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Employee Inventions

Volume 201: debated on Wednesday 15 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claims for adjudication have been made to the Comptroller of Patents seeking awards for employee inventions as provided in section 40 of the Patents Act 1977 in each year since 1978; in how many of those cases an award was made; and what was the average value of the awards made in each year.

The number of applications under section 40 to the comptroller since 1978 has been 16—one in 1984, one in 1985, five in 1986, one in 1987, four in 1989, two in 1990 and two in 1991. Of these, eight were withdrawn before hearing, three were heard but no award made, and the remaining five are still in the evidence stage. One of the applicants heard but rejected is under appeal to the Patents Court.