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Intellectual Property Bill to amend Patents and Trade Marks legislation printable version
05 Aug 2014: posted by the editor - Ireland
A Bill that has the 'dual objective of bringing through a number of amendments to Patents and Trade Marks legislation' has now been published.
The Bill has the dual objective of bringing through a small number of amendments to Patents and Trade Marks legislation. In the context of patents, the intention is to enhance the research exemption in our patents legislation to benefit companies engaged in the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland. This will be done by providing legal certainty on the aspect of immunity from patent infringement where critical research and clinical trials are carried out in order to develop new or generic versions of medical and veterinary products, while the derivative products continue to enjoy patent protection.
Such research and trials are necessary so that new or generic versions of pharmaceutical products can obtain the necessary marketing authorisation to be placed on the market for sale. It will apply to tests carried out in Ireland or in any State in the European Economic area which, along with the twenty-eight Member States of the EU includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Welcoming the publication of the Bill Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English T.D., said: "This Bill paves the way for pharma companies in Ireland to continue to innovate and develop new and generic pharmaceutical products. It will heighten awareness of Ireland as a location that places a strategic focus on Innovation by creating the right business ecosystem for this strategically important sector to grow and develop."
Existing patent law provides for a research exemption however, the need for legal certainty arises from concerns that the exemption as currently expressed in law does not appear to be as wide as that which applies in a number of European States. This measure, which was identified in the 2012 Action Plan for jobs, will assist in ensuring that Ireland continues to be an attractive base for the location of future investment by pharmaceutical companies that rely on a safe environment for the research and development of new products.
In relation to Trade Marks legislation, a Government statement said the Bill published today proposes some technical amendments to the law to allow Ireland to ratify an international Treaty on Trade Marks adopted in Singapore in 2006 and aims to reduce red tape by harmonising the administrative procedures of trade mark offices globally but does not impact on substantive trade mark law.
Taken together, these legislative reforms underline Ireland's commitment to ensuring the highest standards of intellectual property protection, to allow Irish-based companies to develop and fully exploit their products and services in a safe environment and, to ensure that companies in Ireland are well placed to benefit from and lead on innovation in a sector of the economy that is of significant importance to our future prosperity.
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