Patent law and practice, and the drafting of the specification, describing an invention, are complex matters for which the help of a patent agent is very advisable unless the applicant has had specialised training in this field.

It must be remembered that the contents of the specification determine whether a patent can be granted as well as the scope and validity of the granted patent. The patent agent also arranges to file patent applications abroad and provides advice on matters relating to the commercial exploitation of an invention. The invention can be discussed freely with the patent agent because the disclosure will be in confidence.

Applicants having neither their residence nor principal place of business in the State must be represented by a patent agent. Even those who have their residence or business in the State are required to use the services of an agent in certain matters (see Rule 93 of the Patent Rules, 1992). Where the applicant is represented by a patent agent all enquiries should be directed to that agent and all official communications from the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland are with the appointed agent.

NOTE : The Intellectual Property Office of Ireland cannot advise applicants as to choice of agent.

A list of registered patent agents is available here or from the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland.