Biomedical Engineering Reference
The requirement of individual character is met if the impression that the
design evokes in an informed user differs from the overall impression produced
on such a user by any design which has been disclosed before the filing date of
the application for registration or before the priority date which may have been
The registration of a design has a duration of 5 years from the application filing
date, which may be extended for one or more 5-year periods, up to a maximum of
A single application may cover the registration of several designs (up to 100),
provided that they are implemented or embodied in objects belonging to the same
classification [ 7 ].
3.2 Types of Industrial Property Rights
A patent is a legal document granting to the applicant (a company or an individ-
ual) a temporary (for 20 years) and territorial (with reference to the country/ies in
which the patent has been extended) monopoly.
The ownership of a patent confers the right to prevent third parties from repro-
ducing the invention, i.e. producing, using, marketing, selling or importing the
invention in the territory in which the title was filed and granted (except for scien-
tific purposes and for private use).
Therefore it is a negative right: its ownership does not guarantee the holder the
corresponding positive right to implement the invention.
To be really implementable, no earlier patents (i.e. exclusive rights granted to
others) must exist about the technical solution.
In short, a technology which is new and inventive is patentable; a technology
which does not fall into the scope of protection of patents and/or patent applica-
tions of others can be freely implemented; a technology which falls into the scope
of protection of pending patents is an infringement of the same.
Patentability and feasibility are the two required conditions for the optimal
exploitation of the invention [ 12 ].
A patent application filing may be both national (by virtue of the Paris Union
Convention, this can be extended to other countries within 12 months from the
filing date) and foreign. However, foreign filing can only occur after 90 days from
the filing of the Italian application, required in order to assess whether the inno-
vation may be of interest to national defense. In fact the territorial extension is
possible only under authorization by the Ministry of Defense. On the other hand,
a first foreign filing either European or PCT patent application, should obtain the
authorization granted by the Ministry of Defense.