Irish innovators received a significant boost on Tuesday when the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD, along with Ministers from 23 other Member States, signed the Unified Patent Court Agreement in Brussels.
The agreement is the last part of a package of measures that will provide a one-stop shop for innovative enterprises to register and protect their patents in the European Union. Its creation will save Irish businesses seeking patent coverage in Europe significant amounts, with up to 6 million euro now being spent annually on patent translation costs alone. Across Europe, it is estimated that the new patent system will save business between 150-290 million euro each year.
Minister Bruton was in Brussels along with the Minster for Research and Innovation, Mr Seán Sherlock TD, and chaired the first meeting of the European Competitiveness Council to take place during the Irish Presidency of the EU.
Minister Bruton said: “The signing of the Unified Patent Court is a historic moment as it paves the way for the implementation of the patents package, which will give enterprises greater access to patent protection at European level, and make enforcement of patents more affordable.
Ireland is now a ‘world-class’ R&D location: spending is estimated to have reached 2 billion euro in 2012…
“When the full patents package is implemented, it will mean that European enterprises will, on the basis of a single application, be able to obtain a patent that has effect in the majority of Member States of the EU, and have access to a common litigation system to process any actions for infringement or invalidation of that patent,” he said.
Minister Sherlock said: “Today’s signing is particularly good news given last week’s CSO figures on business expenditure on R&D. The survey showed that enterprises across all business sectors spent some 1.9bn euro on research and development activities in Ireland in 2011, an increase on the 1.83bn euro spent in 2010. This is estimated to have risen to almost 2bn euro in 2012. The continuing development of Ireland as a location for the performance of world-class R&D is crucial, as this will allow businesses to build a competitive advantage that will result in jobs and growth.”
In another development, Minister Bruton welcomed a European Commission report that shows Ireland is now the most prompt implementer of new EU Internal Market Directives. The Commission’s “Internal Market Scoreboard” gives Ireland a perfect 0.0 per cent score, indicating that the country has transposed all due Directives on time. This is only the second time a Member State has achieved a perfect score.
Minister Richard Bruton said: “The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth. The areas that the Competitiveness Council discussed today, including the Single Market and entrepreneurship, will have a major impact on this agenda.”
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