Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Patent Remedies in Ireland

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh.  To my knowledge, there isn't a great deal of patent litigation in Ireland, and my book makes only a couple of passing references to Ireland.  Seeing how today is St. Patrick's Day, however, readers might be interested in taking a look at the remedies portions of Ireland's Patents Act (what better way to spend the holiday?).  Section 47 states:
(1) Civil proceedings for infringement of a patent may be brought in the Court by the proprietor of the patent in respect of any act of infringement which he alleges he is entitled under sections 40 to 43 and section 45 to prevent and (without prejudice to any other jurisdiction of the Court) in those proceedings a claim may be made—
(a) for an injunction restraining the defendant from any apprehended act of such infringement;
(b) for an order requiring the defendant to deliver up or destroy any product covered by the patent in relation to which the patent is alleged to have been infringed or any article in which the product is inextricably comprised;
(c) for damages in respect of the alleged infringement;
(d) for an account of the profits derived by the defendant from the alleged infringement;
(e) for a declaration that the patent is valid and has been infringed by the defendant.
(2) The Court shall not, in respect of the same infringement, both award the proprietor of a patent damages and order that he shall be given an account of the profits.
Other relevant provisions include sections 49(1) ("In proceedings for the infringement of a patent damages shall not be awarded, and no order shall be made for an account of profits, against a defendant who proves that at the date of the infringement he was not aware, and had no reasonable grounds for supposing, that that patent existed, and a person shall not be deemed to have been so aware or to have had reasonable grounds for so supposing by reason only of the application to a product of the word “patent” or “patented” or any word or words expressing or implying that a patent has been obtained for the product, unless the number of the relevant patent accompanied the word or words in question.") and 50(2) ("Where in proceedings for the infringement of a patent the plaintiff proves that the specification of the patent was framed in good faith and with reasonable skill and knowledge, the Court may grant relief in respect of that part of the patent which is valid and infringed, subject to the discretion of the Court as to costs and as to the date from which damages should be reckoned.").  The three provisions quoted are very similar to provisions found in sections 61 and 62 of the U.K. Patents Act, as discussed in my book at pages 184-85.

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