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Protecting Made in Italy: the “Marchio Storico”

The Italian Council of Ministry with the decree law No. 24/2019 known as “Decree Growth” (Decreto Crescita) introducing “Urgent measures for economic growth and interventions for industrial sectors in crisis”, launched the so-called “historical brand” (Marchio storico). Italian-based companies with a manufacturing unit based in the country and that have been using continuously their trademark for at least fifty years, can apply for the registration of their trademark in a special register of historical brands of national interest held by the Italian Patent and Trademark Office. The aim is to protect the industrial property of historic Italian companies and their excellence, in order to enhance the Made in Italy, innovation, sustainability, and international competitiveness. Once obtained the registration, the trademark’s owner is subject to a strict disclosure obligation (penalty of up to € 50,000) towards the Ministry of Economic Development (i.e., MISE) in the case of company’s shutting down or delocalization. In that event, the MISE – by using the resources of the specifically created “Fund for the protection of national historical brands” – can kick-start a specific procedure aimed at identifying the most suitable interventions to safeguard the employment levels and the continuation of economic activitity at national level.