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For Written Answer on : 11/07/2023
Question Number(s): 260 Question Reference(s): 34283/23
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment if he has taken note of Denmark’s referendum result of 25 May 2014 with regard to the country’s membership of the Unified Patent Court; if so, the conclusions he has drawn from the result; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The Unified Patent Court (UPC) commenced operations on 1 June 2023. Ireland was represented by senior officials at several inaugural events, with Minister of State Neale Richmond representing the Government at the inaugural event of the Court in Luxembourg on 30th May. The Unified Patent protection and the Unified Patent Court promises considerable benefits for entrepreneurs, businesses, and for the integration of intellectual property rights in the single market. It will offer Irish inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers and businesses a new improved broader level of patent protection, reduced administrative burden and significant cash savings.

Denmark’s referendum on the approval of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court was held in May 2014 and was approved with 62.5% of the vote. The success of Denmark’s referendum is a positive signal to Ireland as we make preparations for a referendum.

My Department officials are currently advancing preparations for the constitutional referendum which will enable the transfer of jurisdictional powers from Irish courts to the new international court.

The timing of the referendum will be a matter for Government to decide. The most important factor as regards the timing of the referendum is that it should maximise the likelihood of a successful ‘Yes’ result.