Region: Italy

Patentability of intermediate chemical compounds – is it time for a change?

A 2011 decision of the Court of Turin addressed the controversial issue of the patentability of so-called "intermediate chemical products", following the Italian courts' general approach to prevent the patentability of such intermediates. It is hoped that the appeals court will reverse the Turin court's decision, thereby aligning Italy with many other jurisdictions throughout the world.

19 September 2012

Is preliminary technical advice in IP disputes useful?

As part of a major amendment of the IP Code, Article 128 was completely redrafted to allow for the use of a procedure that was formerly applied only in civil law matters: the preliminary technical advice. The procedure represents a non-invasive investigative tool to discover another party's position with respect to commercial intentions and competitive fairness, allowing a rights holder to utilise this cost-effective process in cases where infringement is uncertain.

18 July 2012

Principles of morality as absolute grounds for refusal

In Italy, principles of morality represent absolute grounds for refusal of a trademark registration. Trademarks including terms or devices regarded as being contrary to good morals are deemed to contravene public order, and cannot be registered. Two recent decisions provide examples of the interpretation of "good morals" as applied by the Italian Patent and Trademark Office Board of Appeal.

20 June 2012

Issues arising from patent and trademark protection

Following San Marino's accession to the European Patent Convention in 2009, a key issue is whether, and if so to what extent, there is an interest in validating granted European patents in San Marino. In contrast, San Marino is not a member of the European Union and Community trademark registrations do not cover San Marino.

23 May 2012

Preliminary declaration of non-infringement introduced – but with limitations

The Industrial Property Code now explicitly allows for a declaration of non-infringement in certain circumstances. Such a declaration could previously be issued only during the main judgment. A recent decision of the Court of Venice clarified the appropriate basis for such declaration by finding that a preliminary declaration of non-infringement is inadmissible if it is based only on a challenge to the validity of an IP right.

09 May 2012

Copyright and industrial designs: the saga continues

The Italian provision granting copyright protection to works of industrial design has been amended five times in the past 11 years. Controversial provisions establishing a long grace period for infringers that commenced their activities before 2001 have been repeatedly amended under pressure from the European Commission. The most recent amendment has now extended the grace period for infringement to 13 years.

11 April 2012

Re-establishment of rights and validation of European patents in Italy

A recent decision of the Board of Appeal of the Italian Patent and Trademark Office has introduced a more liberal interpretation of the re-establishment of rights following a missed deadline for filing an Italian translation of a European patent in connection with validation of the patent in Italy.

07 March 2012

Establishing the Business Courts for intellectual property

In 2003 Italy set up specialised IP divisions at 12 Italian courts. Within the framework of a package of measures introduced to tackle the economic crisis, the new Italian government has now introduced the Business Courts, which will replace the specialised divisions and will also handle certain other matters.

15 February 2012

Patent Office launches examination of national applications

The Italian Patent and Trademark Office has introduced examination proceedings for those national patent applications for which a search report and a preliminary patentability opinion has already been issued. The new examination stage on the merits of inventions is based on the results of the international search report and the written opinion annexed thereto.

02 November 2011

Interpreting the provisions governing the registration of names as trademarks

In a recent decision the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed that the General Court had correctly interpreted Article 8(3) of the Italian Code of Industrial Property, which requires a party to give consent for his or her name to be registered as a Community trademark. The decision is a reminder that the CJEU examines only the application of procedural rules, and not the merits of a dispute.

28 September 2011

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