§ Mr. Dempsey
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why his embassy officials in Tokyo refused their help when assistance was requested by the Scottish Knitwear Council, which had expressed concern at Japanese manufacturers using Scottish clan names to advance the sale of their commodities.
§ Mr. Ennals
I think there has been some misunderstanding. All the evidence I have indicates that the embassy acted promptly and diligently on behalf of the Scottish Knitwear Council.
On 9th March the embassy received a telex request from the council to lodge objections to 19 trade mark applications, the opposition period for which expired that day. Such objections must be made through Japanese patent lawyers, and, having attempted in vain to consult the Scottish Knitwear Council by telephone, the embassy immediately instructed a local law firm to lodge objections on the council's behalf. This was done within the time limit. The embassy so informed the council, requesting it to instruct its patent attorney to follow up the matter with the local law firm—which, I understand, the council has since done. In subsequent exchanges the council asked whether opposition could be lodged by the embassy through diplomatic channels and, if not, requested an estimate of legal costs. The embassy explained again that objections had to be lodged through a Japanese lawyer and said that the latter was unable to estimate costs at that stage since these would depend on the time spent on the case.
The embassy has advised that the proper legal procedures, including substantiation of the objections, must be followed before it could effectively 466W approach the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.