An Italian patent confers protection in the Italian territory, in the state of San Marino and can be recognized in the Vatican City.
The patent application can be filed with the Chambers of Commerce or at the Italian Patent and Trademark Office in Rome by any physical person or Italian or foreign legal entity.
Within 12 months from the filing date, the patent application can be extended to one of the member states of the Convention of Paris claiming priority of the first patent application and allowing the patent rights and assessment of the prior art in the foreign country to be calculated from the filing date of the Italian patent application.
The patent application is subjected to a search for validity, carried out by the European Patent Office on behalf of UIBM, and sent to the holder.
Subsequently, if the application has the requirements of the law, the patent is granted but the exclusive rights may be applied directly from the filing date; in Italy, in fact, the holder of a patent application can prevent the use of its patent by third parties, from the filing date, and the latter can be sued.
In Italy there is no provision of any opposition procedure for patents.
An Italian patent application has a maximum duration of 20 years except in cases where the object of the patent application relates to drugs or plant protection products which require certain administrative permits before entering the market; in these cases, the duration of the patent can be extended up to a maximum of five years by filing a Supplementary Protection Certificate.
As of the 5th year, the holder of the patent or any interested party must pay the annual maintenance fees in advance.
The patent must be implemented within three years from the date of granting or four years from the date of patent filing and the implementation should not be suspended for more than three years subject to the penalty of the granting of a compulsory license for non-exclusive use of the invention in favor of any interested party that should request it.
The patent can be exploited through licensing agreements, sales contracts or used as security right; furthermore, a customs supervision can be implemented right from the patent application, by filing an application for intervention at the customs office that will inform the patent holder of any transiting of suspected goods.