Intellectual Property Update: 2013 Highlights

25 February 2014

It has been an exceptionally busy year on the Intellectual Property front, both at home and internationally. Ireland continues to feature in foreign companies’ IP structures, recognising our favourable tax regime, R&D tax credit, modern IP laws and dispute resolution mechanisms.  

2013 saw the European Commission adopt plans to update the European trade mark system; the launch of the Trade Mark Clearinghouse System; steps to reform copyright laws in Ireland and the EU; and Ireland’s signature of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. Below are just some of the highlights of what was an eventful year.

Highlights for 2013 included:

  • Unified Patent System
  • Copyright Reform for Digital Ireland
  • Proposed New Protections for Confidential Business Information

Unified Patent System

In February 2013, 24 EU Member States, including Ireland, signed an international agreement relating to a pan-European patent system, including the creation of a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court  ("UPC"). The UPC will have exclusive competence to deal with all disputes relating to infringement and revocation…

Copyright Reform for Digital Ireland

The long-awaited report of the Copyright Review Committee (the "Committee") was published in October 2013. The Committee was set up in 2011 to develop proposals for legislative reform of copyright laws, so as to remove any perceived barriers for innovation in the digital environment. Some of the key recommendations are:…

Proposed New Protections for Confidential Business Information

November 2013 saw the European Commission propose new rules for the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. The draft directive introduces a common definition of trade secrets and a means through which those affected by trade…