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Patents

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PATENTSPatent provides the owner with a legal mean to prevent others from exploiting the protected invention. There- fore, patent is a very important commercial tool for companies, allowing them to return on the investment in research and development that led to the creation of that new technology.

Actually, patents represent a potential way to protect intangible assets’ value, though the decision to file the application for an invention is a strategic choice which deserves to be carefully evaluated, since a patent may be difficult and expensive to obtain and to manage later on.
Italian application can be submitted by the author of the invention, nonetheless when an industrial invention is made in the performance or fulfillment of a contract or of an employment relationship (under which the inventive activity is contemplated and remunerated), the rights related to the invention activity belong to the employer (i.e. property rights – article 62 of IPC), without prejudice to the right for the inventor to be acknowledged as the author (i.e. moral rights – article 63 of IPC).
According to article 45 of IPC, patents may be granted for inventions in all technical sectors which (i) are new,
(ii) imply an inventive activity, (iii) are suitable for industrial application and (iv) are lawful. Pursuant to article 82 of ICP utility models, conferring particular effectiveness or ease of application or use of machinery or parts thereof, instruments, tools or objects of general use, are patentable as well.
The duration of a patent for an industrial invention is equal to twenty years as from the date of the filing of the application and may not be renewed nor extended (article 60 of IPC).
Patents applications can be filed to the Italian Office for Patents and Trademarks. Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi www.uibm.gov.it
The European Patent (regulated by the 16th Edition, June 2016 of the EPO Convention) is a special form of pro- tection for industrial inventions or utility models which enables the applicant to obtain a patent valid within the territory of the specifically elected European Patent Organization Member States through a unified and centra- lized procedure of filing, examination and granting. A European patent shall confer on its proprietor from the date on which the mention of its grant is published in the European Patent Bulletin, in each Contracting State in respect of which it is granted, the same rights as would be conferred by a national patent granted in that State.
The application shall be filed to the EPO (European Patent Office) in one of its official languages (English, French or German) www.epo.org
The European Unitary Patent (regulated by Reg. (UE) 1257/2012) system will be in force starting from the se- cond half of 2018 together with the Unitary Court. Such unitary patent, issued by EPO, will offer owner a pro- tection for up to 26 EU participating Member States through a sole application at the European Office and the payment of a comprehensive fee.

 

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