Can a foreign citizen patent something in Italy?
A lot of work is currently being done at International level, to achieve harmonization of the regulations and to allow an equal treatment between the citizens of different countries. In most cases this objective is reached on the basis of the “reciprocal principle”, which means that a country will grant certain privileges to the foreigner, as long as the foreigner’s country guarantees the same to the citizen; or specific agreements are signed between various countries in order to create a co-operation facilitating transactions of any kind. And so, in the seventies, the Convention of the Paris Union established an equal treatment between the citizens of countries that were part of this Union; this was also extended to the non-citizens who have the residence or a fixed address in a country of the Union.
But there is more. The Industrial Property Code, going above what is provided for in the International conventions, states with the Art. 3, “to the citizens of each country belonging to the Paris Convention, Stockholm text, i.e. Worldwide Organization of Commerce and to the citizens of countries not being part of the above-mentioned Conventions, it is agreed, for the topics mentioned in the rule, the same treatment conceded to the Italian citizens”, regardless of the reciprocal principle and the existence of any International agreements. Therefore, a foreigner can patent his invention in Italy without going to his country.