Gian Paolo Di Santo


Pavia e Ansaldo - Studio Legale
Via Del Lauro 7
Milan, Lombardy

Tel: +39 02 85581


Gian Paolo Di Santo joined Pavia e Ansaldo in 1981 and has been a partner since 1991. He is now Senior Partner of the firm in the Milan office and head of the Industrial and IP Department.

Over the years Gian Paolo’s practice has developed into all areas of industrial and intellectual property, including patents, trade marks and other distinctive marks, supplementary protection certificates, copyright, design, software, geographical indications, know-how and trade secrets, unfair competition, advertising and labelling, telecommunications, media and entertainment, IT, e-commerce, franchising and licensing contracts.

Gian Paolo is specialized in the management of complex contentious cases (precautionary and on merits) which are often international in scope, working closely with foreign clients and professionals, coordinating defense strategies and actions over a number of jurisdictions and disciplines (civil, administrative, criminal and antitrust). He has advised on numerous “bet the company” and “landmark” cases in the pharmaceutical, IT, fashion and luxury goods industries, analysing the most topical and hotly debated issues of the moment in those sectors. Gian Paolo represents leading artists and foundations in copyright matters.

Recent years have seen marked development in the importance of non-contentious advisory work (e.g. relating to joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, licensing contracts, transfer of technology, distribution and franchising) in sectors characterised by a high degree of technological innovation and those requiring strategic management of complex portfolios of IP rights of groups operating in Italy and abroad.

Gian Paolo is a member of the IP Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, Italian representative on committees for the safeguarding of IP rights at international events (Première Vision, Paris), a member of AIPPI (Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle) and a member of LES International.

We have several decades of extensive experience in judicial and extrajudicial handling of matters related to industrial, intellectual, and information technology property law.

Within the macro-area of IP/IT, the department provides specific services on the following matters:

  • Patents
  • Trade marks and other distinctive marks
  • Supplementary protection certificates
  • Copyright
  • Design
  • Geographical indications
  • Trade secrets, know-how and confidential information
  • Unfair competition
  • Advertising and labelling
  • Telecommunications, Media and Information Technology
  • E-commerce
  • Franchising and licensing agreements.

Since the department was set up we have been by our clients’ side in all the latest and most controversial developments in their respective sectors, even in high stakes “bet-the-company” suits. We have developed specific expertise in the transnational IP litigation sector and examined in-depth the interaction between IPR and antitrust. The team is particularly versed and has extensive experience in Life Sciences patent litigation and litigation in the electrononics and IT sectors (e.g., FRAND and software licensing). We habitually act for large domestic and international luxury brand and fashion groups in protecting their designs and distinctive marks and we provide advice and legal assistance to foundations and world-renowned artists of different disciplines with regard to protecting their copyright in Italy and abroad.

Pavia e Ansaldo is an independent Italian law firm which has been operating in Italy and abroad for over 50 years.

Our 6 offices, in Milan, Rome, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tokyo and Barcelona, 22 specialised departments, 7 foreign desks and over 130 lawyers and other professionals provide advice to our clients on all aspects of business law.

Since its foundation in 1961, the firm has rendered assistance to its clients on all the legal aspects of their businesses. We have advised on many of the most significant company, trade and financial transactions that have contributed to the development of Italy and the growth of Italian business abroad in the past fifty years. Furthermore we have represented and assisted our clients in many of the most significant litigation and arbitration matters that have led to the development of this sector.

Our lawyers are known and respected for their technical competence, dedication to their clients, human qualities and ethical and cultural values. To provide our clients with the excellent standard of service that is a hallmark of our firm, we select our staff carefully and give particular importance to their training and continuing professional development.

Thanks to their experience, competence, commitment, and determination we are able to guarantee qualified, dedicated, personalized and timely service.

We provide specialist advice in all areas of business law and possess an in-depth knowledge of our clients’ business sectors.

Since its inception, the firm has worked towards creating a structure to meet the needs of clients on an international level. With our lawyers in our Spain, Russia and Japan offices, our 7 Foreign Desks, staffed by lawyers qualified to practice both in Italy and in the respective countries with which they work, and our international network, we are ideally placed to advise Italian clients on their business abroad and foreign clients on their business in Italy and other countries.

We have chosen to maintain our status as an independent firm and to establish strong relationships with the most qualified legal firms in those countries where we do not have our own office, with a view to providing a personalized service worldwide and the most advantageous solutions for our clients.


“Gian Paolo Di Santo leads the team and frequently advises clients with activity in the pharmaceutical arena on their patent issues. Interviewees highlight his “reactive and proactive” approach and appreciate “the rapidity and totality of his answers.”
Chambers & Partners