Search terms: Intellectual Property, Italy
The IP Code's provisions on copyright protection of design works were amended in 2007 following European Commission proceedings against Italy for infringing the EU Design Right Directive (98/71/EC) and the EU Copyright Term of Protection Directive (06/116/EC). However, the amending decree-law has not solved the problem; Parliament should re-examine the law before the commission initiates new proceedings.
Practitioners and rights holders have welcomed a decision issued by the Constitutional Court which deemed the rules then in force to be unlawful and reinstated the previous system, as reformed in March 2006. The reinstated system allows for the preliminary court directions that are fundamental to fast-moving and often complex IP litigation.
First the Financial Law 2006 abolished them. Then the Financial Law 2007 announced their return. In what many hope is the last word on the matter, the government has released details of its new fee structure for filing patents, utility models and designs. The new structure promises to direct revenue where it is most needed without hitting patent holders too hard - as long as they file online.
The IP Chamber of the Genoa Court has recently ruled in preliminary seizure and injunction proceedings relating to a batch of goods in transit. Its decision gives useful guidance on the interpretation of the European Court of Justice decision in Montex Holdings Ltd v Diesel SpA.
The Italian government has set up a dedicated anti-counterfeiting unit and appointed a high commissioner to coordinate anti-counterfeiting activities in Italy. The high commissioner's first report to Parliament reveals that Italy is the biggest consumer of counterfeit goods in Europe, but also highlights that the police and customs bodies are responding with a significant number of arrests, seizures and fines.
The seizure of imitations of a classic 1950s chair and a decision granting full copyright protection to industrial designs have been welcomed by Italy's design industry. It is the first time that such protection has been granted to high-profile designer furniture in Italy.