The Italian Torpedo is back

In  patent matters, a torpedo is called an action for declaration of non-infringement which aims to block (later) patent infringement proceedings in other countries, in particular such countries where the applicant expects to have lower chances of success.

Due to the relatively slow proceedings before some Italian courts, Italy has become a preferred country for such actions until the ECJ clarified that the only competent court for deciding on the invalidity of a patent is the country of registration.

Now the Italian Torpedo is back: The Italian Supreme Court, by May 28, 2013 accepted a non-infringement-claim for inter alia a German part of an European patent. German infringement proceedings consequently are blocked as long as no definitive Italian decision is rendered. It is to be noted that validity arguments must not be raised to achieve this result.

Areas of Law

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