A direct route to the Italian national phase will be available for international patent applications filed as from 1 July 2020.
International patent applications filed as from 1 July 2020 will have direct access to the Italian national phase with no need to start a European phase.
A Decree issued on 13 november 2019 by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, and published on 3 December 2019 in the Italian Official Journal, has implemented the provision of Law Decree 34/2019 which amended the Italian Industrial Property Code in order to open a direct route from an international PCT application to an Italian patent (see news item).
The main points of the implementing decree are as follows:
- The Italian phase of a PCT application is admitted only in connection with PCT applications filed as of 1 July 2020 which designate Italy independently from the designation of the EPO.
- In order to enter the Italian national phase, the applicant should file with the IPTO a request enclosing the specification, claims, summary and drawings, if any, of the international application, translated into Italian. The request must be filed within the non-extendable term of 30 months from the international application date. Any subsequent documents regarding said application, including possible amendments to the claims, should also be enclosed.
- Late filing is permitted of the documents accompanying the national phase request within the term of 2 months from the filing of the request.
- It is possible to postpone the above 30-month term for the filing of the request to open the Italian national phase by 2 months under the “further processing” procedure, provided an additional fee is paid.
- The examination of the PCT application will be carried out under the provisions set forth for the examination of national patent applications.