ANTICOUTERFEITING | Made in Italy Law to bolster the fight against counterfeiting

On 11 January 2024, Law No. 206 of 27 December 2023, entitled “Organic provisions for the enhancement, promotion and protection of ‘Made in Italy’ products”, entered into force. Among others, Law No. 206/2023 establishes various measures to fight against counterfeiting, aimed at strengthening the protection of “Made in Italy” products. Article 41 in particular provides that the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy (MIMIT) is required to adopt, by decree, an official mark certifying the Italian origin of goods within 90 days from the date of entry into force of the new Law. Such mark will not have the nature of trademark, as it would be merely descriptive and not enforceable abroad, and will not in any way replace geographical indications for agri-food products, which continue to be regulated by specific provisions. The mark can be used, on a voluntary basis, only by companies that manufacture goods in Italy, in accordance with current EU regulations. Articles 49 et seq. contain other measures to bolster the fight against counterfeiting, including: strengthening the effectiveness of criminal prosecution against the offence of counterfeiting geographical indications or designations of origin of agri-food products; specialised training on anti-counterfeiting for judges and other legal practitioners; higher administrative sanctions for those who purchase counterfeit goods or import them into Italy, with greater involvement of local authorities; extending the scope of the offence of the “Sale of industrial products with misleading signs” (Article 517 of the Italian Criminal Code); broadening the cases in which seized goods may be destroyed.

Newsletter n. 93 – February 2024