§ Mr. Byers
I have set the Patent Office the following targets for 2000–01.
Patents1. To issue 14,500 patent search reports or combined search and examination reports on average within three months from the date of request, with 90 per cent. of those within four months from the date of request.2. To grant 8,500 valid patents on average within two years from the date of filing of the request for substantive examination, with 90 per cent. of those within three years from the date of request.
Designs3. To register 7,700 designs on average within five months from the date of filing of the application, with 90 per cent. of those within 12 months.
Trade Marks4. To process 70,000 trade mark class applications with a target to register within nine months, 90 per cent. of those to which no substantive objections are raised or oppositions filed.
Finance5. To pay 100 per cent. of bills within 30 days of receipt of goods or services or a valid invoice, whichever is the later.
Questions designated to the Chief Executive6. The Chief Executive will reply within 10 working days to all letters from Members of Parliament delegated to her for reply.
Efficiency Targets7. To increase output in relation to current expenditure by an average of at least 2 per cent. per annum over the period 1998–99 to 2002–03.8. I have placed copies of the Corporate Plan in the Libraries of the House.