Presentation on theme: "SPECIALIZED TRADEMARK COURTS – THE ITALIAN EXPERIENCE"— Presentation transcript:
1 SPECIALIZED TRADEMARK COURTS – THE ITALIAN EXPERIENCE 19th ANNUAL CONFERENCEFORDHAM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW INSTITUTEFordham University School of LawThurday and Friday, April 28-29, 2011Hugh C, HansenDirectorSPECIALIZED TRADEMARK COURTS –THE ITALIAN EXPERIENCE Marina Tavassi – President of IP Specialised Court of Milan, Italy
2 Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Marina TavassiIntellectual Property Specialized Court of MilanProtection of Intellectual Property Rightsbefore the Italian Specialized CourtsHow it worksThe Italian Supreme Courtin Rome
3 The modernisation process regarding the protection of Intellectual Property rights. The creation of the Specialized Courts in Industrial and Intellectual Property (Law Decree n. 168/2003):12 Courts of first degree and 12 Courts of Appeal throughout Italy, dealing with:- industrial and intellectual property law,- unfair competition, only recognised as “interfering” with IP rights,- competition, whether “interfering” with IP rights.The Specialized Divisions were established at the District Courts and Courts of Appeal of Bari, Bologna, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Rome, Turin, Trieste and VeniceIndustrial Property Code (patents, trademarks, designs and models, biotechnologies, …)Law Decree 10 February 2005 n. 30.
4 Venues of the Specialized Courts (art. 120, par. 4., IPC – D.Lgs 27 giugno 2003, n. 168)MilanoTorinoGenovaFirenzeNapoliPalermoTriesteVeneziaBolognaRomaBariCatania(no court inSardinia)
5 Decisions of Specialized Courts (July 03 - December 10) “Le Sezioni Specializzate italiane della proprietà industriale e intellettuale” (Italian IP Courts Report a cura di Massimo Scuffi - Marina Tavassi) data elaboration: Giovanni F. Casucci MIP Politecnico MilanoCopyright 16%Patents 15%Patents 15%Unfair competition 14%patentstrademarksdesignsunfair competitioncopyrightsDesigns - Models 13%Trademarks 42%
6 Decisions of Specialized Courts (July 03 - December 10) “Le Sezioni Specializzate italiane della proprietà industriale e intellettuale” (Italian IP Courts Report a cura di Massimo Scuffi - Marina Tavassi) data elaboration: Giovanni F. Casucci MIP Politecnico MilanoItalian 37%European 29%International 34%
7 Decisions of Specialized Courts (July December 2010) “Le Sezioni Specializzate italiane della proprietà industriale e intellettuale” (Italian IP Courts Report – by Massimo Scuffi - Marina Tavassi) data elaboration: Giovanni F. Casucci MIP Politecnico MilanoVenice 7 %Bari 4 %Trieste 0,5 %Trieste 0,5 %Bologna 8 %Catania 3 %Turin 12 %Florence 5 %Genoa 2 %Rome 22%Milan 26 %Palermo 0,5 %Naples 10 %
8 Types of actions available in Italy before the Specialized Courts actions for infringementactions for revocation or nullity of the patent, trademark, design and modelactions to attribute the right to the owneractions for damagesactions for interim measures (including seizures, injunctions, penalties, publication of the decision)
9 THE ITALIAN SPECIALIZED COURTS They decide the cases in a panel of three judgesNo enlarged courts (not including technical experts)Each Division usually consists of six/eight judges, in addition to the presidentThey work with an ultra-district (European / international) perspectiveThey also act as European Courts for European trademarks, designs and models
10 EXPERT WITNESSES IN I.P. LITIGATIONS Assessment of patent: object of patent; novelty; inventive step (prior art); industrial character; sufficient descriptionTechnical elements to appreciate the existence of the infringement and its consequencesIndication of possible remediesPurchase of goods by the infringer companyEstimate of the possible royaltiesTechnical elements to calculate damages (loft of profits, benefits realized by the infringer, fees that the infringer would have paid in case of licence)Peculiarities of the role of the expert in intellectual property law and competition
11 THE EXPERT WITNESS in Italian case law He/she can not discharge the burden of proof charged to the partiescan not be explorativehas to provide the judge with the technical elements necessary to appreciate the right or to liquidate damages, without replacing the judge’s evaluation
12 MEANS OF EVIDENCE for pending litigations in IP cases The Italian background at party’s own initiative:documents productiontestimonial evidenceformal examination of the opposite partysubmission of decisive oathrequest for documents exhibition order (Article 210 Civil Procedure Code)petition to the judge in order to acquire information in possession of the opposite partyrequest for technical expertise
13 MEANS OF EVIDENCE at judge initiative inspections request for information to Public Administrationinspectionsfree examination of the partiesinvestigation of the testimonial evidencetechnical expertiseOTHER MEANS OF EVIDENCE:presumptionscommon experiences advicesparties’ behaviour (Art. 116 Civil Proc. Code):refusal to render the examination, to allow the inspections, toobey to the order of exhibition or acquisition of information.
14 Typical evidence and injunctions Production of evidence by the opposing party (Article IP Code);Collecting information through the examination of the opposing party (discovery: Article 121 bis IPC);Order to provide all the elements necessary to identify the subjects involved in the production and distribution of the infringing goods or services and of their channels of distribution (Article 121.1, IPC);Measures to guarantee protection of reserved information (Article 39 TRIPs; Article IP Code);Seizure or description of evidence of the reported violation (Articles );Possibility to ask for the appointment of an expert in a pretrial phase (Article 128 IPC).
15 Precautionary measures of the Italian civil procedure code Order of facereGeneral atypical measures (Article 700 c.p.c.Order of non facere (injunction: to refrain from doing or continuing to do a particular act or activity)M.Tavassi
16 Precautionary measures of the Intellectual Property Code Description (art.130 I.P.Code)Protection of confidential informationSeizure (art.130 I.P.Code):- items infringing the right- means to manufacture themevidenceIP Rights : Patents, Trademarks, other distinctive signs, geographical indications, designation of origin, designs and models, utility models, new plants varieties, topographies of semiconductor products, know how, biotechnologies.This measures may be issued even while the registration or patenting is still pending (art. 132 I.P. Code)Injunction (art.131 I.P. Code)Provisional protection of domain names art.133 I.P.CodeProvisional seizure (against piracy ex art. 144-bis)Marina Tavassi
17 Article 125 IP Code DAMAGES Art Damages and return of profits made by the infringer:1. The damages due to the aggrieved party shall be quantified pursuant to Articles 1223, 1226 and 1227 of the Civil Code, taking into account all appropriate aspects, such as prejudicial economic consequences, including loss of profits, which the owner of the infringed right has suffered, the benefits realized by the infringer and, whenever appropriate, aspects other than those of an economic nature such as moral prejudice caused to the rights owner by the infringement.2. A judgment ordering damages may quantify the damage in an overall amount fixed on the basis of the records in the case and of the presumptions inferred therefrom. In this case the loss of profit is fixed in an amount not lower than the amount of the fees that the infringer would have paid had he obtained the licence from the owner of the infringed right.3. In any event, the owner of the right may demand the return of all profits made by the infringer either as an alternative to the reimbursement for loss of profits or for the amount exceeding such reimbursement
18 Italian Specialized Courts have they been successful? YES, for different reasons:i) reduction of the number of courtsinvolvedii) certainty in lawiii) high degree of specilization of judgesiv) improved skill in the precautionary trialv) reduction of the length of the trialsvi) increasing quality of the decisions
19 The Italian Supreme Court Thank you for your attention!The Italian Supreme Courtin Rome