Posted by Laura Ercoli on Wednesday January 24th, 2024

Ireland to hold referendum on joining the Unified Patent Court

Ireland Unified Patent CourtOn 23 January 2024 the Irish government approved a proposal to hold a constitutional referendum on Ireland’s participation in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) in June 2024, alongside European Union and local elections.

Ireland’s participation in the UPC requires amending the constitution to allow the transfer of judicial competence from the Irish national courts to the new international patent court, therefore the government has also approved the priority drafting of a bill regarding the necessary constitutional amendment; a general scheme for the bill, already published by the Irish Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, will need to be approved by the Irish parliament before the referendum takes place.

The Unified Patent Court and Unitary patent began operations on 1 June 2023 with the 17 states actually on board: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden.

Seven more states (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Romania and Slovakia) are to join as they complete the necessary legislative steps.

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