Italy: Why It Is Important To Register A Brand

Last Updated: 20 June 2017
Article by Calogero Boccadutri

Register a brand

If a business is growing, registering its brand ensures exclusivity and inspires faith in the mind of the client.

The brand is a symbol that allows you to distinguish products or services distributed by one company from those of other businesses.

Any symbol that, due to its representation in graphic form, identifies a company, can be identified by its brand.

It doesn't matter if it is a word, a name, a design, a letter, a number, a sound, a shape or a colour; the important thing is that it is recognisably unique.

The law on brands

The Civil Code carries out a safeguarding of brands in articles 2569 to 2574 while the law currently in effect in Italy is the Legislative Decree no. 30 of 10 February 2005, which brought together in one text, updated and adapted to the times, all the rules on the subject.

Articles 7 to 28 of the so-called Code of Industrial Property mention brands.

The last modifications to the DI will come back in 2015.

Article 7 of the Code for Industrial Ownership, states:

"All the oversensitive signs of being represented graphically, in particular the words, including the names of people, the designs, letters, figures, sounds, the shape of the product and of the tailoring of it, the combinations or chromatic tonalities count, as long as they distinguish the products or services of one company from those of others."

The principal function of the brand is to allow consumers to identify a product (a good or a service) of a certain company, in such a way as to distinguish it from similar or identical products provided by rival businesses.

The national laws of the Paris convention of 1883 will regulate it

On 20 March 1883 in Paris, the basis for the protection of Industrial Ownership was brought in, establishing a union of countries for the protection of such a right.

This "Convention for the Protection of Industrial Ownership", despite being subject to modifications over the years, is still in effect and the laws of various states are based on this. The first eleven countries to subscribe to this were Belgium, Brazil, France, Guatemala, Italy, The Low Countries, Portgual, El Salvador, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland.

There are currently 173 states that subscribe to it.

Administering the Paris Convention is the World Organisation for Intellectual Property (WIPO) whose headquarters are in Geneva in Switzerland. 

Register your brand to avoid unfair competition

The registration of a brand confers to the title-holder the right to exclusivity for its use to distinguish the products and/or services and to prohibit its use by others in products and/or services identical and/or very similar.

Furthermore, it allows a company to protect its own investments and guarantee permanence on the market, hindering other potential competitors from being able to use it for their own activities.

A brand registered before the Italian Office for patents and brands, enjoys very high credibility and is safeguarded in comparison with a brand that is used that has not been paid for.

Not being able to pay by a certain date means it could end up costing you your reputation.

The registration of a brand lasts ten years starting from the moment that it was paid for, and is always renewed for periods of the same duration.

The brand plays a central role in marketing strategies and the promotion of the name of the company, contributing to the success of the image and reputation of the product in the eyes of the consumer.

From this we can derive that a brand chosen and constructed with care has a considerable commercial value for most companies and, for a few of them, can directly constitute goods of high value.

It can, furthermore, be transferred, "rented" and taken advantage of in the same way as all other property of the business; through transfers, the granting of licences, merchandising, sponsoring and franchising, the business can collect royalties and cushion the costs that are sustained.

Given the value of the brand and the importance that it can have in determining the success of a product, it is fundamental, therefore, to protect the brand in all the countries of the export of products.

More value over time

In the end, among the numerous advantages, you must not forget that, with the passing of time, the brand increases in value and can represent, by itself, a fundamental voice of corporate ownership, which can be entered into a balance sheet as well.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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