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In more detail: Copyrights
in more detail: copyrights


This protects IP (Intellectual Property) from the fields of literature, the figurative arts, music, film-making, theatre and architecture, no matter how or with which media it expressed.
This form of protection also applies to computer software but not the ideas and principles on which any element of a program is based.

The aforesaid IP can be protected if it meets the creativity requirement. What this requirement basically amounts to is the need for the property in question to be both new and original. In actual fact, the creativity of the property means it is something which did not exist before (hence the novelty) and that its author has applied an intellectual process to produce it (hence the originality).

The owner is the author/creator (and, any co-authors/creators there may be) of the IP and ownership is acquired at the time the property in question is created.
The term ‘author/creator’ refers to the person stated as such in all forms of use of the property. As far as the name goes, this can be a penname, a stage name or even simply initials, but in this case they must be widely recognised as corresponding to the author/creator's real name.
In the event that the property in question is governed by a labour agreement by which the author/creator of the property is employed, the owner is fully entitled to the moral rights (which are not transmissible and have an indefinite term) while the property rights (i.e. the rights concerning the economic use of the property) are due, in whole or in part, to the employer: this is the case, for example, with computer programs and databases, which either by choice or due to the way the material they contain is arranged, “constitute the author’s intellectual creation”, and it is also true of industrial design property.
Legislation, however, provides for certain IP categories governed by specific regulations, in particular for property rights linked to the use of the property in question. The aforesaid property categories comprise: a) Dramatic and musical works, musical compositions with lyrics, choreographic and pantomime works b) Collective works, magazines, newspapers, c) Cinematographic works, d) Radio broadcasts e) Works registered concerning mechanical appliances f) Computer programs, g) Databases.

The term of the property rights is the creator’s life plus 70 years after his/her death.
In the event that the property is that of an anonymous creator or a pseudonym is used (unless the pseudonym is so well known that it is deemed tantamount to the real name), the term of the property rights is seventy years, as of the publication date of the work in question, regardless of the form in which it is published. With regards to the term of the property rights in the case of anonymous works or when a pseudonym is used, it should be noted that the normal term of the creator’s life plus seventy years can also apply but only in the event that the creator’s real name is disclosed within seventy years of the publication date or it is disclosed by persons authorised to do so by the creator or the creator’s relatives in compliance with the relevant provisions of the law.

- There is a general public register of all works protected by copyright in the Office of the President of the Council of Ministers.
- There is a special public register kept by the S.I.A.E. (Italian Authors/Editors Society) for cinematographic works.
- There is a special public register kept the S.I.A.E. for computer programs (software).

IP can be registered, as mentioned earlier, in the Office of the President of the Council of Ministers but failure to register in this way does not prejudice the acquisition and wielding of copyrights.
As far as registration of computer programs is concerned, the same Law considers it optional. Its registration with the S.I.A.E. is private and facultative and the effect of this registration is that it pre-establishes, until proved otherwise, proof of existence of the work on the date of registration.

These can also be protected by copyright with a term (Law n. 293, dated 12th December 2002) of twenty-five years, as of the date of the creator’s death.
Please note, however, that the combined protection offered in compliance with the Designs and Models legislation and that of copyright regulations, can only be applied in the case of “design” works which have both creative and artistic value at the same time (for more on this matter, see the section on “Registered Designs and Models”).
Current legislation includes an important provisional regulation, according to which the body of legislation on copyright applied to designs/models (design works) which were created before the body of legislation protecting them with copyright cannot be applied for the term of ten years, as of 19th April 2001, for all those who have produced or commercialised the work before the said date.


Si intendono protette tutte le nuove varietà a qualsiasi genere e specie esse appartengano.All new varieties, whatever type or species they belong to, are protected.

To make use of this kind of protection (which is now no longer considered a patent), the vegetal variety must meet the following series of requirements: novelty, homogeneity, distinction, stability.
The novelty requirement is not destroyed by commercialisation when it is effected by the creator or discoverer of the variety or by that person’s employer, in the following cases:
- in the year prior to the application being filed, if in Italy;
- in the four years prior to the application being filed, if abroad;
- in the six years prior to the application being filed in the case of trees and vines.

A vegetal variety is considered homogeneous if its major features are sufficiently uniform.
A vegetal variety is considered distinctive when it is clearly distinguishable from any other well-known vegetal variety.
A vegetal variety is considered stable when its major features remain unchanged in subsequent reproduction or multiplication processes or at the end of each reproductive cycle.

The term is twenty years, as of the grant date, and becomes thirty years, also as of the grant date, in the event that the vegetal variety is constituted of trees and vines.

All new varieties are protected, regardless of the type or species they belong to. This is a kind of exclusive protection which has effect in the same way throughout the entire European Community; its grant, transfer and termination apply equally throughout the said territory.
The term of the community protection is twenty-five years, or thirty in the case of trees and vines. The maximum extension possible is a further five years and a resolution must be passed by the European Union Council for this to be obtained.
This exclusive protection cannot be combined with the Italian protection and Community Regulations leave each member state the power to grant national exclusive protection of this kind.


These are also referred to as “chips”, i.e. products which are defined as consistent in a set of materials comprising a layer of semiconductive material, containing one or more layers of conductive, insulating or semiconductive material, arranged according to a preset three-dimensional pattern and designed to perform an electronic function.

The exclusive protection offered for the goods in question is patent-like, although the term actually used is ‘registration’. The protection concerns solely the topography, since the production procedure relating to the chip and the software into which it is incorporated is excluded.

The protection lasts ten years, as of the end of year in which the product has been commercially exploited in whatever part of the world or as of the end of the year in which its registration application was filed. The date applicable is the earlier of the two.

These are:
- novelty, which is not destroyed by any prior disclosure that may have occurred in the two years preceding the registration application filing date;
- a sort of originality, as “a creative intellectual effort ” is required of the creator.