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Software-and-DatabaseSoftware can be protected by referring to Copyright Law (Law no. 633/1941), with particular regard to articles 64 bis to 64 quarter, since the law does not set forth any particular protection to be granted to such programs under IPC; nonetheless in some peculiar cases it could be recognized the patentability, provided that the soft- ware solves a technical issue.

In any case, even though the protection under Copyright Law arises automatically from the creation and no type of administrative fulfillment is needed, to furnish the author of an indisputable proof, a program already published can be registered in the Public Register of Software.
The copyright on the program has a duration equal to the author’s whole life plus 70 years after his/her death. In case of assignment of the economic rights, the duration will be calculated considering the life of the author independently from the buyer.
Database can be protected by referring to Italian Law on copyright as well pursuant to articles 64 quinquies and 64 sexies. Therefore, related rights of the author arise automatically on the creation and are not conditioned upon any formal requirement such as registration.
The exclusive right of the maker, who is not necessarily the author, shall come into being on the completion of the database, and shall expire 15 years from January 1 of the year following the date of the said completion.


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
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.

Designs-and-ModelsThe design or model protection has a crucial relevance in respect of a wide range of products in industry, fashion and handicraft.Italian application for the registration of designs (bi-dimensional) and models (three-dimensional) is filed by the author, unless designs or models are created by employees and to the extent that the task is included among their duties; in such case, the employer, without prejudice to the employee’s right to be acknowledged as the author and to have his name entered in the certificate of registration (article 38 of IPC), can obtain the registration.

Registrations as designs and models may be granted to the appearance of the whole or a part of the product, resulting in particular from the features of the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of the product or its ornamentation. The registration certificate is issued under the following conditions: (i) novelty – article 32 of IPC, (ii) individual character – article 33 of IPC, (iii) lawfulness – article 33 bis of IPC.
The duration of the registration is equal to five years starting from the date of the filing of the application, no- netheless the owner may obtain an extension of the duration for additional periods of five years until a maximum of twenty-five years.
The application to obtain a registered model or design can be filed to any Italian Chamber of Commerce or, al- ternatively, to the Italian Office for Patents and Trademarks.
The European application can be filed to EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) and grants the applicant the faculty to exercise exclusive rights within the territory of all EU Member States. Conditions for re- gistration are the same provided under the national law.


Copia-di-Ip-regulationThrough the protection granted by the registered trademark, the manufacturer, the distributor or the retailer can distinguish their products or services from those of all other traders, consequently increasing commercial re- putation, trustworthiness by the consumers and economic value of the firm.

In fact, the protection arising from the registration procedure prevents all third parties in the relevant territory from using in the course of the trade the same sign or a similar sign for equal or similar goods or services if, in case of mere similarity, there exists a likelihood of confusion by the consumers, including the likelihood of association.
Italian application can be submitted with reference to a limited geographic area and a specific class of goods or services. With the exception of some restrictions pursuant to article 7 of IPC, fall under the trademark regu- lation all signs that are susceptible of being graphically represented, with particular regard to words, including names of persons, drawings, letters, numbers, sounds, the shape of the product or the packaging design thereof, chromatic combinations or tonalities, provided they are suitable to be used in order to distinguish goods or ser- vices of a company from goods or services of other companies. In order to register a trademark, the following requirements shall be met: (i) novelty – article 12 of IPC, (ii) distinctive character – article 13 of IPC, (iii) law- fulness – article 14 of IPC.
Peculiar categories of trademarks are:
• Shape trademark: is a three-dimensional trademark corresponding to the product shape, provided that such shape meets the requirements of distinctiveness and unobjectionable content (unless, ac- cording to article 9 of IPC, the shape is the one resulting from the nature of the goods considered or if the shape is that necessary to obtain a technical result or if it gives substantial value to the goods to which refers);
• Collective trademark: according to article 11 of IPC, persons whose function is to guarantee the origin, the nature or the quality of certain products or services may obtain the registration of collective tra- demarks and have the right of allowing the use of such trademarks to producers or traders.
Trademark registration applications can be submitted to the Italian Office of Patents and Trademarks. Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi
EU application grants the claimant the possibility to gain the protection arising from the EU trade mark, which


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