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Copyright Giulio Coraggio 2018

 

The Italian competition authority can declare unfair and therefore null and void clauses in consumer contracts and issue sanctions for the lack of compliance with its orders according to a procedure recently established.Not only can consumers and consumers' associations challenge clauses in consumers' contracts but also companies themselves will have the right to request a preventive opinion on the "fairness" of some of their contractual clauses. Indeed, according to the Italian Consumers' Code implementing among others the EU Directive on Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts clauses that are deemed unfair in standard contracts can be deemed null and void which might considerably damage businesses that relied on such clauses. Consumers' protection provisions on unfair clauses up until now had been rarely...

The Italian Ministry of the Economic Development made operational the National Fund for the Innovation of € 40.9 million in order to ease the financing of innovative projects based on the industrial enhancement of intellectual property rights.Small and medium sized companies will be able to see their IP projects financed up to an amount of € 1.5 M for a period of 12 months. This initiative has to be seen as part of the recent initiatives aimed at easing the access to the credit by start-ups which include also the upcoming entrance into force of equity crowdfunding regulations and providing special treatments for start-ups and their incubators. We cannot ignore that the current Italian Government is trying to do its best to...

Italian regulations on equity crowdfunding through online portals for innovative start-ups approved in October 2012 are closer to their enforcement. The CONSOB, the equivalent of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, has now launched a request for public commenting on the implementing regulations that will end on the 30th of April 2013 and therefore equity crowdfunding will shortly be possible in Italy.In particular, the above mentioned consultation will be crucial to make sure that the requirements for entities running crowdfunding portals are not excessively stringent. Indeed, the primary law provides that also entities different from banks can perform such activities and the regulatory enviroment has been set up in order to reduce as much as possible compliance obligations and ease...

Google is not liable for suggest search results also named as "autocomplete" results according to the Court of Milan (Italy) that overturned the approach taken by the same court in 2011 where Google had been deemed contributory liable for search results. Following the removal in the previous case of the terms "crook" and "scam" among the suggested results associated with the name of the claimant, further potentially offencive terms still were suggested in Google search results when users were searching the name of the claimant.As in the previous case, the claimant based his claim on the fact that Google is a content provider and as such is liable also for the results automatically generated through its suggest search/autocomplete functionality. However, the...

The Italian Gambling Authority, AAMS, awarded yesterday the 12 new AWP/VLT licenses that will last for 9 years from the date of execution.   It is interesting to see that the new license holders include not only the old licensees but also 3 new entrants which shows that the market is still not fully mature and new entrants see opportunities for them. Indeed, the Italian VLT market has less than 3 years of age and the model of business adopted by the different licensees is very similar which gives room to new entrants that want to adopt an innovative approach. In this respect, the current situation might be of interest for instance for companies managing gaming halls that want to enter...

Smart TV (also known as "connected tv") is opening new opportunities for businesses and new services for consumers and in order to better understand the dynamics of this market and how to better exploit it, the Italian Communications Authority launched a consultation.The final goal of the consultation is to draft a so called white book on "Television 2.0 in the convergence era" but this also represents a relevant opportunity for entities active in the sector to bring to the attention of the Communications Authority the need to implement some regulatory changes in order to maximise the benefits of this new market and better protect users from the potential risks. Indeed, the Communications Authority understood its lack of knowledge of the sector...

The Italian Data Protection Authority (DPA) has run an inspection on 11 telephony and Internet service providers as to the term and modalities of retention of traffic data. As a general principle, personal data cannot be retained for longer than the term necessary for the purpose for which they have been collected. Also, in relation to traffic data, Italian data protection law provides that telephone traffic data have to be retained for 24 months, while Internet traffic data have to be retained for 12 months for investigation and judiciary purposes. Moreover, stringent security measures have been ordered by the Italian DPA in relation to the modalities of storage of traffic data. As part of investigation referred above, the Italian DPA challenged to...

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the video streaming of television broadcasts by a third party triggers a copyright breach, but what are the consequences on recent Italian case laws? In a case involving TV Catchup a service allowing the live streaming of TV broadcasts on computers, smartphones or games consoles only by the people located in the area where such persons could legally watch the program under their TV license, the ECJ held that the copyright owner's right to authorize a "communication to the public" extended to the retrasmission of terrestrial television broadcast works performed by any entity other than the broadcaster and even if the streaming was available also in a limited area where subscribers could legally watch the...