Innovation
Irish Patents Office breaks the law - - Update
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jul 31, 2014 - 4:00 AM

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Ireland - Copyright in the 6th Century

Update: The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation published the Irish Patents Office 2013 annual report on Thursday July 31 -- a month after it said it had presented the report to the Houses of the Oireachtas. Why then was the report not published in June?

Aug 01: Irish resident patenting not suggestive of 'world class knowledge economy'

The Irish Patents Office has not yet published its 2013 annual report, which is in breach of the law: Section 103 of the Patents Act of 1992 states:

103.—The Controller shall prepare a report in respect of each year ending 31st December respecting the execution by or under him of this Act and of any other enactment for the administration of which he is responsible and he shall cause the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas within 6 months following the end of the year to which it relates. The report shall include, in respect of the year to which it relates, particulars of all rules made in that year under or for the purposes of the said Act or enactments and an account of all fees, salaries and allowances, and other money received and paid under the Act or enactments."

Wonder why this report that used to be published in May a few years ago, is not available by July 31? Is it being held over until August when it will get no attention?

The patents office is an agency within the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, headed by Richard Bruton TD, and it may seem strange that when a press release can be issued with a ministerial claim of credit for as low as 20 new jobs, the annual report does not normally merit a press release.

Promotion of science and innovation are the flagship enterprise policies and while patent applications and their quality - - a developing area - - are not the only metrics of progress, the trend gives some useful information.

In a decade, public science policy spending has amounted to €24bn.

This is the official goal for 2020 as outlined in a document on FDI (foreign direct investment) that was published on Wednesday:

Ireland recognised as one of the most enterprise aligned science, technology & innovation systems in the world, renowned for excellence in research, connecting and collaborating with enterprise, delivering sustainable economic impact, and attracting investment and exceptional talent."

While patenting by universities and young firms has improved in recent years, foreign-owned firms who are responsible for almost three-quarters of what is termed business R&D spending, do little research in Ireland that merit patenting.

In 2013 Irish resident patent applications to the European Patent Office (EPO), which provides protection in 38 states, were at 548 down from 593 in 2012 and 712 in 2008.

The ratio per million inhabitants of EPO applications in 2013 was 115 in Ireland; the EU28 average was 129; the leaders were Switzerland (non-EU) 832; Sweden 402; Finland 360; Denmark 347; Netherlands 347 and Germany 328.

The number of EPO patents granted to Irish residents was 121 in 2006 when a new public science strategy was launched, and 187 in 2013.

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT: 148 countries in 2013) patent applications were at 435 in 2013, compared with 390 in 2012 and 481 in 2008 - - Skype was the top PCT filer in 2012 and 3 universities were among the top 9 filers from Ireland - - no significant exporter was among them.

The Irish Patents Office (IPO) acts as a receiving office for PCT applications and it carries out administrative checks before transmitting the application to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva.

In 2012 resident applications (including foreign-owned firms) to the IPO were at a 30-year low - - that is what is called a bitter truth or inconvenient fact and in Ireland's spin-addicted system, this is unwelcome.


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