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PATENTS ACT, 1992
Preliminary and General
Short title and commencement.
1. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Patents Act, 1992.
(2) Except as otherwise provided, this Act shall come into operation on such day as the Minister may by order appoint.
2. —(1) In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—
“the Act of 1964” means the Patents Act, 1964 ;
“applicant”, in relation to an application under this Act, means the person making the application and includes a person whose title has been registered under section 85 or in relation to whose title a direction has been given under that section and the personal representative of a deceased person by whom such an application is made;
“application for a European patent” means an application made under the European Patent Convention;
“assignee” includes the personal representative of a deceased assignee, and references to the assignee of any person include references to the assignee of the personal representative or assignee of that person;
“commercially worked” means the manufacture of the product or the carrying on of the process which is the subject of a patent in or by means of a definite and substantial establishment or organisation, and on a scale which is adequate and reasonable in all the circumstances; “company” means a company within the meaning of section 2 of the Companies Act, 1963 , or any other body corporate whether incorporated inside or outside the State;
“the Controller” means the Controller of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks;
“Convention on International Civil Aviation” means the Convention on International Civil Aviation signed at Chicago on the 7th day of December, 1944;
“the Court” means the High Court and, in relation to proceedings to which section 66 applies, includes the Circuit Court;
“date of filing” means—
(a) in relation to an application for a patent made under this Act, the date which is the date of filing of the application by virtue of the relevant provision of this Act, and
(b) in relation to any other application, the date which, under the law of the country where the application is made or in accordance with the terms of a treaty or convention to which the country is a party, is to be treated as the date of filing the application or is equivalent to the date of filing an application in that country;
“date of priority” means the earliest date which has been claimed for priority purposes in accordance with section 26 ;
(i) in relation to an application for a patent, designate (in pursuance of the European Patent Convention or the Treaty, as the case may be) the state or states in which protection is sought for an invention,
(ii) in relation to a patent, designate (in pursuance of the European Patent Convention) the state or states in which the patent has effect;
“director” includes any person occupying the position of director (by whatever name called) of any body corporate;
“divisional application” has the meaning assigned to it by section 24 ;
“the European list” means the list of professional representatives maintained by the European Patent Office in pursuance of the European Patent Convention;
“European patent” means a patent granted under the European Patent Convention;
“European Patent Bulletin” means the bulletin of that name published under the European Patent Convention;
“European Patent Convention” means the Convention on the Grant of European Patents signed at Munich on the 5th day of October, 1973;
“European Patent Office” means the office of that name established by the European Patent Convention;
“exclusive licence” means a licence from a proprietor of or applicant for a patent which confers on the licensee or on the licensee and persons authorized by him, to the exclusion of all other persons (including the proprietor of or applicant for the patent), any right in respect of the invention and “exclusive licensee” and “non-exclusive licence” shall each be construed accordingly;
“functions” includes powers and duties;
“international application for a patent” means an application made under the Treaty;
“inventor” means the actual deviser of an invention and “joint inventor” shall be construed accordingly;
“the Journal” means the Patents Office Journal;
“the Minister” means the Minister for Industry and Commerce;
“the Office” means the Patents Office;
“the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property” means the convention of that name signed at Paris on the 20th day of March, 1883, as amended or supplemented by any protocol to that convention which is for the time being in force in the State;
“patent” means an exclusive right conferred pursuant to Part II or Part III ;
“patent agent” except in section 94 has the meaning assigned to it by section 105 ;
“patent application” means an application under Part II or Part III for a patent;
“prescribed” means, in the case of proceedings before the Court, prescribed by rules of court, and, in any other case, prescribed by rules made under this Act;
“proprietor of the patent” means the person to whom the patent was granted or the person whose title is subsequently registered under section 85 ;
(a) in relation to any document which is required to be published under this Act, means made available to the public and includes the making available for inspection of the document as of right, at the Office and such other place (if any) as may be for the time being specified for the purpose by the Minister, by the public, whether on payment of a fee or not, and
(b) in relation to any other document, matter, record or information which the Controller is authorized to publish means made available to the public and includes the making available of the document, matter, record or information in any form at the Office and such other place (if any) as may be for the time being specified for the purpose by the Minister, whether on payment of a fee or not;
“the register” means the Register of Patents or the register of patent agents, as may be appropriate;
“right”, in relation to any patent or application, includes an interest in the patent or application and, without prejudice to the foregoing, any reference in this Act to a right in a patent includes a reference to a share in the patent;
“the Treaty” means the treaty known as the Patent Co-operation Treaty signed at Washington on the 19th day of June, 1970;
“Union of Paris for the Protection of Industrial Property” means the union established by the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
(2) In this Act, unless otherwise indicated—
(a) a reference to a Part, section or Schedule is to a Part, section or Schedule of this Act,
(b) a reference to a subsection is a reference to a subsection of the section in which the reference occurs.
Orders and rules.
3. —(1) Where a power to make orders or rules is conferred by this Act, such orders or rules may be made either as respects all, or as respects any one or more, of the matters to which the power relates, and different provisions may be made by any such orders or rules as respects matters which are of different classes or descriptions.
(2) Every order or rule made under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and if a resolution annulling the order or rule is passed by either such House within the next twenty-one days on which the House has sat after the order or rule is laid before it, the order or rule shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
(3) As soon as may be after any order or rule is made under this Act notice of the making thereof, and of the place where copies thereof may be obtained, shall be published in the Journal.
(4) The power to make an order includes power to amend or revoke the order, except in the case of an order under section 1 (2).
4. —The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.
Repeals and transitional provisions.
5. —The Act of 1964 and the Patents (Amendment) Act, 1966 , are hereby repealed, subject to the provisions of the First Schedule .