Referendum on European patent court

Vote should proceed in June

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott

Sir, – I believe that it would be a mistake not to proceed with the EU Unified Patent Court referendum with the European and local elections as planned in June (“Doubt over whether June referendum will go ahead amid fallout from family and care votes”, News, April 12th). The patent system ensures that scientific research is published, and Ireland is per capita in the top 10 users of the European patent system. The court is part of a package of measures to reduce costs so that smaller businesses can avail of the patent system. A Joint Oireachtas Committee endorsed the importance of proceeding with the referendum as soon as possible.

Already decisions are being made by the court which can affect Irish innovators, Irish production lines and ultimately Irish jobs. Because we have not yet joined the court, it operates without any Irish judges, any hearings in Ireland or any other form of Irish input into its functioning.

When put to a referendum in Denmark alongside the 2014 European elections, it was approved by over 60 per cent. I am sure that the people would consider the proposal on its own merits. – Yours, etc,

JONATHAN NEWMAN SC,

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Dublin 7.