In Italy, inventions of every sector of the art can be protected by filing a patent application, provided they meet the novelty requirements, entail the inventive step and are suitable for industrial application.
The restrictions on access to protection are limited to the cases listed in Article 45 of the Italian Industrial Property Code, in particular relating to scientific discoveries and theories, mathematical methods, computer programs, presentation of information, methods for surgical or therapeutic treatment, plant varieties.
The Industrial Property Code also allows to protect a technical finding through:
- the Industrial Invention Patent aimed at protecting both products (such as for example objects, instruments, machines, equipment, chemicals, etc.) and processes (such as industrial production processes, industrial processes, methods for operating equipment, methods for using a substance, etc.);
- the Utility Model Patent aimed at solely protecting physical products (such as for example objects, instruments, machines, equipment, chemicals, etc.).
For a patent to be granted in Italy, a patent application must be filed before the Italian Patent and Trademarks Office (UIBM), which subsequently verifies whether the patentability requirements have been met and decides whether or not to grant the patent.
Prior to filing an Italian patent application, it is advisable to conduct a priority search aimed at verifying whether such patentability requirements have been met.
Once granted, the Italian Patent confers on the proprietor thereof the exclusive right to implement the invention and to profit from in Italy and San Marino. Besides, the patent can also be recognised in Vatican City.