The design and models rule is written in the Property Industrial Code. The new law states that the object of design registration may be the feature of the entire product or part of it, as long as it is new and particular, whilst the aesthetic value is no longer required.
Only a single application is needed to ask for registration of no more than 100 designs or models, on condition that they are part of or related to items belonging to the same class of the International classification of designs and models, included in the agreement of Locarno of the 8th October 1968. It will not be accepted applying for multiple registrations, i.e. a single registration for several designs. If the application is not acceptable, the Italian Patents and Trademarks Office will ask the applicant to limit his application to the allowable part. The application can be filed in any Chamber of Commerce who will give a copy of the front-page showing the date and number of filing, this also has a serial number such as: MI98O000001, where the “MI” indicates the province where the patent has been filed (MI stands for Milan, but it could be BO for Bologna, RM for Rome, and so on), “98” indicates the filing year, “O” is for the type of registration which, at the moment, always carries the first letter of the word “ornamental”, and lastly “000001” is the progressive number of the application filing. It is also possible to file International, Community designs or in individual foreign countries, but these are complicated procedures for which it is advisable to seek professional advice from the experts in the field.
The maximum duration of protection granted by a design or model registration has increased from 15 years to 25 years, divided in periods of five years. Before the expiry of each period the applicant must apply for renewal at the relevant Chamber of Commerce office, in order to be protected for the following 5 years.
The deposit in other countries
It is also possible filing models or international designs, community, or in single foreign countries, but these are very complex procedures; therefore it is recommendable to contact an expert in the field.