Italian parliament approves bill on ratification of the UPC Agreement

Italian parliament approves bill on ratification of the UPC Agreement

19 October 2016

The Senate of the Republic of Italy, one of the two chambers of the Italian parliament, voted and approved draft legislation to enable Italy to ratify the UPC Agreement, yesterday afternoon (bill here). Senators supported the passing of the bill, with 161 voting in favour, 30 against and seven abstaining, following approval by the Chamber of Deputies on 14 September 2016 (see here). The draft legislation must now be promulgated by the President of the Republic to become law, and will come into force the day after its publication in the Official Gazette, thus enabling Italy to deposit its instrument of ratification with the Council of the EU. As previously reported (here), the bill authorises the President to ratify the UPC Agreement, but also includes changes to national legislation to implement the Agreement. In particular, the bill modifies Article 66 of the Industrial Property Code to introduce provisions on indirect patent infringement. Although indirect infringement is currently acknowledged by the Italian courts through case law, it is not governed by express statutory provisions.
 
October has been a busy month for the Italian institutions in terms of their UPC preparations, the Ministry of Justice having also recently announced the location of the Italian Local Division in Milan (here). Up to another four countries are reported to be also making progress towards ratification, including Slovenia which has already passed legislation to ratify the UPC Agreement (here).  Other countries like Hungary and Romania expressed their support for the project at the latest meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council, and the latter has recently recorded with the Council of the EU its signing of the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement on 14 September 2016.
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