It was announced on 13th November 2014 that a local division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be established in Ireland when the State, as is hoped, ratifies the agreement for the establishment of the UPC. The new Court will have exclusive competence in respect of European patents and European patents with unitary effect, and it is expected that such a Court will provide a more cost effective and consistent way for patent owners to enforce their patent rights in those Contracting Member States having ratified the UPC Agreement
Announcing the decision, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton TD said:
“I am delighted to announce that we will establish a local division of the Unified Patent Court in Ireland, in the event that the international agreement is ratified. This new court is an important boost for innovation in Ireland. It will mean that businesses involved in innovation activities will be able to resolve disputes over patents locally, more cheaply and more easily than before. It will have many other benefits, including the development of a wider pool of innovation-related skills in Ireland, and will also act as a support for businesses seeking to carry out R&D activities in Ireland. SMEs stand to benefit in particular, as the costs involved in enforcing intellectual property rights impact smaller businesses disproportionately and can act as a barrier to them engaging in R&D activities. All this means that this decision will have a positive impact on supporting innovation activity – and ultimately job-creation – in Ireland”.
The availability of a local division of the UPC in Ireland will further contribute to Ireland’s reputation as a tier one location within Europe for establishing business and R&D activities by enabling patent holders to enforce their valuable European patent rights in a Court located in Ireland.
We welcome this exciting development and based on current progress are hopeful that the UPC should be established in late 2015 or early 2016.