asked the Secretary of State for Trade what plans he has to speed the processing of patent applications, in view of the Patent Office's backlog of approximately 50,000 unexamined applications.
The instructions to the technical staff of the Patent Office emphasise that they concentrate on matters affecting the validity of the patents when granted and their performance is monitored by quality control. The present backlog of unexamined complete specifications is equivalent to 14 months' filings. This year's recruitment is expected to yield 33 new technical staff. With their aid, the backlog should be reduced by about one month's filings by the end of the year. Unless the filing rate increases, a substantial further reduction in backlog should be made in 1976.