EUROPEAN PATENT ORGANISATION
Ireland has ratified the European Patent Convention and the PCT
1. Ratification of the EPC
The Government of the Republic of Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification of the European Patent Convention (EPC) on 11 May 1992. The EPC will accordingly enter into force for Ireland on 1 August 1992.
The European Patent Organisation will thus comprise the following 17 Member States as from 1 August 1992: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Further information concerning the effect of this ratification and the national provisions for implementation of the EPC will be published in a later issue of the Official Journal.
2. Important information
Ireland can therefore be designated1 in European patent applications filed on or after 1 August 1992.
The EPO will accord European patent applications filed during July 1992 and expressly designating Ireland, the filing date of1 August 1992 if the applicant expressly requests such filing date when filing the application.
3. Ratification of the PCT
Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) with the World Intellectual Property Organization on 1 May 1992. The PCT will accordingly enter into force for Ireland on 1 August 1992, Ireland being bound by Chapter II PCT (international preliminary examination).
Consequently, as from that date, nationals and residents of Ireland are entitled to file international applications with the Irish Patents Office or the European Patent Office as Receiving Office. Furthermore, in any international application filed on or after 1 August 1992, Ireland may be designated or elected. The designation of Ireland has the effect of an indication of the wish to obtain a European patent for Ireland under the European Patent Convention (Article 45(2) PCT). A national (Irish) patent cannot be obtained through an international application.
1 The current Request for Grant form (EPA/EPO/OEB Form 1001 12/91, OJ EPO 1991, 605) remains valid and a revised version is not foreseen for the present. Applicants wishing to designate Ireland should take care to add it to Section 33 ("Designation of Contracting States"). As from 1 August 1992 Section 34 ("Precautionary Designation of all Contracting States") will apply to Ireland.