The patented broccoli and the institutional mess

The “Broccoli war“, on which we have already discussed earlier (see here), has been enhanced with a new chapter: the European Commission in its Communication 2016/C 411/03 has taken a position on the conflict that developed in recent months between Parliament Europe and the European Patent Office (“EPO”) on the delicate issue of the patentability of products produced through essentially biological methods. The contrast has developed around some decisions taken by the European Patent Office that, as of March 2015, has declared patentable products (including the now well-known broccoli) obtained through essentially biological processes. According… Continue reading

Inventions, patents’ claims and patents’ identity

The Supreme Court (decision no. 10335 of May 19, 2016) has ruled on the following matter: can two patents refer to the same invention, despite the fact that the relevant claims are different? The case In the case examined, Company (A) holds two patents: an Italian patent, and the fraction of a European patent valid in Italy. Company (B), summoned by Company (A) for infringement of the aforementioned patents, disputed that the plaintiff’  Italian patent is coincident with the fraction of the European patent and, as such, should be revoked in accordance with art. 59 of IP Code (“IPC”).… Continue reading

New European Trademark Regulation: what is new?

New Regulation on the European trademark (Reg. (EU) 2015/2424) come into force on  March 23th 2016, amending the previous regulation (Reg. (EC) n. 207/2009), with the aim to modernize the trademark legislation, in line with the latest technological developments. Numerous innovations have been introduced by the new Regulation, intended to have a significant impact on both existing trademarks and on those of next recording. Olfactory marks and sound marks can now be registered Legal requirements for the registration of the trade mark have been modified: under the previous version of Article 4 of the European Trademark Regulation, a sign… Continue reading

Farmaci, concorrenza ed equivalenza terapeutica

Il Consiglio di Stato interviene con un’articolata pronuncia (n. 1306 del 1 Aprile 2016) incentrata sulla nozione di “equivalenza terapeutica” tra farmaci, nozione che, come precisato dal giudice amministrativo, è concettualmente e giuridicamente distinta da quella di “farmaco equivalente” e di “farmaco biosimilare”. L’origine della nozione di “equivalenza terapeutica” La nozione legale di “equivalenza terapeutica” è nata in seguito ad una segnalazione (AS440 del 27/12/2007) dell’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato in materia di gare pubbliche per la fornitura di specialità medicinali. L’AGCM ha rilevato che non è corretto indire gare pubbliche “a pacchetto” per la fornitura di… Continue reading

The Broccoli’ war turns on the conflict between EPO and European Parliament

The European Parliament has not digested the decision by which the European Patent Office ruled about the patentability of certain vegetables with specific characteristics (in this case, tomatoes and broccoli), obtained by conventional breeding techniques. Parliament has thus approved by a large majority (413 votes in favor and 86 votes against) a resolution which called on the European Commission to intervene urgently to clarify the actual scope of European legislation on biotechnological inventions. Background Few months we had already discussed on this blog ago about this topic: by the Decision issued on 25 March 2015 in proceedings G2/12 (tomatoes) and… Continue reading

The invention of the employee and the compensation due

With a recent ruling (no. 12048 of 28 October 2015) the Court of Milan pointed out some principles in relation to the issue of “fair compensation”, i.e. the remuneration payable to the employee of the company that has carried out an invention during is normal working activity. When the employee is entitled to ask for a “fair compensation” In the case examined by the Court of Milan, the invention was developed by an employee of an Italian company and was subsequently patented by a foreign subsidiary, to which the Italian company had assigned the rights to the invention. According to… Continue reading

Early clarification in the field of start-ups and innovative SMEs

On October 29th, the Ministry of Economic Development has published two opinions in response to questions raised in relation to the rules governing Start-ups and innovative SMEs. These are the first clarifications issued by the Ministery in relation to the practical implementations of such legal provisions. The context Start-ups and SMEs that invest in research and development activities and use industrial property can, under certain conditions provided by the law, obtain the title of “innovative companies”, and thus haveing access to a range of benefits and incentives, in the tax area and beyond. The requirements and benefits that are provided… Continue reading

More patents, less taxes

The tax incentive provided by the so called “Patent Box” become now operational: on October 20th the inter-ministerial Decree of 30 July 2015 was finally published in the Italian Official Journal. The Decree includes the provisions that allow the undertakings concerned to exercise the option to make use of the tax benefits. This entails a substantial tax reduction (30% in 2015, to 40% in 2016 and 50% in 2017) of a share of income accruing to the undertakings through the exploitation of intellectual property rights: patents (including biotechnological inventions, supplementary protection certificates, patents for utility models and… Continue reading

“Patents + 2”: new government grants to increase patents’ value

Starting from 6 October it is possible to apply for government grants to the Ministry of Economic Development as part of the initiative called “PATENTS + 2” . These are grants, up to a maximum of € 140,000, given to Italian micro, small and medium enterprises, to finance specialized services serve the economic value of the patent (industrialization and engineering services, organization and development or legal support technology transfer). They may be required by any company falling in one of the following category: 1) il the holder or licensee of a patent issued after 01/01/2013; 2) is the holder of… Continue reading