Spain: ¿Se puede proteger el diseño interior de tu tienda?

Last Updated: 5 July 2016
Article by Emma Luna
Most Read Contributor in Spain, July 2017

Clarke, Modet & Co - SPAIN


Cada vez son más las empresas que se preocupan de salvaguardar sus señas de identidad en el mercado a través de las diversas figuras de protección que ofrece la propiedad intelectual e industrial.

Esta vez haremos hincapié en un factor sobre el cual gran parte de las compañías invierten multitud de recursos dirigidos a que su negocio adopte la apariencia más adecuada, atractiva y sobretodo orientada a un mayor número de ventas: el diseño de sus establecimientos comerciales.  

Una estratégica ubicación de la tienda, una meditada decoración y distribución de los elementos que integran su interiorismo, son aspectos que pueden determinar el éxito de que el público quiera comprar o no esos productos. Las empresas cuidan cada detalle, y hasta la última esquina está configurada de esa manera determinada por un motivo concreto. Por ello, muchas grandes firmas han comenzado a proteger también los interiores de sus tiendas, con el objetivo de ostentar un derecho de exclusividad sobre aquellos diseños a través de los cuales el público identifica sus productos, logrando de este modo tener un arma más contra un posible plagio de sus competidores.  

Uno de los casos más destacables fue la resolución del Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea dictada el 10 de julio de 2014 a favor de Apple. Ante la denegación por parte de la Oficina Alemana de Patentes y Marcas de una solicitud de registro de marca titularidad de Apple (la disposición de una de sus tiendas representada por un dibujo), Apple decidió recurrir esta decisión. A la vista de la interposición de este recurso, el Tribunal Alemán eleva una cuestión prejudicial al TJUE. Este último, interpretó aquellos artículos de la Directiva 2008/95 en los cuales se definen los requisitos que han de ser cumplidos para poder registrar una marca, "en el sentido de que la representación de la disposición de un espacio de venta de productos por medio de un simple dibujo (...) puede registrarse como marca para servicios consistentes en prestaciones relativas a dichos productos (...) siempre que dicha representación sea apropiada para distinguir los servicios del autor de la solicitud de registro de los de otras empresas".

Otro caso real y más reciente ha sido la batalla judicial entre dos grandes firmas del mundo de la cosmética, KIKO S.r.l. como demandante y uno de sus principales competidores (WJCON S.r.l.) como demandado.  KIKO alega ser titular de un derecho de exclusividad sobre el diseño minimalista del interior de sus tiendas, caracterizado por un marcado carácter de simetría y sencillez. Según KIKO, su competidor WJCON comenzó a replicar en todos sus establecimientos la disposición de sus tiendas de manera sistemática, dando lugar a confusión y asociación indebida por parte de sus consumidores.  

En un primer momento, varias decisiones judiciales consideraron que dicha concepción interiorista no era susceptible de protección bajo los derechos de propiedad intelectual, ya que se trataba de producciones desprovistas de originalidad, al integrar multitud de elementos comunes y necesarios dentro del sector y ampliamente utilizados en la industria.  

Sin embargo, el Tribunal de Milán en su "Sentenza n. 11416/2015" publicada el día 13/10/2015, resuelve que los diseños de interiores pueden gozar de protección de derechos de propiedad intelectual en aquellos casos en los que dicha creación integre un valor artístico, aunque sea mínimo, ya que la creatividad no puede excluirse solamente porque esté integrada por ideas simples, sino que hay que tener en cuenta la forma de expresión de dichas ideas. Por ello, dicho órgano jurisdiccional considera "en este contexto que la naturaleza creativa, un requisito necesario para la protección, puede ser considerado de acuerdo con la selección, coordinación y organización de los elementos de la obra en relación al resultado global alcanzado".  

KIKO encargó el proyecto del diseño de los interiores de sus tiendas a un prestigioso estudio italiano de arquitectura. Según la legislación italiana los diseños de interiores pueden protegerse como obras de arquitectura en virtud del derecho de autor, siempre que sea posible identificar un acto original dentro de dicha creación, elemento que fue apreciado por el Tribunal de Milán. Una vez confirmado el requisito de originalidad que reviste dicho proyecto, el Tribunal de Milán dicta sentencia y condena a la entidad demandada al pago de la cantidad de 716,250.00 € en concepto de los daños y perjuicios sufridos por la parte actora respecto a los beneficios que ha dejado de percibir por la infracción de sus derechos patrimoniales de explotación. Asimismo, se contempla la fijación de una pena de la suma de 10.000,00 € para cada tienda de WJCON que mantenga la estructura, decoración y mobiliario que caracteriza a las tiendas del demandante, más de sesenta días a partir de la fecha de ejecución de la dicha sentencia.  

No obstante, se trata de una cuestión jurídica que entraña un alto grado de complejidad, ya que existen disparidad de opiniones entre los diferentes Tribunales y legislaciones, en torno a si es susceptible de protección los diseños de interiores de ciertos establecimientos vía propiedad intelectual como obra arquitectónica o como marca tridimensional.  

Prueba de ello y continuando con este escenario, últimas fuentes revelan que WJCON decidió interponer recurso de apelación contra la decisión judicial emitida en la sentencia de Octubre 2015. Posteriormente, el Tribunal de Apelación además de suspender la ejecución provisional de la sentencia del Tribunal de Milán por considerarlo un asunto complejo y delicado, estableció también la prohibición de que WJCON por el momento continuara abriendo tiendas que siguiesen el patrón de estilismo marcado por su competidora KIKO.

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