Intellectual Property is a set of legal rights that protect the creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, names, images and designs.
Intellectual property is divided into two categories:
- Industrial Property: includes inventions (patents), utility models, trademarks, designs and industrial models (designs);
- Copyright: includes literary and artistic creations, and software.
For more information on patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property rights, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the 1970s, the value of companies was strongly related to tangible assets (e.g. production plants, machinery, factories, etc.) which represented more than 80% of corporate value, while intangible assets only accounted for the remaining 20%.
Today that ratio has been reversed. A company’s intangible assets, such as trademarks, patents, copyright, employee know-how and relationships with partners, customers and suppliers represent more than 80% of a company’s market value.
Just as in the 1970s it would have been unwise for a company not to adequately protect its tangible assets, today it is equally unwise not to adequately protect a company’s main assets: its Intellectual Property.
For more information on how to protect your company’s intangible assets, please contact us at: email@example.com
An invention is a new and innovative solution to a technical problem. It can, therefore, be a completely new product, system, method, or process which improves an existing one.
To find out if your invention is patentable, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patentable inventions may consist of:
• new products;
• new processes or methods for manufacturing new or existing products;
• new uses of existing products;
These inventions can be protected in Italy with two types of patents:
• utility model
A patent is the most widespread form of protection for an invention, and, in most countries, it is also the only possible option.
For further details on how to protect your invention, please contact us at: email@example.com
A patent is a legal right that gives the owner an exclusive right to exploit an invention, in a specific territory, and for a specific period (20 years).
Being an exclusive right, it allows the patent holder to prevent others from producing, selling, or using the patented invention without the authorization; this authorization is commonly called a license.
Therefore, patenting an innovative idea has a potentially high value that can be exploited on the market, making the company more competitive or allowing it to exclusively launch an innovative product or service.
For more information on the advantages and costs of patenting, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A utility model is traditionally used to protect minor enhancements to existing products in order to improve their effectiveness or ease of application.
A utility model differs from a patent in that it has a shorter term of protection. This depends on the country, for example, in Italy it has a duration of 5 years from the filing date, extendible for a 5-year period for a maximum of 10 years; in addition, it only protects new products and not new processes or methods.
To understand how to protect your invention, contact us at: email@example.com
A patent gives the owner an exclusive right to exploit an invention, preventing others from producing, selling, or using the invention without his authorization (license).
A patent can transform an invention with a high market value into an exclusive right which allows the owner to exploit it, in a specific territory and for a specific period of time (20 years), and gain a competitive advantage over his competitors.
For more information on the advantages and costs of patenting, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Not all inventions are patentable, but only those which represent a new and original solution to a technical problem.
In order to be patentable, an invention must, therefore, meet 3 fundamental requirements:
• Novelty – The invention must be new
• Inventiveness – The invention must not be obvious to an experienced person in that sector
• Industrial application
To find out if your invention meets the patentability requirements, please contact us at: email@example.com
To guarantee the novelty requirement, it is important to maintain strict confidentiality on the invention and not to disclose in any form the innovative idea (by word of mouth, in writing, via the internet or social networks, at conferences or fairs, etc.) before having filed the patent application.
If it is (absolutely) necessary to disclose some information to third parties before having filed the patent application (for example, the demonstration of an innovative prototype to investors), it is fundamental to sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent them from disclosing any details in an unauthorized manner.
An exception is represented of course by IP consultants registered before the Patent and Trademark Offices who, as such, are bound by law to professional secrecy.
To avoid any mistakes that could make the invention no longer patentable, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A patent is a legal document that contains a Title, a Summary, a Description, Claims, and Drawings.
The drafting of a patent is therefore a fundamental activity in order to determine the scope of the invention; a poorly written patent can in fact affect the market value of the invention or not lead to the granting of the patent, hindering the effort of the inventive activity.
For this reason, it is advisable to rely on a patent attorney who, being registered before the National and European Patent and Trademark Offices, will ensure your invention is protected complete and efficient manner, from the filing to the granting of the right at both a national and international level.
Our IP Consultants are available to help you protect your invention in the most appropriate way. For more information or to request a quote, please contact us at: email@example.com
The claims define the technical characteristics of the invention for which patent protection is sought; they define the limits of the protection, be it a method, an apparatus or a system, and are the elements that are normally used to determine possible patent infringement.
The claims are of interest for:
• the owner of the patent, who aspires to include in its exclusivity everything that in some way can be obtained from his patent application;
• third parties, who need to understand the boundaries of others’ patents, in order not to be accused of patent infringement.
Once the patent is granted, the claims cannot be changed. They must, therefore, not only protect the invention according to the current state of the art but also foresee any future developments, since during the life of the patent (20 years) competitors will try to design around it using new technologies and know-how.
For this reason, it is essential, when drafting a patent application, to contact a qualified IP Consultant who knows how to protect the invention by formulating the right claims.
Our IP Consultants would be pleased to help you in protecting your invention in the best possible way. For more information or to request a quote, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Filing a patent is a complex procedure; it is in fact necessary to prepare a well-detailed report, which describes, even with the help of technical drawings, the invention and highlights the innovative features for which the exclusivity is required (the claims).
To file a patent it is, therefore, always advisable to contact an experienced IP Property Consultant who can work alongside the inventor in preparing all the necessary documentation in a complete and exhaustive way.
Should you need an expert opinion, please contact us email@example.com and one of our IP Consultants registered before the Italian and European Patent and Trademark Offices will contact you as soon as possible.
The cost of a patent is distributed over its entire life span (20 years) and depends on various factors such as the complexity of the invention, the number of claims and above all the territorial coverage (i.e. in which states you want to protection your invention).
In Italy, the initial costs of filing a patent, including professional fees, are limited to a few thousand euros. If foreign protection is required, these costs tend to increase depending on the number of countries in which the invention should be protected.
For a quote and to discuss the most suitable geographical protection strategy for your invention, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org One of our IP consultants registered before the Italian and European Patent and Trademark Office will contact you as soon as possible.
The extension of a patent abroad ensures the protection of your invention beyond national borders.
In fact, patent law is territorially limited. An Italian patent will, therefore, protect the invention only in Italy. To protect your invention outside the national border, it is necessary to file corresponding patent applications in all foreign States of interest for you such as:
- countries in which you operate;
- countries in which your competitors operate;
- countries where the invention is used both for production and for sale;
- countries with a high risk of counterfeiting;
- countries where there are opportunities to leverage the value of the patent (eg licensing).
To manage the prosecution process in different countries, it is advisable to rely on an IP Consultant registered before Patent and Trademark Offices, who through a trusted network of international partners are able to extend your patent all around the world.
If you need to extend a patent abroad, please contact us at: email@example.com. One of our IP consultants, registered before the Italian and European Patent and Trademark Office will contact you as soon as possible to identify the best strategy to protect your invention abroad.
There are three different ways of extending a patent abroad:
- Foreign national patent;
- European patent;
- International patent application
Within the next few years, an additional method of patent extension may also be represented by the European patent with unitary effect (the so-called Unitary Patent), currently under development by the European Patent Office (EPO).
Established by the Paris Convention, it is important to know that a first term, called “priority right”, to extend a patent abroad is set within 12 months from the filing of the national application.
According to this priority right, anyone who files a patent application has the right to file an identical application in another signatory country of the Paris Convention within a certain time frame without the risk that their own first application may be assessed as novelty-destroying in subsequent application procedures in other jurisdictions.
Consequently, the main effect of priority right is that, in terms of novelty, the filing date of the first application is considered to be the effective date for determining the state of the art of the subsequent applications within 12 months.
The right of priority allows the holder of a national patent application to have a year to plan the protection strategy of his invention abroad, without being forced to file simultaneously several foreign applications, facing a significant economic effort in one shot.
Our IP Consultants are available to help you to identify the best international protection strategy for your invention. For more information or to request a quote, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A trademark is a word, a slogan, a logo or an image, a graphic representation, or even a combination of these different options that covers a specific product and/or service and distinguishes it from all other products in the market belonging to other undertakings.
For more information on trademark protection, please contact us at: email@example.com
The rights deriving from a trademark registration give its owner the exclusive right to exploit it, preventing others without its consent from using identical or similar signs to the registered trademark for identical or similar products or services, if there is a likelihood of confusion between marks.
The rights conferred by the registration of a trademark are limited within the specific territory/ies in which it is registered and for the products and/or services for which it is registered, with the exception of marks enjoying reputation which may have wider protection.
For additional information on how to protect a trademark and the related costs, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are different types of trademarks:
- word marks: marks consisting exclusively of alpha-numeric characters, including fanciful words, which protect the recorded words regardless of its graphic representation;
- figurative marks: marks that are claimed exactly as graphically reproduced in the application form (in any case they also protected against similar marks, if there is a likelihood of confusion)
- complex marks: marks consisting of a mix of words and images
- 2D or 3D marks: marks consisting of the shape of the products and/or packaging;
- unconventional marks: in recent years, alongside the “traditional” trademarks as verbal and figurative marks, “new” types of trademarks characterized by colors (color marks), perfume (smell marks) or sound (sound marks) are increasingly used by companies
- collective marks: see below.
To identify the type of trademark that best protects your product and/or service, please contact us at: email@example.com
A collective trademark is a distinctive sign that serves to distinguish products and/or services of more enterprises for example for their specific origin, nature, or quality.
The use of a collective trademark is governed by a regulation that may set penalties against non-compliant use of the collective trademark.
In Italy Legislative Decree, February 20, 2019 n. 15 introduced important changes to the discipline of collective trademark, now divided into collective mark and certification mark. In particular, by December 31, 2020 the owners of a collective trademark, registered on the basis of the previous legislation, doesn’t matter the expiring date of the title, should inform the Italian Patent and Trademark Office, under penalty of forfeiture of the trademark, if they intend to opt for its classification as a collective mark as specified in the new discipline, or as a certification mark.
For more information on the new legislation relating to the collective and certification marks, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Depending on their level of distinctiveness, we can distinguish between strong trademarks and weak trademarks.
A trademark is generally considered strong if conceptually distant from the product or service to which it refers. On the other hand, a descriptive trademark with a direct relationship with the product and/or service it distinguishes is considered weak.
To know if you are registering a strong or weak trademark, please contact us at: email@example.com
A trademark has a duration of 10 years from its filing date, renewable indefinitely for subsequent periods of 10 years. The trademark must be renewed within the last 12 months of its validity or in the 6 months following the expiry month, paying a late payment fee.
For more information on how to renew and maintain a trademark, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the challenges of internationalization and the growing spread of the Internet, a trademark must be protected beyond national borders.
According to commercial and competitive factors, you could decide to protect your trademark abroad in:
- countries in which the trademark owner operates;
- countries where competitors operate;
- countries where the trademark is used both for production and for sale;
- countries with a high risk of counterfeiting;
- countries where there are business opportunities such as trademark licensing, franchising or merchandising;
It is possible to protect your trademark abroad through 3 different protection procedures:
- foreign national trademark;
- EU trademark;
- international trademark.
To identify the best extension strategies of a trademark also according to its business application, please contact us at email@example.com
A non-distinctive sign (that, therefore, cannot be protected as a trademark) can become valid and registered due to its use and the communication activity, acquiring indeed the so-called “secondary meaning”. This phenomenon allows over time a descriptive and commonly used expression to take on a further meaning – a “secondary” meaning – endowed with the ability to distinguish that product and/or service with respect to other products on the market.
For more information on secondary meaning , please contact us at: write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A trademark shall be revoked for 3 reasons:
- a) – if it has become the common name in the trade for a product or service in respect of which it is registered;
- b) due to its becoming unlawful, in particular:
– if it can mislead the public, in particular as to the geographical origin, nature or quality of the goods or services it covers;
– if it has become contrary to the law, “order public” or accepted principles of public morality;
– in the case of the collective or certification mark, for the failure by the owner to adopt measures that are reasonably suitable to prevent use that does not comply with the conditions of the trademark use regulation.
- c) due to non-use – a trademark must be actually used by the owner or with his consent, for the goods and services in respect of which it is registered, within five years following registration, and such use must not be discontinued for a continuous period of five years.
The revocation can be total or only partial. If, in fact, the reasons for revocation of a trademark exist only for a part of the products and/or services for which the trademark is registered, the revocation concerns only that part of the products and/or services.
For more information on the risk of revocation of a trademark, please contact us at email@example.com
Infringement occurs when identical or similar trademarks to the registered one, or to the trademark application, are used without authorization by third parties on identical and/or similar products. subtracting market shares to the trademark owner.
For more information on how to protect a trademark against infringement, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This FAQ provides some preliminary information on the protection of patents, trademarks and other IP rights. It does not constitute a professional or legal opinion and for specific advice it is always necessary to contact a duly qualified professional. For more information: email@example.com