Is a european patent valid in Italy?
Even though in theory it is possible to legally act against a counterfeiter on the basis of a European patent, various aspects need to be considered. First of all, Italy must be amongst the designated countries where the European patent will be valid.
Contrary to what is believed, the European patent, at the moment, is not a unique title valid in all the Community, but a kind of bundle of patents acting like a national patent for every country designated at the time of filing it. Supposing this is what we have done, it is worth remembering that, in order to activate an application for a European patent, two requisites are necessary. First of all it needs to be published, as it is only from that moment that it can be opposed, this normally happens within 18 months from filing the application.
But this is not enough, in order to activate a judgment in Italy, the claims, in Italian, must be published through the Italian Patents and Trademarks Office, therefore they must be filed at the Minister’s Office.
Having done this, the European patent application has the same effects of an Italian patent application; the holder then can take action against any infringement, either by requesting damage compensation or by asking a safeguarding procedure for preventing others producing the patented item, therefore forcing the ceasing of any production until such time when a decision will be made, through an examination, if the holder’s reasons are justified.