Italy is a member of the Madrid Agreement for the international registration of the trademarks and has adopted the Community Registration System of the trademark.
A trademark used and registered in Italy is a distinctive sign valid only in the Italian territory.
The Italian application for registration must be filed at the Italian Trademark Office and will be published in the Official Trademark Bulletin. Once published, the application will not proceed any further for a period of three months. During this time any party proprietor of an earlier registered trademark can oppose the new application. If no one opposes the application within this period, the trademark will become registered.
An Italian trademark is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for periods of 10 years.
A European Union Trademark is a mark having unitary character since it grants the owner an exclusive right in the 27 member states of the European Union by filing a single application, paying only one fee for the filing and being registered with a single procedure by the E.U.I.P.O. in accordance with the provisions of the European Regulations.
There are two different ways to obtain protection for a trademark in the whole European Union:
1) filing a EUROPEAN UNION Trademark which confers to the owner an exclusive right that protects distinctive signs, valid across the European Union, registered directly by the E.U.I.P.O. in accordance with the conditions specified in the CTM Regulations.
2) filing an international trademark application designating the European Union (EU). In this way the owner may likewise obtain an exclusive right, but administered by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property.
An application for registration is examined by the E.U.I.P.O. to verify its compliance with formal requirements and substantial validity and then it is published into the Official European Union Trademark Bulletin. This will allow a third party owning an identical or similar earlier application or trademark registration to oppose the former registration. If the Community application for registration is granted, it is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for periods of 10 years.
The Madrid System of international registration is a procedure which allows to extend the trademarks' protection in the states designated by the applicant by filing a single application in one language and paying one official fee. Thereafter, the international registration can be maintained and renewed through a single procedure.
A trademark may be the subject of an international application only if it has already been filed or registered with the Trademark Office of a national Offico ot the E.U.I.P.O.
Although it is a single registration, the protection obtained by the applicant in the designated States is equivalent to a bundle of national registrations, so that the trademark can be refused by some of the designated Contracting Parties, or may be limited or renounced with respect to only some of the designated Contracting Parties.
Each Office of a designated Contracting State examines the international registration in the same way as an application filed directly with it. If grounds for objection are found during the examination, or if an opposition is filed, the national Office has the right to declare that protection cannot be granted for the trademark in that territory.
The registration is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for the further periods of 10 years.
Further Contracting States may be designated subsequently.