On January 11, 2023, legislative proposal no. 411 containing amendments to Legislative Decree of February 10, 2005, no. 30 (hereinafter, “Industrial Property Code”), approved by the Italian Council of Ministers on December 5, 2022, began the ordinary legislative procedure and was assigned to the Ninth Permanent Committee of the Senate (hereinafter, “Proposal”). The Proposal is part of the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), which is a substantial package of investments and reforms worth EUR 191.5 billion and meant to work in conjunction with other economic planning tools (for more information on the PNRR and to access the document, please click here). It was created to help Italy emerge from the crisis of the past 20 years and bring Italy to the forefront of European and international development.
According to the Council of Ministers (press release accessible here), the reform is intended to strengthen and modernize IP protections in Italy and to ensure that in Italy IP titles (i.e., patents, designs, and trademarks) are made more accessible in terms of cost, complexity, and time.
With that in mind, the Proposal consists of 31 articles, divided into three chapters: (i) strengthening Italy’s competitiveness and protection of industrial property; (ii) administrative simplification and digitization of procedures; and (iii) coordination provisions.
The first chapter mainly focuses on patents, geographical indications and designations of origin, and designs exhibited at trade shows. For patents, the aim is to strengthen the technological and digital competitiveness of Italian enterprises and national research centers, strengthening the patent protection system to foster investment and technology transfer of inventions from the world of research centers.
For trademarks and designations of origin, the Proposal is designed to strengthen the protection of Italian and European geographical indications and designations of origin. This will make the food industry more competitive—of great interest for Italian products—by extending the trademark registration prohibition to cover all signs that are evocative or imitative of geographical indications and designations of origin protected under Italian or European law.
In addition, to avoid “pre-disclosure,” the Proposal introduces temporary protection of Italian designs exhibited at trade fairs or other official exhibitions under certain conditions.
The second chapter is mainly devoted to the simplification and digitization of certain activities before the Italian Patent and Trademark Office.
Finally, the third chapter is devoted to coordination provisions.
The Proposal will now go through the ordinary legislative procedure before the Italian Parliament.