Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Enterprising Italians shake up patent litigation

The Italian Supreme Court: we hope that it will
not be troubled by too many patent appeals ...
PatLit learns with interest that the new Italian business enterprise courts will be handling litigation of patent and trade mark matters. Legislative Decree 1/2012 on deregulation now provides for the transformation of the existing 12 courts which specialise in industrial property matters: instead, there will now be no fewer than 21 courts, which will maintain a broader focus on business matters.

Recent experience of specialist IP courts has been positive: improved efficiency has been brought about in the management of IP lawsuits, even though over the years the workload did not spread evenly across those courts: some, like Milan, Rome and Turin, have been processing thousands of lawsuits while others rarely receive any IP cases at all.  Legislative Decree 1/2012 therefore seeks to deliver a more balanced workload.

The new Courts will therefore hear cases on:
* matters pertaining to industrial property;  
* antitrust matters;  
* matters pertaining to contracts of EU relevance; 
* disputes between business corporations, co-operatives, groups.
In order to maintain the specialisation gained over the past years, the Courts of Milan and Rome have already created two subsections, one for IP matters and the other for company matters, which should ensure better quality judgments. This same arrangement may also be adopted by other Italian courts.

Source: Modiano & Partners

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