Since 2011, it has been possible in Italy to submit a statement of opposition relating to Italian trademark applications which present identical or similar trademarks in relation to identical or similar goods or services.
Oppositions must be filed within three months from publication and this deadline may not be extended.
If the opposition is deemed admissible, the UIBM informs the applicant of the notice of opposition within two months of the opposition filing deadline, informing the parties about the opportunity to use a cooling-off period of two months, which may be extended at the parties’ joint request up to a year, during which they can negotiate a possible settlement of the conflict.
In the absence of an agreement between the parties, the litigation stage itself commences and the opposing party must file comments and facts and evidence in support of the opposition within an unextendable period of two months from the conciliation period deadline.
Compared to traditional litigation, the Italian opposition procedure has significant advantages, including lower cost, shorter duration and the possibility of using a cooling-off period to facilitate settlement.