Italy: Appeals against Arbiters’ Awards for employees’ inventions to be heard by Tribunals and not by the Courts of Appeal
In case of a disagreement on the amount of the so called “fair reward” to be paid to the employee who is the author of an invention patented by his employer, article 4 of the Italian Code of Intellectual Property provides that the parties may request a Panel of Arbiters to make the relevant calculations and determine the sum to be awarded. The award of the Arbiters, if “manifestly erroneous or unjust”, can be challenged before the ordinary Courts. To the relevant proceedings the rules of the Civil Procedure Code on Arbitrations apply “as long as compatible”.
The law, however, does not precisely indicate which Court (Tribunal or Court of Appeal) is the competent authority to hear the appeals against the awards of the Arbiters.
With the decision n. 4017/2018 published on Sept. 5, 2018 the Court of Appeal of Milan – Specialized Chamber for Enterprise Maters has ruled that the Court of Appeal is not the correct Judge to be seized for any appeals against the Arbiters’ awards on employees’ rewards that are believed to be “manifestly erroneous or unjust”. Such appeals must therefore to be filed in the Tribunals.
Most likely, this is the first decision ever issued on the subject in Italy after the Code of Intellectual Property entered into force in 2006.
About the Author:
Avv. Alberto Tornato
Juris Doctor (University of Milan – 1987) with a dissertation in Intellectual Property Law.
Attorney at Law since 1991.
Allowed by the Court of Cassation.
Registered European Trademark (OHIM) Attorney.
Member of INTA (International Trademark Association), AIPPI and VPP (Vereinigung von Fachleuten auf dem Gebiet des gewerblichen Rechtsschutzes – German Association of Professionals in the Field of Intellectual Property).
Author of several IP-related articles.
Speaker at several courses and seminars concerning the Intellectual Property law.
Languages: English, German, French, Italian.
Tornato Prado Avvocati originates from the union of the experiences of the law firms Tornato Avvocati and Prado&Prado, two professional entities operating for decades in the field of the Industrial and Intellectual Property.
The law firm specializes hence in in-court and out-of-court assistance, in issues and disputes concerning patents, trademarks, competition law, advertising and copyright law.
Tornato Prado Avvocati assists Italian and foreign companies and businesses of all sizes, operating in various sectors of production and trade.