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Patents Primary Irish Legislation and International Agreements

Primary legislation effective in Ireland in relation to Ireland and any International Agreements or Treaties effective in Ireland.

Primary Irish Legislation

International Agreements

Patent Law Treaty (2000)

The Patent Law Treaty (PLT) aims to harmonise and streamline formal procedures in respect of national and regional patent applications and patents, making those procedures more user-friendly. The PLT was agreed on 1 June 2000 and entered into force on 28 April 2005. Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification for the Patent Law Treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva on 27 February 2012 and it came into effect in Ireland on 27 May 2012.

Patent Cooperation Treaty (1970)

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) was signed in 1970 and came into force in 1978. Ireland ratified the Treaty in 1992. The PCT now has 145 contracting states. The Treaty makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an “international" patent application.

European Patent Convention (2000)

The European Patent Convention (EPC) lays down the legal basis for granting European Patents. Ireland has been a party to the EPC and a member of the European Patent Organisation (EPO) (a non-EU body with 38 Member States), since 1 August 1992. The EPC was revised by a Diplomatic Conference on 29 November 2000. The revised version of the European Patent Convention (EPC 2000) came into force on 13 December 2007.

London Agreement (2000)

The London Agreement deals with the application of Article 65 of the European Patent Convention. This deals with reducing the current translations requirements for European patents, thereby reducing costs for patent applicants. The London Agreement was implemented into Irish law by the Patents (Amendment) Act 2012. Ireland is currently proceeding with formal accession to the London Agreement

Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights (TRIPS) (1994)

TRIPS relates to the inclusion of certain intellectual property rights, including patent protection, under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It ensures a minimum threshold of IP rights applies in all member states that are members of the WTO. It was incorporated into patent legislation in Ireland by means of the Patents (Amendment) Act 2006.