HC Deb 23 June 1998 vol 314 cc473-4W
Dr. Cable

To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many complaints her Department has received about the cost of lodging an objection with the Patent Office in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [47046]

Mr. Ian McCartney

There are two routes available under the Trade Marks Act 1994 to anyone who wishes to object to an application to register a trade mark. Section 38(2) provides for any person to lodge opposition. The present fee for this is £200, and the opponent then becomes a party to proceedings before the Registrar. However, under section 38(3), a person may make written observations without payment of any fee, and without becoming a party to proceedings.

In the 12 month period to the end of May 1998, over 1,600 oppositions and more than 130 observations were filed. The Registrar is aware of only one formal complaint in that period about the cost of filing opposition.

Forward to