There are several available options for the enforcement of intellectual property rights in Italy.
Only lawyers (members of Italian Bars) can represent parties before Italian courts. Patent and trademark attorneys cannot represent clients before Italian courts but they can appear as ex parte experts.
Since virtually all basic principles of intellectual property law have been harmonised throughout the European Union, Italian courts must of course take into consideration decisions rendered by the Court of Justice of the European Union, but may also be attentive to the reasoning of foreign courts that have issued decisions in similar cases. Foreign case law may also provide useful arguments, if suitably presented.
Infringement and invalidity actions can take place simultaneously. As a matter of fact it is quite usual for a defendant in an infringement action to counterclaim the invalidity of the allegedly infringed intellectual property right as part of the same proceedings. Likewise, where a declaratory judgment for non infringement of a right is sought, the right holder may counterclaim infringement of the right. Each party bears the burden of proving the alleged invalidity or infringement, and may submit any kind of evidence.
Business law sections exist in the courts and courts of appeal of Turin, Milan, Venice, Trieste, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Bari, Catania and Palermo. The experience of such Business law sections is considerable due to the fact that they have exclusive jurisdiction on civil litigation concerning intellectual property.