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New Amendment to Italian Industrial Property Code

By R. Renee Yaworsky
The Digest, Associate Editor

On September 2, 2010, the much-anticipated amendment to the Italian Industrial Property Code (IPC) was finally enacted by legislative decree 131/2010. The Code, which has been in force since 2005, needed to work better with the European Patent Convention (EPC 2000) and with Italian laws enacted after 2005. The amendment has made it possible for the Code to now function well within European standards.

It is hoped that the new amendment will increase efficiency and protection of Industrial Property rights by shortening the length of lawsuits or reducing the number of lawsuits altogether.

One reform provided by the amendment has been to extend the right to grant interim measures ex parte, “in every case of special urgency, particularly when delay could cause irredeemable damage to the owner of the rights, or when the summoning of the counterparty could affect the implementation of the protective measures or the seizure.” The summoning must occur within 15 days for the confirmation or repeal of the measure. This less restrictive procedure should make the overall system more efficient.

Before the amendment was enacted, the Code did not include rules for validating in Italy European patents that had been limited by the European Patent Organisation (EPO). Another possibly far-reaching alteration of legislative decree 131/2010 is the significant introduction of biotechnological inventions into the Italian Code.

The decree also allows for a request to go to a judge for a technical consultancy before bringing a lawsuit. Some provisions of the decree allow judges to order a technical consultancy within summary proceedings. The aim is to reduce lawsuits by informing the patent owner whether or not the patent is valid and whether infringement could be proved before bringing a possibly long and expensive lawsuit.

In addition to this new decree, other amendments are on the horizon in efforts to simplify and clarify various procedures as well as to increase equality between both plaintiffs and defendants. These modifications demonstrate Italy’s interest in effectively protecting the rights of Industrial Property owners and the country’s overall interest in Industrial Property law.

For more information, please see:

International Law Office, “Code of Industrial Property Reform Simplifies Protection Measures,” 11 Oct. 2010.

Managing Intellectual Property, “Amendment to the Industrial Property Code,” 1 Oct. 2010.