Barcelona and Berlin, 14 July 2010
The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí gains cause against the self-named "Dalí Museum" in Berlin.
In early 2009, the German company Dalí-Museum Berlin GmbH announced the opening, in February 2009 on Berlin’s Leipziger Platz, of a show entitled “DALÍ - DIE AUSSTELLUNG” (DALÍ - THE EXHIBITION) displaying graphic works and sculptures attributed to Salvador Dalí.
The presentation of this eminently commercial exhibition of mainly serial works gave rise to confusion, mainly on account of the use of the definite article (“THE exhibition”) which appeared to indicate a special, unique official event. The company name and its presence on Internet under the domain names www.dalimuseum.de and www.dali-museum.de infringed the registered brand names of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation (“Museo Dalí - Dalí Museum” among others).
For the above reasons, as part of its statutory mission to protect the good name and the artistic heritage of Salvador Dalí, the Foundation took legal action –based on its trademark rights and in order to prevent unfair competition– against what it considers to be deliberate confusion of the public in general and art lovers in particular, by requesting, through its lawyers Roca Junyent in collaboration with the German law firm SKW Schwarz, the above-mentioned company to cease its practices that infringe the law.
In view of the fact that most of the requests did not meet with a satisfactory answer (the company in question merely agreed to change its name), the Foundation decided to take the matter to the courts. On 18 May 2010, the Court resolved, in favour of the Foundation’s petition, to sentence the German company and the exhibition organiser: (1) to refrain from using the expression “DALÍ-DIE AUSSTELLUNG” (DALÍ-THE EXHIBITION) to refer to its Berlin exhibition; (2) to renounce its ownership of the domain names www.dalimuseum.de and www.dali-museum.de; and (3) to meet most of the costs of the legal proceedings. This decision is not a final judgement.