According to the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland, patent applications reached a record high last year with 193,442 EU applications designating Ireland. However, this trend may not continue if the Government delays ratifying the EU’s new Unitary Patent Court.
The HALO Business Angel network members frequently ask if companies have registered intellectual property. This question is also raised by large corporations when evaluating potential target competitors to buy. The ownership of patents or intellectual property increasingly determines a company’s value.
Some companies, such as Shorla Oncology, will buy patents in a specific field to build up their portfolio, attracting investors based on the potential to acquire and commercialize certain patents. Larger corporations, like Huawei, often acquire patents before moving into a new market to compete with their rivals.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are becoming increasingly important in a globalized world where intangible assets make up most of the value of leading global companies. Ireland holds a significant amount of Intellectual Property, some produced locally and some imported through royalities to foreign parent companies.
In Ireland, effective management of IP is part of the reason global companies centralize their IP management, making Ireland one of the largest exporters of IP in the world. Despite this, Ireland’s participation in the EU’s United Patent Court (UPC) is yet to be confirmed, despite the benefits it would bring to businesses.
The UPC offers a single system with less red tape, lower costs, and the ability to enforce patent rights across Europe without dealing with multiple national courts. The Irish government previously advised that Ireland’s entry into the UPC would require a referendum, although it now looks set to be held along with local and European elections in June 2024.