With the law of 8 May 2020, which came into force on 13 May 2020, the decree – law no. 16 of 11 March 2020, containing urgent provisions for the organization and holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Milan Cortina 2026 and the ATP Turin 2021 – 2026 finals, was converted.
As was already the case with Law no. 167/ 2005 “Measures for the protection of the Olympic symbol in relation to the holding of the – Torino 2006” Winter Games, the discipline of the next major world sports events was accompanied by a “ban on parasitic activities” (art. 10) with which a range of activities falling within the offence of Ambush Marketing was typified, i.e. the abusive association of a company’s image with a sports event with the aim of exploiting its media coverage, in the absence of the consent of those entitled (art. 10).
The competence to judge the violation and the imposition of the relative sanction (from 100,000 to 2,500,000 Euro) is delegated to the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) which, availing itself of the Guardia di Finanza, can also provide for the seizure and description of all that is produced, commercialized and utilized in violation of the exclusive rights protected by the prohibition (Art. 12).
The law expressly provides for the concurrent application of the other provisions of the law for the protection of the subjects who claim a prejudice due to the violation of the prohibition (art. 11) whose temporal duration, as far as the abuse of the official distinctive signs of the events is concerned, is, moreover, limited, from the day of the registration until the hundred and eightieth day following the official date of the end of the events (art. 13).
A special prohibition is therefore added to those provided by the Italian Civil Code and the Industrial Property Code with regard to personality rights, competition and distinctive signs in an area, that of sports law, in which image and intellectual property rights play a crucial role.