Trademark opposition proceedings are set to start next July 1st subject to publication of the ministerial decree and the related operative circular by the Italian Patent and Trademark Office (UIBM). On the basis of the information available, opposition proceedings will be available against new trademark applications filed as of May 1st, 2011 and the first (electronic) bulletin will be published next July 1st 2011 with a probable monthly frequency.

Furthermore, it is likely that filing oppositions against international registrations published in the WIPO bulletin, will be possible starting from next July 1st, 2011. In this case opposition proceedings will be applicable also to international applications filed before May 1st, 2011.

From now on, holders of Italian trademark applications and/or registrations will be able to challenge subsequent applications for identical or confusingly similar trademarks with quicker results and lower costs compared with instituting legal proceedings, the only currently available option.

Among the peculiarities of Italian opposition system, with respect to the Community trademark one, we can mention that it will be not be possible to base an opposition on unfiled trademarks nor to use reputation of a trademark to claim wider protection.

© BUGNION S.p.A. – May 2011