§ Mr. Binns
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether applications for 79W patents are dealt with in chronological order of date of deposit of complete specification and the extent of the waiting period in the cases accepted in January, 1946; is he aware of the effect of undue delay on the rights of applicants to carry . their inventions to convention countries, in view of the time limit imposed in the international convention rules; and whether, until normal conditions are regained, priority can be given to applications for patents connected with trade and industry over those connected with war material.
§ Sir S. Cripps
Applications for patents on which complete specifications have been filed are dealt with in chronological order so far as the necessary grouping of subject matter permits. The average interval between the filing of a complete specification and the issue of the Examiner's report thereon was about 20 months in January, 1946.
The period for claiming priority for applications filed in other countries under the International Convention begins to run from the date of application in this country. The delay in examination of the United Kingdom application does not affect such rights, but I am aware that in present circumstances the decision to file a foreign Convention application must be taken before the result of the official search is known. In this connection, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Merioneth (Squadron - Leader Emrys Roberts) on 28th January last. Agreements for extensions of the Convention priority period for wartime applications are operating in some countries, and proposals for similar extensions have been made to other countries. The proposal to give priority to applications for particular types of inventions is regarded as impracticable.
§ Mr. Binns
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the arrears of work at the Patent Office and the injurious effect on trade of undue delay: and if he will state the numbers of cases, filed with complete specifications, uncleared at 31st July, 1939, and at 31st December, 1945, respectively; the average monthly rates at which complete specifications were filed and cleared by acceptance, respectively, in the first six months of 1939 and the second six months of 1945; and the number of complete speci- 80W fications awaiting clearance at 31st January, 1946.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I am aware of the arrears of work at the Patent Office, and would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Merioneth (Squadron-Leader Emrys Roberts) on this subject on 28th January last. The number of complete specifications awaiting examination was 6,213 on the 31st July, 1939, and 21,586 on the 31st December, 1945.
The average monthly rates of filing and examination of complete specifications for the periods referred to are. as follow:
Falied. Examined. January-June, 1939 2,018 1,916 July-December, 1945 1,909 1,187
The number of complete specifications awaiting examination on the 31st January, 1946, was 22,077.