ITALY: new urgent provisions due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation

Following our article here, the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic has published the legislative decree introducing urgent measures aimed at dealing with the health and economic consequences of the Covid-19 emergency.

The Legislative Decree ("Cura Italia" decree) has implemented, among others, the following provisions having impact on IP rights/proceedings:

  • suspension for the period between 23 February 2020 and 15 April 2020 of all terms (pending on 23 February 2020 or started after that date) relating to administrative proceedings, at the request of a party or ex officio;

  • certificates, permits, concessions, authorizations and qualifications (however called), expiring between 31 January and 15 April 2020, will remain valid until 15 June 2020;

  • proceedings before the IPTO: the Legislative Decree increases the extent of the suspension measures already laid down by the Directorial Decree of 11 March 2020, as it extends the relevant period to all terms falling between 23 February 2020 and 15 April 2020, and also because it applies to all terms of the opposition proceedings (even to those excluded by the Directorial Decree);

  • proceedings before the Board of Appeal: the suspension does not apply to the terms relating to appeals before the Board of Appeal, as they refer to judicial and non-administrative proceedings;

  • maintenance or renewal of industrial property rights: industrial property rights expiring between 31 January and 15 April will remain valid until 15 June 2020. After that the owners of the expiring rights have to actively apply to achieve its maintenance or renewal.

We will keep you updated on any further measures or provisions related to the COVID-19 emergency involving IP rights.

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