On August 23, 2023, the reform bill amending the Italian Industrial Property Code came into effect.
The reform introduces several new measures, including:
- Enhanced protection for geographical indications and designations of origin by barring the registration of trademarks that evoke, usurp, or imitate them.
- Temporary protection for designs and models at both national and international trade fairs.
- Reversal of the “Professor’s Privilege”, granting universities ownership of patents they develop.
- An option to pay patent filing fees not just at the time of filing, but also at a subsequent stage, while retaining the original filing date.
- Simplification of the process to grant new plant varieties.
- Authority for enforcement officials to seize goods showcased at official or officially recognised trade shows if they suspect an IP rights violation.
- The capability for dual protection under both a national patent and a European patent, with or without unitary effect.
The provision is a fundamental milestone of the reform of the Italian industrial property system. It aligns with the objectives set out in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Mission 1, Component 2: "Digitalisation, Innovation, and Competitiveness of the Production System") and is consistent with the EU IP Action Plan that the European Commission adopted in 2021.The Italian Patent and Trade Mark Office substantially contributed to draft the reform, with the aim of pursuing two fundamental objectives:
1) To strengthen the competitiveness of the national system and protect industrial property rights.
2) Streamlining administrative aspects and digitalised procedures.
For more details (in Italian), please click here.
You can also watch a dedicated webinar presentation on the reform (in Italian) on YouTube.