital services, in particular latest-generation Virtual Data Room services. We periodically review their licensing agreements for compliance with applicable laws and regulations (especially privacy legislation), participate in the negotiation of agreements with their clients, and provide assistance in case of arbitration or court proceedings.
- We have drafted and periodically reviewed the general terms and conditions used by an automotive company that has thousands of customers. Thanks to our extensive contractual litigation experience, we have helped our client prepare well-drafted contracts to prevent disputes or at least reduce the risks or negative consequences of disputes.
- Since 2009, we have provided ongoing advice within a Rome-based international organization. In this context, we regularly provide legal advice to foreign clients on Italian and international law matters, especially with regard to:- divorce and separation;- inheritance and gifts;- purchase, sale and lease of residential property;- protection of consumer rights;- citizenship and immigration.
INDUSTRIAL LAW – INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
We offer advice and assistance with intellectual and industrial property issues, providing the following services:
- preliminary assessment on administrative or judicial enforceability of the rights in question (clearance searches on trademarks, patents, domain names, and intellectual works);
- completion of the necessary administrative formalities for protecting exclusive rights (registration and renewal of trademarks, patents, industrial models and designs, domain names and intellectual works with the competent national, EU and international bodies);
- ongoing monitoring of possible violations of clients’ rights by third parties;
- assistance with litigation, including representation before courts, arbitration tribunals, and administrative bodies (e.g., the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO, Italy’s Competition Authority and Advertising Standards Authority, and the organizations responsible for domain name reassignment procedures).
Examples of past cases
CASE 1: reassignment of a “.com” Internet domain name corresponding to the name of a world-famous football player: a Canadian unlawfully registered and used a domain name corresponding to the full name of an internationally-known Italian footballer. The player turned to our firm for assistance in obtaining the reassignment of the domain name in question.
OUTCOME: We filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), requesting the reassignment of the domain name. The WIPO arbitrator ordered that the disputed domain name be transferred to our client.
CASE 2: surreptitious advertising of a competing company during a television programme: the trademark and distinctive signs of a cruise company were regularly shown, and the company’s services praised, during a TV programme broadcast daily by a national private network. This was done without clearly identifying the advertising messages as such, which was contrary to the law. A competing cruise company turned to our firm for assistance in protecting their rights.
OUTCOME: We filed a complaint with the Italian Competition Authority, which found the conduct in question to be unfair. The company producing the TV show appealed the Competition Authority’s decision to the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, which upheld the decision.
PRIVACY AND PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION
We provide companies and individuals with legal advice on the protection of personal data, name rights, image rights and reputation rights (including commercial reputation).
In this context:
- we provide assistance with litigation in court as well as with proceedings before the Italian Data Protection Authority;
- we verify the compliance of company processes with privacy laws and regulations;
- we prepare all documents required under personal data protection legislation (such as, inter alia, privacy notices, data processing consent forms and authorization requests);
- we prepare right of publicity license agreements;
- we assist sports federations in regulating the relationships with athletes belonging to national teams.
Examples of past cases
CASE 1: a well-known Italian athlete, an Olympic medalist, discovered by chance that his image had been used in a drug advertising poster distributed by a pharmaceutical company to hospitals and doctors’ offices.
OUTCOME: In response to our cease and desist letter and request for damages, the pharmaceutical company stated that the poster had been distributed for the sole purpose of celebrating the image of the athlete. Following filing of a lawsuit, the pharmaceutical company, during the first hearing, agreed to settle the dispute by paying the athlete a fee for the unlawful exploitation of his image.
CASE 2: a couple complained that their privacy was unwarrantably infringed in a popular television programme during which details of their sex life (i.e., sensitive personal data) were revealed without their consent.
OUTCOME: Following our application for an urgent injunction, the competent Court ordered the television program to stop its infringing conduct. Subsequently, at the end of ordinary court proceedings, the couple were awarded damages for infringement of personal information.
CASE 3: the direct telephone number of the office of a bank CEO was published in the telephone directory among the bank’s contact details.
OUTCOME: At the end of proceedings against the relevant telephone operator, the Court of Milan ordered that the number be no longer published in the telephone directory and awarded considerable damages to our Client.
For several years, we have provided advice and assistance to professional athletes, clubs and national sports federations on the following:
- negotiation and preparation of contracts for the exploitation of sports performance, on behalf of athletes or clubs;
- sports arbitration proceedings to protect the rights of athletes or clubs;
- sports justice, acting in disciplinary proceedings as federal bodies (as a federal prosecutor or a member of the adjudicating committees), or as defense lawyers;
- proceedings before the Italian courts following the exhaustion of the remedies available in the sports justice system.
Examples of past cases
CASE 1: The President of a Regional Committee was summoned before the Federal Court of the Italian Rugby Federation for having allegedly disseminated via e-mail documents relating to a disciplinary proceeding that concerned other members.
OUTCOME: Our client was found innocent of the charges both by the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeals because the evidence obtained by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office did not demonstrate any responsibility on his part.
CASE 2: non- payment of the contracted fee to a professional football player.
OUTCOME: We instituted arbitration proceedings before the Collegio of the Lega Nazionale Professionisti, which, in its award, ordered that the fee be paid to the player.
CASE 3: a Federation accredited by CONI instructed us to defend it in 4 arbitration proceedings promoted by some of its members before the TNAS (National Sports Arbitration Tribunal), to obtain the annulment of disciplinary measures adopted by their respective sports justice bodies. These members had been found guilty of serious offences and sanctioned with revocation of their membership.
OUTCOME: the TNAS upheld the decisions of the sports justice bodies.
Only one of the 4 decisions was subsequently challenged before the Regional Administrative Court, but the court rejected the appeal because the matter did not fall within administrative jurisdiction.
CRIMINAL LAW – CRIMINAL CYBER LAW
We provide assistance to those who, having suffered harm as a result of a crime, join the proceedings concerning that crime as civil claimants seeking damages. In addition, we defend suspects and accused parties in cases concerning cybercrime offenses.
In this context we rely on the technical advice of experts from the detective branch of law enforcement agencies.
We also provide assistance with defamation and stalking.
Examples of past cases
CASE 1 – threats via email, unauthorized access on an electronic system, and violation of the confidentiality of correspondence: the manager of a multinational company was accused of having hacked into the email accounts of his daughter’s schoolmates and of threatening them. Based on the results of investigations, our client was committed for trial before the Court of Rome.
OUTCOME: We managed to demonstrate, not least thanks to the help of a qualified technical expert, the absence of certain “digital evidence” against our client, who was thus acquitted of all charges.
CASE 2: publication on the internet of nude images of former girlfriend: a girl complained that her ex-boyfriend posted recognizable photographs and videos of their sexual intercourse on the Internet.
OUTCOME: We filed a criminal complaint for the unlawful use of personal data and stalking, together with a request for the seizure of the photographs and videos. Our client was granted an interim seizure order and saw her ex-boyfriend receive both criminal and civil sanctions.
We have established a strong experience in legal assistance to descendants of Italian people in obtaining the Italian citizenship.
In particular we provide assistance in all the stages aimed to the citizenship obtainment, from the check of documents required (including helping clients in retrieving that missing) to the application.
We can assist clients both in administrative proceeding and in the judicial.
Italian citizenship can be applied for by:
- Descendants of Italian people (iure sanguinis proceeding);
- Spouses of an Italian people (naturalization proceeding);
- People living in Italy for a certain continuous period (for instance, 10 years for no EU people);
Some cases we followed
CASE 1: A Brazilian gentleman, whose Italian great-grandfather emigrated to Brazil in 1892, asked to our firm to be assisted in the process of obtaining the Italian citizenship. First of all we helped him to retrieve all the documents evidencing the birth of the great-grandfather in Italy, then collected all the documents of other descendants in Brazil and finally filed the request to the Court of Rome.
OUTCOME: After 9 months of the application, the applicant were granted with the Italian citizenship through a decision of the Court.
CASE 2: A Brazilian footballer, whose grandfather emigrated to Brazil in 1900’s, needed the Italian citizenship for professional reasons and contacted our firm to be assisted in that.
OUTCOME: A Brazilian footballer, whose grandfather emigrated to Brazil in 1900’s, needed the Italian citizenship for professional reasons and contacted our firm to be assisted in that.
CASE 3: An American woman, living in Italy from more than 10 continuously years as a United Nations staff member, strongly desired to obtain the Italian citizenship also at the aim to stay in Italy after her retirement.
OUTCOME: We make her obtain the citizenship through an administrative proceeding on the background of the continuous residence in Italy for more than 10 years.
WHERE TO FIND US
Pennisi Studio Legale is located in Rome at Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini n. 27, at a short distance from both the Court of Rome and the Supreme Court of Cassation.
We are a member of Jus Law a network of law firms with offices in Milan and Bologna, where we can assist our clients directly.