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Counterfeiting 2.0: regulatory framework of the fight against the phenomenon and new features for Made in Italy


Counterfeiting and its consequences on the economy are a widespread and well-known phenomena, in order to counteract the same, society has implemented contrastive actions on several levels: regulatory, information and public awareness, technological. In terms of the first level, Italian legislation is a beacon for European legislators.

The Italian regulatory framework can be summarized as  a web of decrees and codes that are at the same time devoted to deterrence and the sanctioning of unlawful conduct, alongside which other regulations are included, starting from those that constitute the code of industrial property: 246 articles that legislate on industrial property and set rules for the protection of trademarks and other distinctive signs, designs, models, geographical indications, general and biotechnological inventions.

This framework includes Legislative Decree 30/2005, as amended by Legislative Decree n. 131/2010 (precisely the Industrial property code quoted above), which is accompanied by law n. 99/2009 (Provisions for the development and internationalization of businesses, as well as in the field of energy) which amends some provisions of the penal code concerning the crime of counterfeiting.


European references

On a European basis, three measures can be highlighted in particular: Regulation (EC) n. 207/2009 of the Council on the EU trademark; Regulation 608/2013 of the European Parliament and Council, concerning the protection of intellectual property rights by customs authorities; Directive 2004/48 EC, implemented with legislative decree n. 140 of 2006, on the respect of intellectual property rights.

In this case, it is precisely these important corollaries of copyright, intellectual property and patents that constitute a basic layout of rules that should further dissuade the reproduction of fake works.


The many actors in the field

In addition to the jurisdictional authorities, the Guardia di Finanza, the Antitrust, and various ministries are in the field to combat the phenomenon. For example, the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Policies monitors and controls the DOP, IGP and STG brands.

Law n. 55/2010 on the protection of “Made in Italy” prescribes a mandatory labeling system for finished and intermediate products in the textile, clothing, home furnishings, footwear and leather goods sectors, intended for sale to the public, which reverberates directly with the labeling industry.

But there are other para-institutional realities, which occupy an important role. The legislative decree n. 83 of 2012, in fact attributes the territorially competent chambers of commerce the power to impose administrative fines (art. 43).

Coordination is the responsibility of the National Anti-Counterfeiting Council (CNAC) or “the inter-ministerial body with functions of direction, impulse and strategic coordination of the initiatives undertaken by each administration in the fight against counterfeiting, in order to improve the enforcement action at national level. ”


The change of vision

Starting from June 2019, the CNAC has become CNALCIS, expanding its structure and expertise. Law 288 of 2019, n. 58 converted the D. L. April 30, 2019, n. 34 containing urgent economic growth measures and measures for the resolution of specific crisis situations, the so-called “Growth Decree”, which includes, among other things, important measures for the protection of Made in Italy.

The name change corresponds to a vision redirection: the new National Anti-counterfeiting Council in the National Council for the Fight against Counterfeiting and Italian Sounding (CNALCIS), also includes in the Council’s powers the fight against the false evocation of  Italian origin of products, better known as Italian Sounding.

The  effective members of the CNALCIS, now also include the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR). This last step responds to the need to stimulate the critical spirit and the civic conscience starting from the years of formation and education of the general public.


From Converting, 5/2019, p.39-40