For Oral Answer on : 11/05/2023
Question Number(s): 79 Question Reference(s): 22039/23
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment if he will outline the work carried out to date by his Department to enable Ireland to ratify the agreement on a Unified Patent Court; his further plans in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Setting up a local Unitary Patent Court in Ireland will offer users an accessible cost-effective and more efficient option for broad patent protection and dispute settlement across Europe. Businesses will defend or challenge a patent via a single litigation process rather than costly litigation in individual Member States. Savings will be significant. That is why in June 2022 the Government reaffirmed its commitment to participate in the Unitary Patent System and the Unified Patent Court and to hold a referendum to enable Ireland to do so.
The preparatory work underway includes drafting a Constitutional Amendment Bill along with a Regulatory Impact Assessment. Amendments to the national patent legislation will also be required to recognise both the new Unitary Patent and the UPC Agreement.
A local division of the Unified Patent Court will be created in Ireland if the State ratifies the Agreement under which the Court is established. Preparations involve engaging with the Department of Justice on the establishment of a new court and Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage regarding the work of the Electoral Commission.
A Communications Campaign is being devised and an Oversight Committee is being established, comprising the key stakeholders, to support the work.
The simplified and much cheaper system of patent protection will make it easier, particularly for micro and small businesses to export to more EU countries, confident in their IP protection. Businesses in other participating Member States will have access to their own local Patent Court, and we want to ensure that our companies have that same beneficial access here in Ireland.