Validating a European Patent in Ireland

The European patent validation process is the process in which a European patent is made effective in some or all of the states designated in the patent.  The validation deadline is typically three months from the grant date of the European patent.

Over the years, the validation process has become easier and less expensive.  For example, the London Agreement simplified the previously expensive translation requirements whereby signatory countries that have English, French, or German as an official language no longer required the filing of a translation of the European patent for validation purposes.

While not all countries are signatories to the London Agreement, Ireland is, so that the validation process is straightforward as the granted European patent automatically comes into force in Ireland.  It is not a legal requirement to appoint an Irish address for service at the validation stage.  However, it is best practice to appoint a local address for service in the event that the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland (IPOI) issues a communication.  An Authorisation of Agent form signed by the Applicant is required to record the address for service.

Annual renewal fees must be paid in Ireland to keep the granted patent in force with the first renewal fee being due in respect of the first filing date anniversary that falls on, after the date of grant of the European patent.  An address for service in the European Economic Area (the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) must be provided to receive communications from the IPOI concerning the non-payment of a renewal fee.

Most European patents are only validated in relatively few high-population countries such as the UK, Germany, France, and Italy.  However, despite its small population, Ireland has become increasingly popular as the European headquarters and research centre location for international companies in the pharmaceutical, technology, finance, and medical device sectors.  This shift has accelerated since Brexit. Accordingly, given the simplicity of the validation process, patent proprietors may wish to consider whether validating in Ireland might serve as an additional patent infringement deterrent in patent filing strategies.

If you would like to discuss your European Patent needs, don’t hesitate to contact our team:

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