Since 18 May 2015 it has been mandatory to file applications for patents for industrial inventions, utility models, designs, company trademarks, and Italian portions of granted European patents using only the new centralized portal set up by the Italian Patent and Trademark Office (IPTO). It is therefore no longer possible to file such applications on the telematic platform used up to now. If they are filed with the Chambers of Commerce, acting as branch offices of the IPTO, then the Chambers of Commerce will submit the applications using the new, centralized portal.

For the first few days of using the new filing system – as was to be expected – there have been some teething difficulties, and a number of areas need to be improved or changed. The IPTO, in any case, is in continual contact with firms working in the sector and despite the short period that has elapsed since the new procedure was rolled out, many problems have already been resolved and the new system is now even more usable and reliable.

So the concerns and doubts expressed when work began on this sudden and complex change may have been exaggerated: the new system has been successfully launched and is now online, and it is undoubtedly true that, after a necessary period of trialling and fine-tuning, this portal will represent a further and considerable step forward in the protection of intellectual property in Italy.

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