The Council of the EU has recorded here that Italy deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (PPI) of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) with the Council’s General Secretariat on 20 April 2018. A local division of the UPC will be in Milan (in an existing court building at via San Barnaba 50) and the PPI will confer legal status on the Court and certain privileges and immunities on the Court and its judges and staff to ensure its proper functioning.
Italy’s legislative preparations for the unitary patent and UPC system are therefore now almost complete. In February 2017 it ratified the UPC Agreement and signed the Agreement’s Protocol on Provisional Application. Regarding amendments to national legislation, Law 3 November 2016, n. 214 excludes UPC disputes from the competence of its IP specialised courts and includes (in the Industrial Property Code) provisions on indirect patent infringement (see here) , and pursuant to Law 25 October 2017, n. 163 further amendments to the Industrial Property Code will be made by a Legislative Decree. These will be relatively minor changes, mainly to include provisions relating to the introduction of the unitary patent. These provisions will prohibit ‘double-patenting’ i.e. protection of the same invention by an Italian national patent and a unitary patent; the possibility of such ‘double protection’ had been discussed but decided against (in contrast to the position in Germany, see Double protection and forum shopping under Germany’s draft UPC legislation).