Italy’s Ministry for Economic Development has launched a wide-ranging package of measures and subsidies to support the development and competitiveness of Italian enterprise, in line with the development directions drawn by the EU and by the current Monti government, which has been insistent on the value of innovation and protecting industrial property in combating the economic crisis.

One of these initiatives is the recent publication of a notice in the Official Gazette, which is intended to spur micro-enterprises and SMEs to register COMMUNITY and INTERNATIONAL MARKS with subsidies.

Among the expenses that can be applied for, the following are of particular interest:
a. Design of the new mark (wording and graphic design);
b. Prior art searches and assistance with filing, in order to check for the existence of identical marks and/or of similar marks which could come into conflict with the mark that is intended to be registered;
c. Assistance with purchasing a mark which is filed or registered in Italy;
d. Assistance with granting a license for the mark;
e. Filing fees.

Unsurprisingly, larger subsidies are available for companies wishing to extend their marks to China and Russia, which are well-known high risk countries for counterfeiting.

The amount of the subsidy can range from EUR € 4,000.00 to EUR € 6,000.00 for each trademark application filed and it can cover 80% or 90% of the allowable expenses sustained, depending on the countries designated for the registration. A company can submit more than one trademark registration application, and in this case there is a cap of EUR € 15,000.00 per company.

With this program of subsidies, the Italian government is once again turning its attention to industrial property and showing its clear intention to help Italian enterprise to be competitive on international markets.

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