Banksy made his name by flouting the law, but the secretive street artist recently took a company to court to stop them from flogging unauthorized Banksy merchandise. In late 2018, Pest Control, the company Banksy set up to authenticate his works and police his market, sued the organizers of the exhibition “A Visual Protest. The Art of Banksy” at the MUDEC in Milan.
Though works in the exhibition were authentic Banksy prints and original works, a bevy of unauthorized Banksy merchandise was also for sale at the show, such as journals, erasers, and postcards. Pest Control sued the exhibition organizers for trademark infringement.
Last month, a judge in Milan found in favor of Banksy, saying the unauthorized merchandising constituted trademark infringement. However, the judge disagreed with Pest Control’s attempt to stop the organizers from using Banksy’s work in promotional materials for the show, deeming it essential to informing the public.