On March 9, the Implementing Regulation of the Italian Code of Industrial Property Rights was published. This Regulation has been eagerly awaited since 2005, since (among other changes) it finally provides the procedural rules concerning opposition procedures against the registration of Italian trade marks and international trade marks designating Italy.
The rules of the Italian opposition are almost entirely based on the Community trade mark system, but with some peculiarities.
The opposition procedure was formally introduced for the first time in the Code of Industrial Property Rights of 2005. Nonetheless, article 184 of the Code provided: “The provisions relating to the opposition proceeding shall enter into force by the subsequent decree of the Minister of Manufacturing Industry which will set out the ways in which those provisions shall apply”. Therefore, until now it was impossible to file an opposition in Italy due to the lack of implementing regulations.
Although the publication of the implementing regulations is a very welcomestep in the right direction, some more time will be needed before opposition procedures can be filed. The Code provides that an opposition may be filed within a period of three months “from the date of publication of a registration application or of the registration of a trade mark the application of which has not been published”.
However, the Italian Patent and Trade Mark Office has not yet clarified how this publication will take place. Moreover, it is not yet clear how the fees will have to be paid. Both these issues will be clarified in a Communication which will be issued by the Italian PTO in the coming months.

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