Lighting management systems represent both technical and legal challenges. Before disclosing a new creation, the relevant parties must assess the IP protection that is available and act accordingly. Companies that produce patentable inventions are advised to consult experts who can evaluate the best strategies to ensure that their innovation exploits its competitive advantage without being open to immediate and legitimate imitation by competitors.
A recent decision of the Genoa Court of Appeal dealt with two interesting issues arising under the London International Convention on Salvage 1989: whether, for the purposes of fixing a salvage reward, the judge should consider not only the value of the salved vessel, but also that of the cargo on board; and the apportionment of a salvage reward between co-salvors where only one salvor brought proceedings for its remuneration.
Even after the retrospective cut in renewable energy incentives in Italy, the acquisition of operating solar photovoltaic (PV) plants under the right conditions still provides strong financial returns to investors. Nonetheless, irrespective of a project's financing structure or size, there are risks associated with such transactions which buyers should be aware of during the due diligence process.
The United Sections of the Court of Cassation recently addressed the matter of jurisdictional preventive regulations and seized the opportunity to reaffirm the jurisdictional nature of arbitration proceedings. The court affirmed the principle according to which an international arbitration clause can invalidate the jurisdiction of the ordinary Italian courts regarding a notice of objection against a preliminary injunction.
After seven years, the Supreme Court finally ended the first product-related class action promoted in Italy relating to a medical device. The decision is noteworthy, despite the small sum awarded, because very few class actions have been declared admissible to date and even fewer cases have been upheld on the merits due to strict admissibility requirements.
The new civil insolvency proceedings look set to become increasingly important, especially considering their application to the large number of microenterprises and business entities which operate below the thresholds set out in Article 1 of the Bankruptcy Law. The new deed arrangement is a confirmation that the legislature has understood (at last) the economic importance of microenterprises in Italy and the need to regulate their financial difficulties, the impact of which could no longer be ignored.
The Supreme Court recently found that in the case of a dismissal of an executive due to cost reductions, the main requirement is that the company's reorganisation process must be genuine. Employers are not required to prove that they are in economic difficulty. Rather, it is enough for them to demonstrate that the employee's job will no longer exist due to organisational changes.
The Budget Law 2018 introduced, among other things, amendments to the tax regime concerning dividends from non-resident companies located in low-tax jurisdictions (ie, blacklisted companies). 'Blacklisted companies' are entities resident or located in jurisdictions other than EU or European Economic Area member states, whose ordinary or special tax regime grants a nominal tax rate that is 50% lower than the Italian one.
Italian case law on trademarks deemed contrary to public order and accepted principles of morality is fully consistent with EU case law. Two rulings by the Specialised IP Division of the Court of Milan are of particular note in this regard. It is clear that, for both the Italian case law and scholars, the criterion of public perception must be applied in the same way in order to assess the validity of a mark and verify whether other signs interfere with it.
The Bank of Italy recently commenced a public consultation on the proposed amendments to Regulation 285/2013 on remuneration policies in the banking sector, the main aim of which is to align the regulation with the European Banking Authority Guidelines of December 2015 and ensure compliance with Articles 74(3) and 75(2) of the EU Capital Requirements Directive. The consultation will end on May 14 2018.
In recent years, the attention that IVASS (the Italian insurance regulator) and the EU authorities have paid to the protection and needs of insureds has increased and been translated into market letters (among other initiatives). These market letters aim to encourage insureds to intervene in contracts through the introduction of protective measures or eliminate potentially punitive restrictions, thereby limiting contractual autonomy in various areas.
The Court of Cassation recently ruled on the conferment of a company dispute to the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal based on the arbitration clause contained in the company's articles of association. The tribunal had accepted the exception raised by the counterparties concerning its lack of jurisdiction, but the claimant appealed this decision before the Court of Cassation.
One of the final pieces of legislation that the government enacted before the March 2018 general election was the eagerly awaited reform of the so-called 'Nautical Code'. The changes include a new definition of 'superyachts', the introduction of an electronic registration system for yachts and superyachts, a streamlined cancellation procedure for the Italian yacht registry and restrictions to the occasional chartering regime.
The government recently submitted to Parliament the text of a draft legislative decree to implement the EU Directive on Trade Secrets. The main changes proposed include the alignment of domestic rules on trade secrets with international standards; the prohibition of trade in goods whose design, features, function, production or marketing significantly benefit from unlawfully obtained trade secrets; and the introduction of a regulation to protect the confidentiality of trade secrets in the course of judicial proceedings.
The Supreme Court recently stated that an employer that installs a camera in its workplace to monitor an employee's activity can be found guilty of a crime under Decree-Law 196/03, even if the camera was installed to protect goods and property. The court found that the dignity and privacy of the employee in question were more worthy of protection than the economic value of corporate goods and property and that reforms in this regard introduced by the Jobs Act were inapplicable.
The recently approved Budget Law has harmonised the taxation of dividends and capital gains earned by non-business individuals on substantial and non-substantial participation held in Italian and foreign companies, among other things. Companies and partnerships will be unaffected by these changes, as the distinction between substantial and non-substantial participation is irrelevant.
In addition to setting out the legal scope for the safety of medical treatments and patients, Law 24/2017 provides the scope for imposing an effective risk management policy on healthcare personnel and prescribes risk allocation standards in the case of damages arising from medical treatments. It also provides for situations of impunity when these events occur despite the guidelines being followed.
With the Competition Law's recent entry into force, the legislature has finally established a clear legal framework by defining the concept of a 'financial lease' and the consequences for banks (or leasing companies) and clients following a breach of contract. These provisions make financial leases a more transparent tool with the aim of boosting their appeal and increasing investment by Italian companies, thus fostering economic growth.
The Supreme Court of Cassation recently stated that following the legislative amendment introduced by Law 134/2012, the amended Article 345(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure forbids the filing of new documents during appeal. This is regardless of whether the documents appear to be essential, except for when the party proves the impossibility of filing them before the court of first instance for reasons beyond its control.
IVASS, the Italian insurance regulator, recently provided details of an investigation into (re)insurance intermediaries' general understanding of cybersecurity-related issues and the remedies that they have implemented to protect their businesses and clients against the adverse effects of possible cyberattacks. IVASS will conduct another survey in 2019 to check that insurance intermediaries have complied with the proposed measures.