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Battle Over Mafia Brand

Sep
19
2006

Think Corleone, think “The Godfather” saga, think Mafia. Right? Sure.
Pity the brave souls in Sicily who wanted to change that with an anti-mob convention they dubbed “I Love Corleone.”


No one left a horse head at the door, but the commemorative T-shirts city officials made with that declaration of ardor landed them on the wrong side of trademark law. A local company that makes coppole, typical Sicilian padrino caps, and T-shirts uses the same slogan.
Worse yet, it’s a business that involves the Riina family, whose most illustrious member, Toto, is serving life in prison after blowing up two judges.
In one of those “I can’t believe it’s a court case” court cases, the city of Corleone is being sued for damages by Mattea Ciavarello, whose brother, Tony, is married to the imprisoned Godfather’s daughter, Maria Concetta Riina, says the Times.
Probably since the Coppola flick debuted in 1972, locals have been making money off a bad rep. These days you can have a mafia threat postmarked from Corleone and foreigners have been known to have blow-out Italian-style weddings there.
Now, though, the lawyers are in on it. Four years ago, city officials decided to register the town name as a brand and were thinking of slapping labels on products from the town’s creamery. That hasn’t happened yet, but there’s something sad about waiting for a showdown in the courthouse over who can rightly love the mafia-ridden, hard scrabble Corleone.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 7:46 AM | Permalink

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