HC Deb 25 February 1970 vol 796 cc1192-3
42. Mr. Gregory

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps are being taken to make it easier for British inventors to obtain protection for their inventions abroad.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

We are actively participating in the preparation of two far-reaching international schemes to this end: one for a world-wide patent co-operation treaty, and the other for a European patent convention. The first is likely to be finalised at a conference in Washington in May of this year. The second has reached the stage where a preliminary draft will be published very soon and will be discussed with interested international non-governmental organisations in Luxembourg in April of this year.

Mr. Gregory

Are they alternative schemes, or could both become operative?

Mrs. Dunwoody

There is a general agreement that they are compatible with and complementary to each other.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

Whilst I welcome the statement the hon. Lady made in her main answer, would she consider consulting the Institute of Patentees and Inventors, to which the Ministry of Technology has recently given a grant?

Mrs. Dunwoody

We shall certainly consult all the interested bodies before any action is taken.