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The move comes after last week’s front page report that Bianconi’s family had claimed the rights to his name and designs, had registered their claim with eBay and put a stop to Internet sales of works attributed to him.

At the time of going to press last week, it was not clear how valid the family’s claim was, but this week Venini have confirmed that the company had documents giving them the rights in perpetuity to the name and designs. They also revealed that they had already spent eight years taking the family through the courts after they had refused to acknowledge the factory’s rights. Venini said that despite two judgments in the factory’s favour so far, the dispute had yet to be resolved.

As reported last week, the Bianconi family had set up a website and used it to issue a pledge to pursue anyone across the world who they thought were using the designer’s name unjustly to sell works of art. The move, coupled with the removal of any items bearing the Bianconi name from eBay, had angered dealers, some of whom are also now considering taking legal action against the family.

A decree by the family that they would only authorise the publication of photos of works attributed to the designer if the piece shown has been authenticated by them personally spelt trouble for auctioneers and dealers putting together catalogues.

This week, however, it appears that it is the Bianconis themselves who may soon be the target of further legal action. Venini say they will issue a notice demanding that the Bianconis remove offending material from their website. Nottingham glass dealer Vanessa Paterson, who has led the challenge to the Bianconi family’s claim after having her stock removed from eBay at their insistence, is one of those considering suing. She alerted eBay to the controversy and they are now investigating whether the Bianconis are in breach of the Internet giant’s VRO program, which allowed them to ban sales from the site. Those registering a rights claim, as the Bianconis are reported to have done, must sign a document that states any false claim may lay the signatory open to a charge of perjury.