Le FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) are the questions most often asked by users. A list is provided here of the questions with the most frequent answers given to our clients concerning the consultancy services we offer.

How can industrial property rights be used to protect a technically complex product (e.g. camera, mobile telephone, etc.)?
Technical solutions are protected with a patent on an industrial invention or utility model; the visual aspects are protected by registering an industrial design; the commercial name is protected by registering the trademark.
Each procedure must be filed separately and the period of protection depends on the type of right acquired. There is no single procedure for obtaining different industrial property rights simultaneously.

How is software protected legally? 
Software as such cannot be protecting by filing a patent on an industrial invention, but is protected by copyright law.
If the software serves to manage a production process or a machine, it can be included in the patent procedure as part of the industrial invention relating to the production process or the machine being patented.

 At what point is the invention protected?
The invention is protected from the moment when the patent on the industrial invention is granted, but protection actually starts on the date when the application is filed. It is therefore possible to disclose the invention and defend it against any infringement from the date when the application is filed.

Why request patent protection in a foreign Country?
Legal protection of industrial property rights has territorial limitations, so patent protection must be extended to specific Countries to prevent foreign competitors from manufacturing or marketing a patented product.

Is registration of the name of the firm (company or firm name) the same as registering the trademark?
No. Although both are distinctive marks of the enterprise, registration of the trademark offers greater legal protection over a wider area.

What is the difference between TM and ®?
The symbol TM is used to refer to a trademark registered internationally, whereas the symbol ® indicates registration of the trademark in Italy.

What happens if an industrial design also includes functional improvements?
In addition to protection of the visual aspects, it is also possible to request protection through a patent on a utility model and the 2 rights coexist independently on the same product.

How can a series of product variants which are visually different to each other be protected?
If the products belong to the same goods class (see «Locarno Classification»), protection may be requested in a single application for a multiple industrial design.

Contact us for further information or questions.