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Trade Marks

Volume 929: debated on Monday 4 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what consideration he has now given to the Memorandum on the Creation of an EEC Trade Mark Supplement 8/76 by the Commission of the EEC; what discussions he has had with British industry and the appropriate trade associations; and if he will publish any representations he has made to the EEC about its impact on British trade marks, trade names and other established practices.

The memorandum referred has been considered in detail by my Department in the light of the advice of the Standing Advisory Committee on Trade Marks. This body was set up to advise the Secretary of State on all trade mark matters, and consists of representatives of industry, practitioners, the legal professions and consumers. The problems posed by the creation of a Community mark are complex, and the memorandum represents an attempt by the Commission to formulate a workable scheme as a basis for discussion. Officials from all member States and the Commission have participated in two meetings of a working group at which the memorandum was discussed. The Commission will now produce a draft instrument taking account of the conclusions of this group, and this draft will form the working document for a further series of working group meetings, of which the first will be held in May of this year. The hon. Member will see from this that our views are made known during the working group discussions, so that the question of separate representations does not arise.Throughout the discussions, my officials will keep the Standing Advisory Committee informed and will seek its advice; nevertheless, any person or organisation wishing to express an individual viewpoint to my Department may, of course, do so.