Market Insight

Updates from an international team of correspondents who report on recent developments in IP law and practice in their home jurisdictions, as well as strategic issues and those relating to finance, dealmaking and valuation.

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20 NOVEMBER 2019

Game over for Rubik’s Cube: shape not protected as a trademark, General Court says

The EU General Court has confirmed the cancellation of the 3D trademark registration for the Rubik's Cube, stating that it simply consists of a shape intended to obtain a technical result.

06 NOVEMBER 2019

Supreme Court rules that Italian patent can survive when parallel European patent is rejected

Clarifying previous case law, the Supreme Court has stated that when two semi-identical European and Italian patents exist for the same invention and the European patent is rejected by a final decision, Italian courts are free to ignore the European decisions and conclude that the Italian patent remains valid under Italian law.

02 OCTOBER 2019

The clock is ticking: old collective marks must be converted before 23 March 2020

Legislative Decree 15/2019 has significantly reformed collective and certification marks in Italy. Owners of collective marks registered under the old law should act quickly or they will lose their rights.

06 AUGUST 2019

Declaration of non-infringement of Nestlé capsules was sought at proper time, judges say

The Court of Milan has confirmed that an urgent declaration of non-infringement can be granted even if the allegedly infringing product has already been launched on the market.

24 JULY 2019

Restyling the Italian Industrial Property Code – how will trademark owners be affected?

The Italian Industrial Property Code has amended existing provisions and added new ones, with the aim of reinforcing the protection of trademark owners’ rights and harmonising the IP laws of EU member states.

03 JULY 2019

Employer versus employee: and the winner is…

In a recent decision, the Court of Milan has offered a broad interpretation of employers’ rights to patents filed by employees where the patents are in the employer’s general field. It opined that the employer should be favoured in the case at hand as the inventive act was carried out under an employment contract, although the employee could still be entitled to a reward.

05 JUNE 2019

Vespa crosses the finish line first

The Turin Court of Appeal has recognised that the shape of Piaggio’s famous Vespa scooter is protected as a 3D trademark, as well as by copyright law. This decision challenges those who do not believe that trademark and copyright protection can coexist.

15 MAY 2019

Amending claim is no block to damages request

A Milan Court judgment has provided clarity on damages in a case where a patent claim was amended. The court has stated that when an infringed patent is amended, damages will be incurred from the date that the infringement started, even if this took place before the amendment.

10 APRIL 2019

The QVEÉ ASSOLUTA case: a question of labels and wine

The Italian Trademark and Patent Office Board of Appeal has reiterated that, in the crowded wine sector, confusion between trademarks is less likely to occur even when certain similarities are present, as most consumers pay close attention to the products that they buy.

12 MARCH 2019

Are wheel rims accessories or spare parts?

In Acacia v Daimler the Court of Rome has confirmed that wheel rims are spare parts rather than accessories. This case examines the details of the repair clause of Article 241 of the Italian Industrial Property Code and Article 110 of the Regulation on Community Designs.

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