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Patent legislation

Unofficial consolidated patents legislation

An unofficial consolidated copy of the principal patent legislation Patents Act 1992 and supporting Patents Rules 1992 which identifies each amendment by separate colour. For reference purposes only.

Patents primary legislation effective in Ireland

Primary legislation:

Patents secondary legislation

Secondary legislation on patents in Ireland consists of statutory instruments (SI) that fall into one of the following categories:

  • Patent Rules 1992 and subsequent amendments
  • Giving effect in Irish law to EU regulations relating to patents
  • Commencements Orders, fee changes, etc.

SIs, Rules, Fees and Commencement Orders made under the primary legislation are available to view under the Principal Act on the Irish Statute Book: Patents Act 1992

Regulations implementing EU patents legislation into Irish law


Patents (International Arrangements) Order 1996 (SI No 38 of 1996) 

International Agreements or Treaties effective in Ireland

Patent Law Treaty (2000)

The Patent Law Treaty (PLT) aims to harmonise and streamline formal procedures in respect of national and regional patent applications and patents, making those procedures more user-friendly. The PLT was agreed on 1 June 2000 and entered into force on 28 April 2005. Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification for the Patent Law Treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva on 27 February 2012 and it came into effect in Ireland on 27 May 2012.

Notification of Ireland’s Ratification of the Patent Law Treaty

More on the Patent Law Treaty

Patent Cooperation Treaty (1970)

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) was signed in 1970 and came into force in 1978. Ireland ratified the Treaty in 1992. The PCT now has 145 contracting states. The Treaty makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an “international" patent application.

More on the Patent Cooperation Treaty

European Patent Convention (2000)

The European Patent Convention (EPC) lays down the legal basis for granting European Patents. Ireland has been a party to the EPC and a member of the European Patent Organisation (EPO) (a non-EU body with 38 member states), since 1 August 1992. The EPC was revised by a Diplomatic Conference on 29 November 2000. The revised version of the European Patent Convention (EPC 2000) came into force on 13 December 2007.

Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights (TRIPS) (1994)

TRIPS relates to the inclusion of certain intellectual property rights, including patent protection, under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It ensures a minimum threshold of IP rights applies in all member states that are members of the WTO. It was incorporated into patent legislation in Ireland by means of the Patents (Amendment) Act 2006.

More on TRIPS