Global law firm White & Case LLP has achieved a significant legal victory on behalf of Punto Fa, S.L., trading as Mango, the renowned Spanish fashion brand. The lawsuit, filed by Visual Entidad de Gestión de Artistas Plásticos (Vegap), alleged breaches of intellectual property rights for artworks by prominent Spanish artists.
The commercial courts of Barcelona delivered a groundbreaking judgment, marking the first time in Spain that the delicate balance between the intellectual property rights of original artists and the transformative rights of the owner, especially in creating new artworks in the metaverse, was addressed. The dispute held global implications as Vegap manages the intellectual property rights of over 150,000 authors and artists worldwide.
Derivative works, in the form of lazy-minted non-fungible tokens (NFTs), were at the center of the controversy and showcased in the metaverse as part of the grand opening of Mango's flagship store on New York's Fifth Avenue. Notably, the court decision applied the US fair use doctrine, recognizing its relevance in the Spanish legal system. This builds on a prior Spanish Supreme Court decision in April 2012, further establishing the application of this doctrine internationally.
Aside from the complete dismissal of Vegap's lawsuit, Mango was granted legal costs for the proceedings, further underscoring the favorable outcome. The Madrid-based White & Case team, led by partners Francisco Málaga and Marcos Soberón, with the assistance of associates Eloy Algorri and Ainhoa Busto, played a pivotal role in securing this landmark judgment.