Amended code sets new trend for industrial design case law

Italy enjoys an international reputation for industrial designs in several areas, including textiles, clothing, furniture and lighting. The protection of industrial designs was a controversial issue until the Copyright Act was amended to acknowledge explicitly that design creations are entitled to protection under copyright law.

The implementation of this amendment has resulted in a number of decisions by Italian courts, the majority of which have found that design creations are validly protected by copyright.

Earlier this year, for instance, the Milan court rejected an appeal against a previous interlocutory injunction and confirmed that Arco floor lamps, a timeless lighting piece created by the Castiglioni brothers in 1962 and now marketed by Flos, qualified for copyright protection.

The Code of Industrial Property was amended again on February 15 2007 by extending the term of protection for industrial designs to 70 years after the death of the designer, in line with terms of protection for copyrighted works.


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