HC Deb 17 June 2002 vol 387 cc97-8

6A (1) The Patents Act 1977 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 50 there is inserted—

"50A Powers exercisable following merger and market investigations

(1) Subsection (2) below applies where—

  1. (a) section 40(2), 54(2), 65(6), 72(2), 80(2), 132(2), 141(2) or 154(2) of, or paragraph 5(2) or 10(2) of Schedule 7 to, the Enterprise Act 2002 (powers to take remedial action following merger or market investigations) applies;
  2. (b) the Competition Commission or (as the case may be) the Secretary of State considers that it would be appropriate to make an application under this section for the purpose of remedying. mitigating or preventing a matter which cannot be dealt with under the enactment concerned; and
  3. (c) the matter concerned involves—
    1. (i) conditions in licences granted under a patent by its proprietor restricting the use of the invention by the licensee or the right of the proprietor to grant other licences; or
    2. (ii) a refusal by the proprietor of a patent to grant licences on reasonable terms.

(2) The Competition Commission or (as the case may be) the Secretary of State may apply to the comptroller to take action under this section

(3) Before making an application the Competition Commission or (as the case may be) the Secretary of State shall publish, in such manner as it or he thinks appropriate, a notice describing the nature of the proposed application and shall consider any representations which may be made within 30 days of such publication by persons whose interests appear to it or him to be affected.

(4) The comptroller may. if it appears to him on an application under this section that the application is made in accordance with this section, by order cancel or modify any condition concerned of the kind mentioned in subsection (1)(c)(i) above or may, instead or in addition, make an entry in the register to the effect that licences under the patent are to be available as of right.

(5) References in section 34, 35, 46, 62, 128 or 135 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (questions to be decided by the Competition Commission in its reports) to taking action under section 40(2), 54, 65, 132 or 141 shall include references to taking action under subsection (2) above.

(6) Action taken by virtue of subsection (4) above in consequence of an application under subsection (2) above where an enactment mentioned in subsection (1)(a) above applies shall be treated, for the purposes of sections 88(3), 89(1)(a), 156(1) and 160(3) of the Enterprise Act 2002 (duties to register and keep under review enforcement orders etc.), as if it were the making of an enforcement order (within the meaning of the Part concerned) under the relevant power in Part 3 or (as the case may be) 4 of that Act."

(3) In section 51(1) (powers exercisable in consequence of report of Competition Commission), paragraphs (a) and (b) shall cease to have effect.

(4) In section 53(2) (statements in certain reports of the Competition Commission to be prima facie evidence of the matters stated) after "1980" there is inserted "or published under Part 3 or 4 of the Enterprise Act 2002".'.

No. 385, in page 314, line 6, leave out ", (4) and (5)" and insert "and (4)".

No. 386, in page 314, line 6, at end insert—

  1. '(b) in subsection (4), for the words "against the public interest" there is substituted "inappropriate";
  2. (c) for subsection (5) there is substituted—

"(5) In deciding what is inappropriate for the purposes of subsection (4) the Secretary of State shall have regard to the considerations mentioned in section 238 of the Enterprise Act 2002."'.

No. 189, in page 314, line 16, after "(6)", insert "or 111(3)(b) or (4)(b)".

No. 190, in page 314, line 17, after "11B(1)(c)", insert "or (f)'.—

No. 387, in page 314, line 38, at end insert—

'(10) For the purposes of the Scotland Act 1998 (c. 46) the amendments made by this paragraph shall be taken to be pre-commencement enactments within the meaning of that Act.'.

No. 388, in page 314, line 42, at end insert—