Single European patent signed into law
A single European patent will make enforcement of intellectual property rights more affordable
Irish businesses will soon be able to avail of a one-stop shop for EU patents, following the signing into law of a new European unitary patent system. Discussions of unitary patenting in Europe have been going on since the 1960s, but political agreement was finally reached last summer.
It is expected that the Unified Patent Court Agreement, which was signed into law in Brussels today by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, along with Ministers from 23 other Member States, will lead to annual savings of in excess of €6 million for Irish companies. Across Europe, it is estimated that the new patent system will save business between €150-290 million each year
“The signing of the Unified Patent Court is a historic moment as it paves the way for the implementation of the patents package, which will give enterprises greater access to patent protection at European level, and make enforcement of patents more affordable,” Mr Bruton said, adding, “It is also an important milestone in the continued development of the Single Market – a priority for the Irish Presidency. Indeed, achieving a unified patent litigation system was a major priority of the Single Market Act.”
The agreement is the last part of a package of measures that will provide a one-stop shop for innovative enterprises to register and protect their patents in the European Union. Its creation will save Irish businesses seeking patent coverage in Europe significant amounts, with up to €6 million spent annually on patent translation costs alone.
When the full patents package is implemented it will mean that European enterprises will, on the basis of a single application, be able to obtain a patent that has effect in the majority of Member States of the EU and have access to a common litigation system to process any actions for infringement or invalidation of that patent.
The European Commission also published a new report today which shows that Ireland is the most prompt implementer of new EU Internal Market Directives. The Commission’s “Internal Market Scoreboard” gives Ireland a perfect 0.0 per cent score, indicating that the country has transposed all due Directives on time. This is only the second time a Member State has achieved a perfect score.