Short-term patents are more easily and economically obtained. A short-term patent lasts for ten years.

The criteria are less onerous than for a full patent. An invention shall be patentable if it is new and susceptible to industrial application, provided it is not clearly lacking an inventive step.

The same degree of inventiveness is not required. The application is not examined relative to the existing state-of-the-art. There is no requirement to submit searches in other jurisdictions or proof of other patents abroad.


A short and long-term patent may be applied for the same invention. The short-term patent is granted first. It is rendered void by the grant of a full patent.

An application for a short-term patent shall contain a request for the grant of a short-term patent.

The requirement to disclose only the best method of performing is considerably less onerous than that which applies to a full patent, where the full specification must be disclosed so that it can be performed by a person skilled in the art.

The patent claims must be clear and supported by the description. Any drawings referred to in the description must be included.


It shall contain a specification which

  • describes the invention and the best method of performing it known to the applicant
  • incorporates one or more claims, but not exceeding five, defining the matter for which protection is sought, which claims shall be clear and supported by the description, and
  • is accompanied by any drawing referred to in the description, claim or claims and an abstract.


Prior to enforcing a short-term patent against third parties, it is necessary to obtain a search or, if the patent is registered abroad, evidence of a patent or search from a Convention country. A number of alternative international searches are available.  This is the quid pro quo for the grant of the application without having to submit evidence of patentability or an equivalent patent in another country.

The search is sent to the applicant, the owner and the alleged infringer. The purpose is to enable the alleged infringer to consider the validity of the patent.  He may counterclaim for revocation if he believes that the patent is not valid.

A third party can request a search. They must have suspected that the invention is not novel or lacks an inventor step. They must have a legitimate interest in the matter so that it is reasonable for the report request to be made.


Short-term patents may be revoked on the same grounds as a patent. It may also be challenged on the grounds that the claims of the specification of the patent are not supported by the description.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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