I would refer the Deputy to the earlier replies given to Parliamentary Questions 270 and 295 on 4 February last at which point I advised that this issue is under active consideration in my Department. In the replies given at that time, I indicated the intention to bring this matter to the attention of Government within the next few months and that remains my intention.
I am fully seized of the concerns expressed by a number of interested parties in relation to the location of a local division of the Court outside the State in the context of submissions received up to very recently. This wide engagement with the relevant stakeholders on this issue is informing our overall consideration.
The Deputy has raised the issue of whether there will be consultation with the Oireachtas Committees in advance of taking a decision on this issue. I am sure that the Deputy will appreciate that, in the first instance, Government should have the opportunity to be fully apprised of the issues arising for the State in relation to the various policy options that present in relation to the Unified Patent Court. However, I do intend, as I mentioned at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on 4 February last when this matter came up for mention, to keep the Committee fully informed of developments in this regard.