World Intellectual Property Organization

The Power of Brands - I.L.A.R.


Firm: I.L.A.R. S.p.A.
Location: Italy
Business sector: Beverages
Activities: Production and distribution of spirits (liqueurs) and fruit syrups. Import and distribution of spirits on the Italian market; export of products mainly towards the USA its own brands (Pallini Limoncello, Syrups, and other liqueurs) and product that is bottled on behalf of other companies (Romana Sambuca, Romana Black)
Number of employees: 22
Annual turnover: approx. 9/10.000.000 € (2002/2001)

L'Industria Liquori e Affini Roma (I.L.A.R. ®) is a family owned company and a leader the Italian spirit and fruit syrups business. The company's main brand is Pallini.

The Antica Casa Pallini was established in 1875 in Antrodoco (a commercial town in the central Italy) and founded by Nicola Pallini, a local merchant and producer of liqueurs.

In 1920, a meeting between Nicola's son, Virgilio, and a Russian noble who had escaped the Russian Revolution, led to the creation of a distillery in the heart of Rome, near the Pantheon, in which the skills of the founder were continued and improved.

Since 1920, the quality of the liqueurs produced has been such that the Pallini ® trademark has become synonymous of excellence and professional skill in the distillation of anise liqueurs. In the `60s the plant was transferred to a new modern site on the Via Tiburtina just outside Rome and in 1986, the Antica Casa Pallini further expanded with the establishment of a joint-stock company called I.L.A.R.®.

The firm's expansion together with the use of modern technologies facilitated further development and product diversification in order to respond to a continuously evolving market. The use of raw and exclusively natural ingredients, has allowed I.L.A.R.® to improve its traditional products, nowadays considered essential for both restaurant and bakery professionals. The firm's most recent products dating from 2002, are a coffee-based liqueur named Xc@fé ® and a brand of gin called Ascot ® which is distributed only in Italy. Today I.L.A.R.® is proud to cite among its successes the Romana Sambuca ® liqueur, undisputed leader in the United States of America with a market-share of more then 70%.

The firm's commitment to quality and high standards has been rewarded by success at various exhibitions and at national and international competitions from the beginning of the century to the present day. I.L.A.R. confirmed its leadership in the production of liqueurs with an anise base by consecutively winning, (uniquely in the history of liqueur producers) the prestigious "Anglo Overseas Trophy", for the Romana Sambuca ® in 1992, and for the Romana Black ® (Sambuca based liqueur) in 1993. This coveted prize is awarded annually in London by an international jury during the "International Wine and Spirit Competition", to the producer of the liqueur which is considered to be the best in the world.

The last success of Casa Pallini is the Pallini Limoncello ®, a famous and widely known lemon based liqueur. In the quickly growing spirits category of the Italian market, Pallini Limoncello ® has also received several prestigious prizes for packaging: "The Communicator 1999" and the "2000 Creativity 30 Gold Medal".

The firm recognises the value of its intellectual property and in this regard considers it essential to protect its products and brands. Trade mark registration is considered an essential support to commercial diffusion and to maintain a high standard of exclusivity all over the world. In some cases the firm uses design registration to protect certain design features of the bottles (labels, accessories and packaging).

The firm has always been proactive in protecting its intellectual property rights and some years ago sued a rival Italian firm who copied the design of the bottle of Mistrà Pallini. Pallini won the case and was awarded substantial damages against the counterfeiter.

The firm constantly monitors trademarks data banks, trade shows, trade magazines, sales agents etc. with a view to preventing infringement of its IP both at home and in foreign markets. It is the policy of I.L.A.R.® to register trademarks in Italy and/or abroad (European Union and the U.S.A.) when introducing a new product. The firm uses an Italian trade mark agent to manage all matters relating to its trade mark portfolio (registrations, renewals, enquiries on existing trademarks in other countries, disputes etc.) both in Italy and through the agent's associated companies abroad.

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