In a highly competitive market where innovation and digitalisation are key words, it is essential to also protect intellectual property rights such as patents and utility models, trademarks, designs and domain names. In fact, the foundation of any good business strategy must include a constant commitment to enhancing assets, protecting a company's business and ensuring a greater competitive advantage on the market.

What is a patent

A patent is the legal title that protects an innovative technical solution. Patents allow to protect an invention, whether for a new product or a process, in various technological fields. Depending on what is to be protected, the legislation distinguishes two types of patents: those for industrial inventions and those for utility models.

Industrial invention patents

These protect a new invention, with inventive activity and suitable for industrial application, which has as its subject:

A new product, a solution to a technical problem that has not yet been solved (e.g., machines and their parts, chemical formulations and compounds, industrial equipment including high-technology equipment);

A process, i.e., a new industrial method, process or procedure for making products which are already known, or a new specific industrial machining process.

The patent has a duration of 20 years from the application filing date, is non-renewable and subject to the payment of annual fees (so-called “annuities") for its maintenance.

Utility model patent

A utility model belongs to the category of "industrial models", intellectual creations applicable to industry (alongside designs and models), but with a less technical and inventive value compared to industrial inventions.

In fact, utility models certainly aim to solve a technical problem of a product, but in functional terms, in order to

«provide particular efficacy or convenience of application or use for machines, or parts thereof, instruments, tools or functional objects in general» (Article 82 of the Italian Code of Industrial Property).

Thus the utility model patent effectively protects the form of an already existing object: it is revised in its technical functionality, in order to improve its use or manufacturing mode.
The utility model has a duration of 10 years from the application filing date, is non-renewable, subject to the payment of filing fees, and of a subsequent maintenance fee after the first five years.

Why protect an invention with a patent?

A patent is part of a company's intangible assets that contribute to enhancing the company and its positioning in a highly competitive market.
Therefore, filing patents becomes an indispensable activity to include in your budget to protect inventions from possible counterfeiting and violations of commercial and productive use rights, thereby protecting your investments.
A patent which has been filed and granted:
  • Recognises the inventor as the author of the invention (moral right);

  • Grants the patentee the exclusive right of economic use of the invention itself (property right) in the territory where the patent is filed, thus preventing third parties from illegally exploiting it commercially.


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