An extract from The Technology Disputes Law Review, 1st Edition

Year in review

In the area of data protection and consumer litigation, we have observed a recent increase in actions generally brought on the initiative of the competent data protection and consumer authorities. In this regard, there have been leading cases in which Italian regulatory authorities have made the first use of specific procedural measures available to protect individuals' fundamental rights and freedoms within the realm of data protection and consumer legislation.

A further boost to data privacy litigation will presumably come from the new class action law, which entered into force in Italy in May 2021.4 This new law significantly expands plaintiffs' rights as, among other things, plaintiffs are entitled to join a class action even after the court's favourable judgment on the merits has been issued.

In the area of patents, although trade secret protection is often preferred to the long and costly patenting process, there are strong expectations that, once completed, the implementation of the EU Unitary Patent system will foster trust in and provide impetus to both the patenting system and patent litigation.

Finally, and conversely, the implementation of Article 17 of the Digital Copyright Directive5 may actually result in a decrease in the number of copyright disputes started by right holders against ISPs in connection with the unauthorised uploading and sharing of copyrighted content by users of social networks platforms, as user-generated content may be exempt if it is uploaded and made available for purposes of (1) quotation, criticism or review, or (2) caricature, parody or pastiche.