Intellectual Property Unit: Patents
Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014
The Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act was enacted on the 23rd December 2014. This legislation makes it easier for pharma companies to develop new medicinal products in Ireland, making us more attractive for research and development investment.
The Act amends Section 42 of the Patents Act 1992, expanding the existing research exemption provision and amending Section 29(3) and Section 29(4) of the Trade Marks Act 1996, in order to allow Ireland to accede to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trade Marks.
The purpose of amending the Patents Act is to provide legal certainty for companies involved in research and development on new and generic drugs for the purpose of obtaining a marketing authorisation.
The current provision for research exemption in the Patents Act, 1992 has been expanded to include all studies, tests, experiments, clinical and field trials and any consequential acts necessary for the purpose of obtaining marketing authorisation for new and generic products. In addition, the expanded research exemption now covers acts done in this country relating to the acquisition of a marketing authorisation in any state.
Further information on the Trade Mark provisions of the Act is available here.
Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court
A new brochure entitled "An Enhanced European Patent System", has been compiled by the implementing Preparatory Committee and Select Committee giving a broad overview of the Unitary Patent system and the Unified Patent Court.
The international Agreement on a Unified Patent Court
Minister Bruton signed the International Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on the 19th February 2013. At present, 25 countries have signed up to the Agreement. A Preparatory Committee has been established, composed of representatives of the Signatory States with responsibility for outstanding issues involved in setting up the Court, including the legal framework, financial aspects, IT and human resources and training. It held its first meeting in March 2013. In the meantime, Ireland is assessing the legal and constitutional implications for the Unified Patent Court for Ireland and we will decide, in due course, on the optimum timing of a constitutional referendum.
Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection
At the December 2012 Competitiveness Council, Ministers reached agreement on a regulation on unitary patent protection. The Council and the Parliament subsequently signed the Regulation on 17 December 2012. This regulation, along with the associated translation regulation will only come into effect in tandem with the international Agreement on the creation of the Unified Patent Court and Statute. This is scheduled for early 2015
Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements
As with the Regulation on unitary patent protection, the regulation on applicable translation arrangements was agreed at the December 2012 Competitiveness Council and signed by the Council and Parliament later that month.
Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements
Patents (Amendment) Act 2012
The Patents (Amendment) Act 2012 was commenced on 3 September 2012. The Act implements the London Agreement, providing for simplified translation requirements for European patents and reducing costs for patent applicants. The corresponding Patents (Amendment) Rules 2012 and Patents, Trade Marks and Designs (Fees) (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 2012 have also been signed and are in force.
Regulatory Impact Analysis on the Review of the Patent Act, 1992
The Intellectual Property Unit has completed a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) of the Review of Patents Act, 1992, following on from a consultation of stakeholders.
Patent Law Treaty & Ireland
Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification for the Patent Law Treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva on 27 February 2012. The Treaty aims to harmonise the formal requirements demanded of applicants for patents by national and regional patent offices, and to streamline the procedures for obtaining and maintaining a patent
The Patent Law Treaty came into effect in Ireland on 27 May 2012.
Last modified: 08/01/2015