Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions (patents); literary and artistic works (copyright); new product designs (industrial designs); and brand-names, symbols, or logos used to distinguish products and services from one undertaking from another (trade marks).
IP is a powerful tool for individuals and enterprises to help control their property rights. Ireland has in place a strong legal framework and intellectual property system that offers IP right holders the opportunity to be rewarded for their creativity and innovation and enabling society at large and the economy to benefit from their achievements.
Formal IP rights include patents, trade marks and industrial designs so called because they can be registered. Copyright is a different type of intellectual property relating to creations of the mind and is seen in everyday life in creative works such as books, films, music, art and software, as well as in more mundane objects such as cars, computers and medicines. Other types of informal IP rights include Plant Variety Rights, Geographical Indications of Origin, Trade Secrets and Topographies of Integrated circuits. For further information please see other IP Rights.
The Intellectual Property Unit of the Department is responsible for Ireland’s policy and legislation on IP that reflects developments in intellectual property policy and practice domestically, at EU level and in terms of international obligations to which Ireland is committed through various international agreements.
The Intellectual Property Office of Ireland is responsible for the granting of patents; the registration of industrial designs and trade marks; and has certain functions in relation to copyright and related rights.
What’s current in Intellectual Property
European Commission evaluation on the implementation of EU Trade Mark Regulation (EU) No 2017/1001
The European Commission is responsible for planning, preparing and proposing new European Union laws. This also includes improving existing EU legislation.
The Better Regulation agenda is the European Commission's regulatory approach to designing and evaluating EU policies and laws transparently, which is evidence based and duly informed by the views of citizens and stakeholders, such as businesses, public administrations, researchers and experts.
The purpose of Better Regulation is to make EU laws simpler, more targeted and easier to comply with, and tailor policies better to those who may be affected. With a view to achieving this, European Commission opened up policy and law-making to citizens, businesses and stakeholders with the Have Your Say website giving access to all public consultations.
On the website, the European Commission publishes roadmaps, proposals for EU legislative acts. When these documents are published, stakeholders and citizens alike have the opportunity to provide feedback for a specified amount of time on various initiatives. The portal allows stakeholders to provide feedback in an open format, which means they can highlight topics or issues regarding a particular initiative they want to bring to the attention of the Commission in their feedback response.
Currently, the European Commission is carrying out an evaluation in accordance with Article 210 of the European Union Trade Mark Regulation (EU) No 2017/1001. The evaluation encompasses the Regulation’s implementation, as well as the review of the legal framework for cooperation between the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the central industrial property offices of the Member States, including the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, paying particular attention to the financing mechanism laid down in Article 152 EUTMR. The evaluation shall further assess the impact, effectiveness and efficiency of the EUIPO and its working practices. Finally, the evaluation shall, address the possible need to modify the mandate of the EUIPO, and the financial implications of any such modification.
As a part of the evaluation process, the European Commission has published a ‘Call for Evidence’, via the European Commission's ‘Have Your Say’ portal. It aims at collecting public and stakeholder feedback and consists of a description of the initiative and setting out the key elements of the planned evaluation.
The Call can be accessed through this link: Evaluation of Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 on the European Union Trade Mark
The European Commission has set a deadline until 5 December 2022 for feedback.