Italian Antitrust Authority opens an investigation for a possible abuse of dominant position in the apps sector  

The Italian Antitrust Authority (“AGCM”) has opened an investigation against a well-known company producing  systems, smartphones, computers and multimedia devices in order to ascertain the existence of an alleged abuse of a dominant position in the market of platforms for the online distribution of apps for users of their system. 

In particular, sinceApril 2021, the company is alleged to have adopted a more restrictive privacy policy, penalizing third-party app developers than the one that applies to itself, also with reference to the t quality of the processed data.  

The Authority aims to ascertain the alleged reduction of competition in the relevant markets and the possible strengthening of the company targeted under investigation. 

Source: AGCM’s Official Website 

European Patent Office: kick off for the Unitary Patent 

The new Unitary Patent will be operational starting from 1 June, entry in the force of the International Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”). 

In particular, the European patent unitary patents granted by the European Patent Office (“EPO”) will allow patent protection in the 25 EU Countries, through the payment of only one renewal fee system. The patent protection will be supplemented currently existing at the national (at the Italian Patent and Trademark Office, “UIBM”) and European levels (at EPO). 

However, at the time of this kickoff, the above mentioned patent will only cover the 17 EU Countries that have already ratified the UPC Agreement; this will result in several generations of unitary patents with different territorial coverage, which in turn will be linked to individual ratifications that will take place over time. 

Source: MISE’s Official Website 

Patent Index 2022 – Focus on Italy: slight decline in patents filed in 2022 

The European Patent Office (“EPO”) published the annual report “2022 Patent Index”. The report shows that Italy applied 4.864 patent applications, ranking eleventh. 

However, there was a slight decrease (-1,1%) compared to the number of patents filed the previous year. The main sectors concerned are handling and transport.  

The three most active Italian regions are: Lombardy with 31.8%, Emilia Romagna with 16.2% and Veneto with 14,0%. 

Source: Assolombarda Report 

Cybersecurity – Digital shield: Partnership between the State Police and the National Cybersecurity Agency 

The State Police and the National Cybersecurity Agency (“ACN”) signed a collaboration agreement for the prevention and management of cyber events, with the aim  of making “the fight against  cybercrime phenomena even more effective and increasing the country’s cyber resilience.” 

Among the many advantages there is the possibility for the ACN to collaborate with the operational centers for cyber security of the Postal Police (“COSC”).  

Collaboration is the key to discovery and innovation, also in order to set up highly specialised training courses in cybersecurity. 

Source: ACN’s Official Website 

AGCOM: the latest intervention on Phishing 

With resolution no. 12/23/CIR, the Italian Communications Guarantee Authority (“AGCOM”) announced that the regulation on the use of alphanumeric characters identifying (Alias) that identify the sender in corporate messaging services (SMS) was approved, with the aim of preventing  the Sms phishing by  creating a  record of operators who intend to use the this  technique. 

The main purpose of regulation is to fight illegitimate uses of messaging with Alias, through which attempts to defraud end users could be carried out. 

Source: AGCOM’s Official Website 

The Italian Supreme Court  rules on the hypothesis of conflict between a PDO and a trademark 

With the ruling no. 7937 of March 20, 2023, the Italian Supreme Court dismissed the appeal against the appellate ruling, which had affirmed the lawfulness of the trademark “Cacio Romano” in consideration of the collective trademark “Pecorino Romano”. 

In this regard, the Italian Supreme Court ruled out  a likelihood of confusion between the trademarks, due to the diversity of the products and the lack of phonetic and logical similarity of the two names. 

Source: De Jure 

The Italian Supreme Court in Joint session rules that the Council of State did not exceed its jurisdiction in finding abuse of dominant position 

With the ruling no. 11687 of May 4, 2023, the Italian Supreme Court in Joint session declared inadmissible the appeal of two major companies, operating in the railway sector, against the Council of State’s confirmatory decision of 2021, about the sanctions imposed by AGCM for anti-competitive conduct. 

In this regard, according to the Italian Supreme Court, the State Council did not exceed the limits of its jurisdiction. 

Source: De Jure 

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