The d.lgs. 1/12, became Law 27/2012 (the so called Liberalisation Decree) has instituted the Tribunal of the Entrepreneurs, which goes partially to substitute and partially to extend the competences of the Ordinary Tribunal, a specialised section in the matter of intellectual property and company issues.
The matter has been dealt with in detail by article 2 of d.lgs. 1/12 which, by forming the institution of the Tribunal of the Entrepreneurs, specifies as well “the appointment of the specialised sections does not imply the extension the staff”.
Every Tribunal, and therefore the Tribunal of Venice too, had to deal with the inevitable reorganisation of the existent staff and spaces to obey the Law.
In Venice, a portion of the second floor of the Tribunal has been assigned to the Tribunal of the Entrepreneurs and they have appointed two Presidents, dott. R. Simone for the intellectual properties claims and dott.ssa Farini for the company issues and dott. S. Giugie has been appointed as Clerk of the Court.
The d.lgs. 1/12 has modified the article 3 of the d.lgs. 168/03 (with which have been instituted the specialised sections of the Tribunals and Courts of Appeal), extending as below the competences:
- Claims under article 134 legislative decree 10th February 2005, number 30;
- Claims in matter of copyrights;
- Claims under the article 33, paragraph 2, of the Law 10th October 1990, number 287 (known as “Rules for the protection of the competition and the market”);
- Claims concerning the infringement of the European antitrust.
The territory competence has been identified by the assignation of the above claims to the Tribunals and the Courts of the County Towns and therefore: Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Brescia, Cagliari, Campobasso, Catania, Catanzaro, Florence, Genoa, L’Aquila, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Perugia, Potenza, Rome, Turin, Trento, Trieste and Venice with the peculiarity that the Turin Tribunal and Court are competent for the territory of Valle d’Aosta/Valle’ d’Aoste.
Under the Law number 27 dated 24th March 2012 the Court fees for the IP claims are double of the ordinary claims. The intent of the Law giver is to create Judges who are specialised in the matters of company law and intellectual property, with the aim to speed up the trial and to try to solve an age-old problem of the Italian Justice.
Only the passing of time will tell us if the intentions will be realised. We are waiting to know from the people who are most involved in the new Tribunal of the Entrepreneurs how the legal profession and technicians could better help to reach the appointed goal.
The small claims track in England
The 1st October 2012 has seen the forcing through of the reform which has introduced the Small Claim Track, which is a claim in the matter of intellectual property, with a value up to £5,000.
This innovation had been to complete the reform of the 1st October 2010, which introduced the new procedures implemented in the competences of the Patents County Court, set up in 1990.
The Small Claims Track concerns the claims up to £5,000 upon:
- Passing off;
- Unregistered design right.
Therefore the following cannot be dealt with on the Small Claims Track:
- Registered designs;
- Plant varieties.
There is no need for a legal representation.
The Judge can decide ‘on paper’ on the basis of the documents produced by the parties, without a hearing. It is not possible to ask for interim injunctions or freezing orders, as the only remedies available are damages for infringement and a final injunction to prevent infringement in the future.
The Small Claims Track has been streamlined to a fixed scale of recoverable costs of up to £50,000.
It is also possible to use alternative dispute resolution as mediation, conciliation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation and binding expert determination.
It is possible to appeal the Small Claim Track before the circuit Judge sitting in the Patent County Court.
Venice, 5th November 2012
Avv. Lucia Loprieno
© IP Venice Intellectual Property