After one week from the initial term for submitting the respective applications (November 2, 2011), incentives are still available for the filing and exploitation of intellectual property rights.

Despite the huge interest sparked by the two announcements at the time of their publication, also considering the remarkable amount of funds allocated (45 million Euros), the requirements for acceding to the incentives are rather strict and need to be carefully evaluated by the applicants.

With respect to the first initiative that provides for monetary awards for the filing of Italian patent applications and their extension abroad, for example, it is necessary to check not only that the filing date of the patent is subsequent to the dates set by the announcement (January 1, 2011, or for PCT applications January 1, 2010), but also that the following prosecution steps required for demonstrating the status of the application – and thus the issuance of the EPO search report on Italian applications or the payment of the examination fee for EPO and PCT applications – were carried our after the dated of the publication of the announcements (August 3, 2011), but before the submission of the admittance application.

Neither the admission to the second initiative relating to the exploitation of patents is that smooth. The Italian Patent Office (PTO) has clarified that the granted patents which may entitle to apply for an investment grant are only Italian national patents (including utility models). Furthermore, the PTO has specified that also for this initiative EPO and PCT pending applications will be taken into consideration only if claiming an Italian priority.

In the next few days the PTO should issue a communication notifying the number of applications received and the funds still available.

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