The third mentorship session we offer to our members is focused on the subject of Intellectual Property and Privacy. Together with Gianluca De Cristofaro (LCA Legal), on the 11th of October, in our headquarters in via Sassetti 32, we will explore risks and opportunities. As we waited for the morning dedicated to mentorship to start, we asked De Cristofaro to tell us why this theme is important for a startup operating in the fintech sector
Intellectual property and privacy: what has changed in the last 3 years?
In the Intellectual Property field legislation has not changed much; but, at least in Italy, awareness regarding Intellectual Property Protection has increased. The judges of Italian Intellectual Property specialized courts are fast, skilled and well prepared and this grants the effectiveness of Intellectual Property assets.
What are the challenges today in the fintech sector?
We are looking at the perfect storm! On the 25th of May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation entered into force, and all companies faced (and are facing) an important and intensive compliance process. The GDPR required several duties and obligations on behalf of the companies and sets fines up to 4% of the global turnover. The most relevant challenge for companies is the increasing awareness concerning their employees on privacy issues. Furthermore, in 2019 the new E-privacy directive will also be published and it will have a great impact on the business of the digital companies.
From a regulatory point of view, what is the Italian situation like compared to that of other European countries? How could it improve?
In the Intellectual Property field legislation is basically harmonized at a worldwide level. Italian legislation is not an exception and grants an effective protection to Intellectual Property assets. In the field of privacy, on September 19, 2018, the Decree which amended the Italian Privacy Code, in order to make it compliant with the GDPR, entered into force. Now, our law is (more or less) aligned with other European laws. We just need a Data Protection Authority with a business oriented approach so as not to create a competition gap between local companies and the foreign companies.
Why is it important for a fintech start up to be interested in these issues?
For any digital company, including those operating in the fintech field, the protection of Intellectual Property assets and the compliance to privacy law are extremely relevant in order to protect their business.
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