Altri segni/denominazioni

The generic term of trademark is sometimes used in current language to indicate a variety of signs and names having different characteristics and purposes to the company trademark (and, therefore, methods of registration not the responsibility of the Italian Patent and Trademark Office).

The other distinctive signs
The trademark is not the only distinctive sign. There are others such as the company, the region or the company name, the sign and domain name, each of which is linked to a company manufacturing products or providing services. Despite fulfilling different trademark functions, they may equally entail the lack of novelty or of a trademark (and, therefore, its non registrability).

The company - The company is the name under which the individual entrepreneur exercises its business. The company (like the company name or business name) identifies a subject producing goods or providing services; while the trademark identifies the goods or services.

The company name or business name - All companies (of partnerships or capital) must have a name. In the case of partnerships - or simple companies, the companies in collective name and the companies in limited partnership - this is called the company name, while capital companies - or public limited companies, limited partnership with a share capital and limited liability companies - have a called business name.

The sign - The sign is traditionally used to identify and distinguish the premises where the business is exercised (meaning the shop, the laboratory, the warehouse, etc.).

The domain name - The domain name is the distinctive sign distinguishing an internet site (e.g. “”). The rule is that a sign known as domain name cannot be registered as trademark unless they are owners of the same domain, nor can a third party trademark be registered as domain name.

Quality trademark
A quality trademark serves to certify that the product on which it is affixed has certain qualitative characteristics and/or it has been manufactured following certain procedures. Therefore, its peculiarity is not to indicate from which company the product comes from, but to certify to potential customers that the product has passed a rigorous test and it is, therefore, compliant with certain standards. For example, the CE mark, or more correctly the CE marking, certifies that the product on which it is affixed complies with all EU Directives applicable to it.

Protected Designation of Origin
The title Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is recognised on those products whose peculiar characteristics essentially or exclusively depend on the territory of origin. For a product to be PDO, the production, transformation and processing phases must take place in a defined geographical area. Whoever produces a PDO must respect the strict rules established in the production specification, the respect of which is guaranteed by a control body.

Protected geographical indication
The title of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) is recognised on those products for which a certain quality, reputation or other characteristic depends on the geographical origin, and the production, transformation and/or processing of which takes place in a certain geographical area. Therefore, in order to obtain a PGI, at least one production process phase must take place in a specific area. Again, those producing a PGI must respect the strict rules established in the production specification, the respect of which is guaranteed by a control body.

Traditional speciality guaranteed
The Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) is aimed at protecting production characterised by traditional production methods or compositions. Unlike the PDO and PGI, it is aimed at agricultural and food products having a "specificity" linked to the production method or to the tradition of an area, but that are not necessarily produced in that area only.


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