Molteni&C has won the first round of a legal battle against Cassina, after both Italian brands showed the same 1950s Gio Ponti chair at Milan design week.
The Tribunale do Milano issued a precautionary injunction last week that prohibits Cassina from producing, marketing or displaying the Ponti-designed lounge chair.
Both companies claim to own the rights to the chair, which was launched as the D.156.3 by Molteni&C at Salone del Mobile while across town, a near identical version dubbed the 811 sat in Cassina's showroom.
The precautionary injunction, dated April 4, sets a ?5,000 (£4,190) fine if Cassina violates the order. A further hearing tomorrow will determine whether the injunction should continue in its current form.
Molteni&C launched its D.156.3 by Gio Ponti at this year's Salone del Mobile
"It is a great success when you can protect the heritage left by a great artist, and protect a company that for some years has been engaged in enhancing and promoting his work," said Giacomo Bonelli, a lawyer from Italian firm Mondini Rusconi who is representing Molteni&C in the case.
Cassina has not replied to a request for comment, although Molteni&C has said Cassina has now removed the armchairs from its showroom on Milan's Via Durini.
The dispute between the two heavyweight Italian brands became public at the start of Milan design week, when Cassina placed a newspaper advertisement describing its 811 chair as "the original" designed by Ponti and Cassina.
Related story Konstantin Grcic references Milanese subway handrails in Soft Props sofa for Cassina
While Cassina had not put the chair into production, it took to displaying a version of it on its showroom floor. The company's claims to the chair stem from its origins in Cassina's factory in the 1950s, when it was allegedly "conceived, engineered and produced" by the company "in cooperation" with Ponti.