Controller of Patents v Ireland

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeKeane C.J.
Judgment Date19 November 2001
Docket Number[1998 8283 P and S.C. Nos. 241 of 1998 and 133 of 1999]
CourtSupreme Court
Date19 November 2001
CONTROLLER OF PATENTS DESIGNS & TRADEMARKS v. IRELAND & ORS
CONTROLLER OF PATENTS DESIGNS & TRADEMARKS
-V-
IRELAND & ORS.

2001 WJSC-SC 780

Keane C.J.

Denham J.

Murphy J.

McGuinness J.

Fennelly J.

241/98
133/99

THE SUPREME COURT

Synopsis:

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

Discovery

Evidence - Relevance - Material sought inadmissible -Separation of powers - Statutory interpretation - Whether debates of Oireachtas admissible in construing legislation - Whether order of discovery against Government should be ordered (241/1998; 133/1999 - Supreme Court - 19/11/01)

Controller of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks v Ireland - [2001] 4 IR 245

Facts: The plaintiff had sought an injunction restraining the Minister from bringing into force certain provisions of the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1998. The plaintiff had also sought discovery of documentation in relation to the preparation, drafting and amendments concerning the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 1998 (now known as the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1998. The plaintiff claimed that the Act in question unlawfully and unconstitutionally interfered with proceedings which he had already brought into being. The plaintiff also claimed that the Act unlawfully and unconstitutionally interfered with his position as the Controller and the conditions of his employment. Mr. Justice Kelly in the High Court declined to make the orders sought and the plaintiff appealed in respect of the failure to order discovery. On behalf of the plaintiff it was conceded that the application to restrain the Minister from implementing the Act was now moot and was not being pursued.

Held by the Supreme Court (Keane C.J. delivering judgment, Denham J., Murphy J., McGuinness J. and Fennelly J. agreeing) in dismissing the appeal. The discovery being sought could not in the slightest degree assist the plaintiff. Either the Act as passed by the Oireachtas and as signed by the President was unconstitutional for the reasons being advanced by the plaintiff or was not. The court had recently stated that it would not even entertain the citation of passages from debates in the Oireachtas with a view to ascertaining what the intention of the Government or the Executive was in introducing particular legislation. The court did not have the power to consider discussions and interviews which ministers may have had with Dáil Deputies or Senators. The plaintiff's claim was...

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9 cases
  • OâÇÖSULLIVAN v IRISH PRISON SERVICE
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 25 d2 Maio d2 2010
    ...v. Tara Mines Ltd. (No. 6) [2000] 4 I.R. 412. Cockle v. Isaksen [1957] HCA 85, (1957) 99 C.L.R. 155. Controller of Patents v. Ireland [2001] 4 I.R. 229. Crilly v. T. & J. Farrington Ltd. [2001] 3 I.R. 251; [2002] 1 I.L.R.M. 161. D.D. v. Gibbons [2006] IEHC 33, [2006] 3 I.R. 17. Dublin Wellw......
  • Callely v Moylan and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 14 d5 Janeiro d5 2011
    ...427 1997/11/3508 HAUGHEY & MULHERN v MORIARTY & ORS 1999 3 IR 1 CONTROLLER OF PATENTS DESIGNS & TRADE MARKS & FITZPATRICK v IRELAND & ORS 2001 4 IR 229 TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 MAGUIRE & ORS v ARDAGH & ORS 2002 1 IR 385 HOWLIN v MORRIS 2006 2 IR 321 CONSTITUTION ART 15 BYRN......
  • Callely v Moylan and Others
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 9 d3 Abril d3 2014
    ...v. Moriarty & Ors. [1999] 3 I.R. 1 ( or "Haughey") (p. 16); Controller of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks & Anor. v. Ireland & Ors. [2001] 4 I.R. 229 ( "Controller of Patents") (Kelly J. at p. 242); Maguire & Ors. v. Ardagh & Ors. [2002] 1 I.R. 385 (or "Maguire") (Divisional Court p. 41......
  • Byrne v Dublin City Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 18 d3 Março d3 2009
    ...2 and 3 - Campus Oil v Minister for Industry (No. 2) [1983] IR 88, Ferris v Ward [1998] 2 IR 194 and Controller of Patents v Ireland [2001] 4 IR 229 applied; Dublin City Council v Fennell [2005] 1 IR 604 and Pullen v Dublin City Council [2008] IEHC 379 (Unrep, Irvine J, 12/12/2008) cons......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The Relevane of Constitutional Rights to the Granting of an Interlocutory Injunction
    • Ireland
    • Hibernian Law Journal No. 12-2013, January 2013
    • 1 d2 Janeiro d2 2013
    ...IR 713 46 Campus Oil , supra note 11 47 Crotty, supra note 45 p.725 48 Ibid. 49 Controller of Patents, Designs and Trademarks v Ireland [2001] 4 IR 229 50 Ibid , p.236 51 Pesca Valentia , supra note 40 52 Controller of Patents, Designs and Trademarks v Ireland [2001] 4 IR 229, p.237 53 In G......

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