§ Mr. Fletcher-Cooke
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will now make a statement about the outcome of the recent Diplomatic Conference on the European Patent Convention.
§ Sir G. Howe
The conference successfully resulted in the signature of the convention by 14 Western European States, including this country. The essential feature of the convention is that it will make it possible to obtain a patent covering most of Europe by means of a single application which can be filed and prosecuted throughout in English. The advantages of this system, in terms of cost and convenience, as compared with the550W
footwear; and if he will give comparable data from international sources regarding the same industries in the United States, Japan and each EEC country.
§ Sir G. Howe
The information available for the United Kingdom is given in the table below. Comparable data are not available for other countries.
existing need to apply in each individual country, are self-evident. Separate national patents will, however, still be available for those who prefer them.
The headquarters of the European Patent Office is to be in Munich, but under the convention the British Patent Office will be able to carry out examination work for the European Patent Office during the first 15 years, which will clearly be an important formative period. Moreover, all the participating countries have agreed that the convention enables the European Patent Office to transfer work to national offices, including our own, at any time if this seems necessary.
The convention is the result of four years of negotiations. We have throughout been closely in touch with industry, commerce and the professions about these matters and I should like to express Her Majesty's Government's gratitude for the co-operation, help and advice which we have received from them. The Government believe that the institution of a European patent will be of considerable benefit to British industry and British inventors and we shall do everything in our power to ensure its success. For this purpose it will clearly be important that British staff should play a full part in the new European office in Munich, and we shall do all we can to bring this about.