§ Sir David Steel
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will bring forward proposals to simplify the laws concerning the protection of patents in Scotland and establish a Scottish patents court similar to the Patents county court in England.
§ Mr. Lang
The Scottish arrangements for patent litigation were most recently reviewed by a working party under the chairmanship of the hon. Lord Jauncey which concluded that the Court of Session should retain exclusive jurisdiction and that a number of changes should be made to the rules of court to streamline procedures, avoid unnecessary delays and reduce costs. These changes will shortly be brought into effect by the making of amendments to the rules of court. Patent law in the United Kingdom has recently been amended by parts V and VI of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has no proposals for further changes.