Made In Italy: new dispositions on the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Fight Against Counterfeiting

On December 27 2023 law no. 206/2023 – which aims to enhance and promote the excellence productions and the Italian cultural heritage, as they are considered strategic for the growth of national economy – came into effect.

This recent legislative intervention introduces a number of dispositions protecting the made in Italy, including the possibility to register as trademarks signs pertaining to the cultural heritage and other measures aimed at creating sectors of training, in support of entrepreneurship and fight against counterfeiting.

Trademarks of Institutes and of locations of cultural interest

The new law grants to Italian institutes and cultural locations the possibility to register as trademarks the signs that characterize them and to license them to third parties upon payment of a fee, referring to art. 19 of the Industrial Property Code (D.LGD 30/2005). This norm already allowed to public entities to obtain the registration of trademarks “having as object distinctive graphic elements drawn from cultural, historic, architectural or environmental heritage of the relating territory”.

Nevertheless, until now, art. 19 of the Italian Industrial Property Code had limited practical application, also due to the prevalence of an interpretative orientation that held that the regulation of trademarks was incompatible with that of cultural property. Today, by introducing an additional legislative provision in this regard, the wish of the legislator is to boost the knowledge on the cultural heritage and the self-financing capacity of public institutions.

Training on Made in Italy

The creation of the “Liceo per il Made in Italy” (Highschool of Made in Italy) has the purpose to promote knowledge, abilities and skills connected to Made in Italy.

Starting from this year, those who will enroll in the new training course will be able to acquire specific skills in economic and legal, cultural-artistic and historic-geographical subjects, beside entrepreneurial skills suitable for promoting and enhancing the productive fields of made in Italy.

Measures aimed at implementing the training provided by the Scuola superiore di magistratura ai magistrati e agli altri operatori della giustizia” were also provided to allow the acquisition of specialized knowledge on counterfeiting.

Measures of financial support – Voucher 3i

Besides the establishment of a National Fund of Made in Italy, with the goal to support the growth and the relaunch of the national strategic supply chains, it was introduced also a direct support to innovative start-ups and to micro-companies willing to invest in innovation.

The Voucher 3i – Investire in Innovazione (Invest on Innovation) allows people to purchase consulting services useful for patenting an invention, including filing services at UIBM, patentability verification, drafting of the patent application and novelty searches.

 Protection of Made in Italy and tightening of penalties

The “Contrassegno per il Made in Italy” (Made in Italy mark) was created to contrast more efficiently falsification. It is an official mark certifying the Italian origin of the goods that Italian manufacturing companies may affix, on a voluntary basis, to their products.

Even penalty measures connected to counterfeiting have been tightened, with the introduction of dispositions which increase the minimum amount of administrative penalties, extend the offense of sale of products with fake signs also to those having the goods for sale (art. 517 c.p.), broaden the possibility to proceed with the destruction of the counterfeited goods object of seize (260 c.p.p.) and extend the regulation on undercover actions to the suppression of the crime of counterfeiting geographical indications or appellations of origin of agri-food products.


Ilaria Feriti