Intellectual Property Unit: Patents
Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill
On 2 July 2013, the Government approved proposals to amend the Patents Act 1992 to expand the research exemption provision originally provided for in EU Directive 2004/27/EC relating to medicinal products for human use in accordance with the general scheme of the Bill. The proposed Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill will amend Section 42(g) of the Patents Act 1992. These changes will be included in an existing Bill already under preparation to amend 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 current provision for research exemption in the Patents Act, 1992 will be expanded to include all studies, tests, experiments, clinical and field trials and the consequential practical requirements which are necessary for the purpose of obtaining marketing authorisation for new and generic products. In addition, a revised, expanded research exemption will cover acts done in this country relating to the acquisition of a marketing authorisation in a non-EU country.
Further information on the Trade Mark provisions of the draft Bill is available here.
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: 02/08/2013