§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the names of members of the standing committee on intellectual property, the enterprises, agencies and institutions with which the members are connected and their date of appointment.
§ Mr. Leigh
The following organisations are members of the departmental standing advisory committee on industrial property—SACIPthe Institute of Patentees and Inventors, the Trade Marks, Patents and Designs Federation, the Confederation of British Industry, the British Retail Consortium, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, the Chartered Society of Designers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents, the Institute of Trade Mark Agents, the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, the Consumers' Association, the National Consumer Council, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Licensing Executives Society, the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Law Society of Scotland and a representative of the academic world, currently Queen Mary and Westfield college intellectual property law unit.
Each organisation selects a suitable individual to deal with business and represent it at meetings; these representatives can vary for each meeting and may be selected according to the subject matter of the agenda.
The chairman of the committee is Mr. David Lewis OBE, who was appointed chairman for three years when SACIP was set up in October 1988, and reappointed in 1991. Mr. Lewis does not represent a particular organisation.
The member organisations joined by invitation from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Consumer Affairs when SACIP was set up, with the exception of the Law Society of Scotland and the Licensing Executives Society—which were invited to join in November 1991—and the Federation of Small Businesses—which replaced the previous small firms representative in October 1992.
§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how often the Standing Committee on Intellectual Property has met since April 1992; when it next proposes to meet; and what is its current work programme.
§ Mr. Leigh
The departmental standing advisory committee on industrial property has met three times since April 1992. Two meetings are planned for the near future, one to consider the Patent Office's corporate plan for 1993 and various other matters of interest to users of the Patent Office's services—date not yet fixed—and another on 28 April to consider proposals from the World Intellectual Property Organisation for a treaty on the harmonisation of patent law.
SACIP does not have a detailed work programme. Its function is to advise on policy and practice and it therefore 334W responds to issues when they arise—for example, in the European Council work on industrial property. However, during the last year, issues that SACIP has considered include revision of United Kingdom trade mark law, the draft EC regulation on the Community trade mark system, proposals for an international treaty on the harmonisation of trade mark law, the European Commission green paper on designs, the EC directive for the protection of biotechnological inventions, patenting of lifeforms, industrial property aspects of the human genome project and the biodiversity convention, and supplementary protection certificates for pharmaceuticals.