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Securing Your Design: A Guide to Registration in Italy

By Paolo Garavelli, A.BRE.MAR. S.R.L.

 

Design registration is a crucial aspect of protecting intellectual property and ensuring that innovative designs are safeguarded against unauthorized use. In Italy, a country renowned for its rich cultural heritage and emphasis on design, securing design rights is particularly significant. Whether you are an individual designer, a small business, or a large corporation, understanding the process to register a design in Italy is essential to protect your creative assets.

Contents

 

1. What Can be Registered as a Design in Italy?

2. Reasons for Refusal of a Design Application in Italy

3. The Design Registration Process in Italy

4. Documents Required for Design Registration in Italy

5. Design Opposition Process in Italy

6. Design Costs in Italy

7. Why File a Design in Italy?

8. Conclusion

1. What Can be Registered as a Design in Italy?

 

In Italy, design registration protects the appearance of a product or part of it, resulting from its lines, contours, colors, shape, texture, materials, or its ornamentation. The design must be novel and possess individual character.

 

Novelty

 

For a design to be considered novel, it must not have been disclosed to the public before the date of the application or the priority date if priority is claimed. This means that the design should be new and not previously published or used in the market.

 

Individual Character

 

Individual character means that the overall impression the design produces on an informed user must differ from any design that has been made available to the public before the filing or priority date. The uniqueness and distinctiveness of the design play a crucial role in this aspect.

 

Products Eligible for Registration

 

Virtually any industrial or handicraft item can be registered as a design in Italy. This includes packaging, graphic symbols, typographic typefaces, and parts intended to be assembled into a complex product. However, there are exceptions, such as designs dictated solely by the product’s technical function and designs contrary to public order or morality.

2. Reasons for Refusal of a Design Application in Italy

 

While many designs can be registered, certain criteria must be met to ensure successful registration. The Italian Patent and Trademark Office (UIBM) can refuse a design application for several reasons:

 

Lack of Novelty and Individual Character

 

If a design is not new or lacks individual character, it will not qualify for registration. The design must be unique and distinguishable from existing designs.

 

Functional Designs

 

Designs that are dictated solely by their technical function cannot be registered. The design must have an aesthetic element that is not solely determined by the function of the product.

 

Public Order and Morality

 

Designs that are considered offensive, inappropriate, or contrary to public order and morality will be refused. This includes designs that may be deemed obscene or politically insensitive.

 

Prior Rights

 

If a design infringes on earlier intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, patents, or other registered designs, the application will be refused. It is essential to ensure that the design does not conflict with existing rights.

3. The Design Registration Process in Italy

 

The process to register a design in Italy involves several steps, from preparing the application to receiving the registration certificate. Here’s a detailed overview of the process:

 

Preparing the Application

 

The application must include representations of the design, which can be drawings, photographs, or other graphic representations showing the design from different angles. The application should clearly illustrate the features of the design that are intended to be protected. Also check how to register a patent in Italy.

 

Filing the Application

 

The application can be filed online through the UIBM’s online portal or by submitting the required forms in person or by mail. The application must include all necessary documentation, and the applicable fees must be paid at the time of filing.

 

Examination Process

 

Once the application is submitted, the UIBM conducts a formal examination to ensure that the application meets all formal requirements. This includes checking that the representations of the design are clear and that all required information is provided.

 

Publication and Registration

 

If the application passes the formal examination, the design is published in the Designs Bulletin, making it public. After publication, if no oppositions are filed within the specified period, the design is registered, and the certificate of registration is issued.

4. Documents Required for Design Registration in Italy

 

To register a design in Italy, several documents must be submitted along with the application form:

 

Representations of the Design

 

Detailed drawings, photographs, or other graphic representations of the design are required. These should clearly show all aspects of the design from different views.

 

Description of the Design

 

While not mandatory, a description can help clarify the features of the design that are intended to be protected.

 

Applicant Information

 

Details of the applicant, including name, address, and nationality, must be provided. If the applicant is a company, the company’s details should be included.

 

Power of Attorney

 

If the application is filed through an attorney, a power of attorney document must be included.

 

Priority Documents

 

If claiming priority from an earlier application filed in another country, certified copies of the priority documents must be submitted.

5. Design Opposition Process in Italy

 

After a design application is published, third parties have the right to oppose the registration. The opposition process involves several steps:

 

Filing an Opposition

 

Any interested party can file an opposition within three months of the publication date. The opposition must be based on valid grounds, such as lack of novelty, prior rights, or non-compliance with design eligibility criteria.

 

Examination of Opposition

 

The UIBM examines the opposition and reviews the arguments and evidence provided by both the opponent and the applicant. Both parties may be asked to provide additional information or clarification.

 

Decision

 

Based on the examination, the UIBM makes a decision to uphold or reject the opposition. If the opposition is upheld, the design registration may be refused or invalidated. If rejected, the design remains registered.

6. Design Costs in Italy

 

The costs associated with design registration in Italy include official fees and, if applicable, professional fees for legal assistance:

 

Professional fee€250
Government fee € 70
Government fee  for each additional design over the first up to 10€ 122

 

The design registration cost in Italy via the iPNOTE platform starts from as low as $350, which includes all government fees and document preparation. Find the best IP attorney in Italy on iPNOTE.

7. Why File a Design in Italy?

 

Filing a design in Italy offers several advantages:

 

Protection of Creative Assets

 

Registering a design provides legal protection against unauthorized use, reproduction, or imitation. This is particularly important in industries where design is a key competitive factor.

 

Market Exclusivity

 

A registered design grants the owner exclusive rights to use the design, preventing others from using it without permission. This can be a significant commercial advantage.

 

Enhanced Business Value

 

A registered design can enhance the value of a business by adding to its portfolio of intellectual property assets. This can be beneficial in attracting investors or partners.

 

Legal Enforcement

 

Having a registered design makes it easier to enforce rights in case of infringement. It provides a basis for legal action and potential compensation for damages.

8. Conclusion

 

The process to register a design in Italy is an essential step for protecting innovative designs and maintaining a competitive edge in the market. By understanding what can be registered, the reasons for refusal, the necessary documents, and the costs involved, designers and businesses can navigate the process effectively. Additionally, knowing the opposition process and the benefits of filing in Italy helps in making informed decisions. Whether for protection, market exclusivity, or enhancing business value, registering a design in Italy is a strategic move for any entity involved in creative industries.

 

***

 

Need any assistance with TM filing in Italy? Contact A.BRE.MAR. S.R.L. via iPNOTE now to get started. 

 

The iPNOTE platform features more than 800 IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system.

 

Conduct a free trademark search with our AI tool. 

 

Use our AI Assistant to register your design in Italy.

 

Sign up for free, and we’ll help you solve any IP-related problem.

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