Byrne: Membership of European Patent System will Make Life Easier for Irish Inventors

Published on: 29 March 2024

Fianna Fáil Urges Yes Vote in June Referendum

Membership of the European Unified Patent System will make life easier for Irish inventors and content creators and for small businesses who want to protect their ideas and products, according to Senator Malcolm Byrne, who is the Fianna Fáil Director for the referendum campaign on the subject which will take place alongside the European and Local Elections on June 7th.

According to Senator Byrne, “In order for someone who invents something in Ireland to protect that idea or product, they have to seek a patent in every jurisdiction in the European Union and the recognition of the creation is not always enforceable in a uniform way. Ireland joining the Unified Patent System will make that much easier and it will heavily reduce costs and the administrative burden on inventors.”

17 European Union member states have already joined the system which simplifies procedures. A court has been set up in Luxembourg to adjudicate where there are disputes.

Senator Byrne concluded: “This is probably not the issue that most people are thinking about but for inventors and businesses it is really important. Ireland has to vote on it because our constitution requires a vote whenever we join such a European structure. The decision will mean transferring some judicial sovereignty but only in the area of patents to the new Court. It has only to do with patents and nothing else.”

Senator Byrne also noted that by holding the referendum on the same date as the European and Local Elections, there will be minimal additional cost to the State.