What We Do

Intellectual property

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 patentstrade 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 new in intellectual property

The high cost of intellectual property infringement in sports

The EUIPO has launched a campaign which will focus on sports and more specifically on the negative effects of counterfeiting and piracy on the viability of sports and the sport sector:

Foul play: The high cost of IP infringement in sports - EUIPO