§ Sir Dudley Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what efforts he is making to ensure that patent protection obtainable from the European patent office by smaller firms and academic institutions in England and Wales is as comprehensive and effective as that available to other applicants in other parts of the world and particularly the United States of America.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
We believe that all applicants, including small firms and academic institutions, can obtain patent protection from the European patent office which is already as comprehensive and effective as that available in other parts of the world including the United States of America. Differences do however exist between the national patent laws of different countries and we are actively involved in international negotations to minimise them.