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Ireland to Vote on Joining the Unified Patent Court in June 2024

Ireland to Vote on Joining the Unified Patent Court in June 2024

European News UPC 02/02/2024

Ireland also considering establishing a Local Division of UPC if Referendum Passes

Ireland has set a date for a long-awaited referendum on its participation in the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The vote, scheduled for June 2024, will coincide with local and European elections. If approved by voters, Ireland could become the next seat of the Local Division of the UPC, offering significant benefits to the Irish economy.


What is the Unified Patent Court (UPC)?

The UPC is an international court system specializing in patent disputes. Established in June 2023, it aims to streamline patent litigation across participating countries by providing a centralised forum for resolving patent infringement and validity issues. Currently, 38 European countries have signed the UPC Agreement, though only 17 countries have ratified it so far.  By joining the UPC Ireland will also become part of the Unitary Patent system allowing patent protection to be obtained via a simplified single patent across EU states.


Ireland's Role

Joining the UPC would offer several advantages for Ireland. It could attract international patent litigation to the country, boosting legal and related professional services. Dublin's potential role as a UPC Local Division seat could further enhance the attractiveness of Ireland as a hub for intellectual property (IP) activity. Additionally, participation would simplify and potentially reduce costs for businesses seeking patent protection across Europe via the Unitary Patent option.


What Happens Next?

The Irish government will be running an information campaign in the lead-up to the June referendum, explaining the implications of joining the UPC for both businesses and citizens. Public debate on this specialist area of patent law is essential to ensure that the public is fully informed in advance of the vote. With the clock ticking, businesses and individuals alike must engage fully with the campaign to ensure a successful referendum outcome, as it will significantly impact Ireland's role in the European patent landscape.


Key Points:

- Ireland to hold referendum on UPC participation in June 2024.

- Dublin could become the next seat of the Local Division of the UPC if the vote passes.

- Many economic benefits include attracting international patent litigation and boosting IP activity.

- The new streamlined Unitary Patent system will cover Ireland if the referendum passes

- Public debate and information campaign crucial ahead of referendum.


With the June referendum looming, Ireland's potential UPC membership remains a topic rich in debate. Assuming a successful outcome to the referendum, there will be much to do for the legislature to prepare and pass the necessary legislation.  Establishing a Local Division in Ireland will also require significant attention with numerous logistical issues to be addressed.  Stay tuned for further updates as the campaign unfolds, and sign up for Secerna's newsletter to ensure you always have the latest news at your fingertips.


Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for legal guidance specific to your situation.