Italy applying extension of annuity and renewal terms, courts of law back to normal
Italy is still applying an extension of the validity of intellectual property rights in answer to the Covid-19 emergency, while the suspension of terms in proceedings before the Italian Patent and Trademark Office has not been further extended and the activity of courts of law is back to normal.
Annuities and renewals
The validity of trademark, design, patent, utility model and plant variety rights expiring between 31 January and 31 July 2020 is extended until 29 October 2020. Therefore annuity payments and/or requests for renewals concerning the above rights that, where due for renewal, would expire during the period between 31 January and 31 July 2020, must be finalised by 29 October 2020.
The Italian Patent and Trademark Office (IPTO) has specified that all intellectual property rights expiring between 1 January and 31 July 2020, which is currently the official end date of the state of emergency in Italy, will be renewable without late payment surcharge until 31 October 2020, and until 30 April 2021 with late payment surcharge.
The IPTO has also pointed out that no suspension will apply to priority dates, which cannot be subject to suspension.
Suspension of terms
A suspension of terms in proceedings before the Italian Patent and Trademark Office is applicable to terms falling in the period between 23 March and 15 May 2020 (see details here); no further extension of the above period is expected.
Please be aware that understanding the applicability of state of emergency rules is not always straightforward; we therefore recommend that confirmation be requested concerning the application of the above provisions to each specific case.
Courts of law
The suspension of all judicial activities in Italian courts due to the Covid-19 emergency ended on 11 May 2020 and has not been extended. Italian courts have now fully resumed normal activity, although in some cases hearings by videoconference will be still possible.
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