To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment she has made of the impact of the EU Patent Directive on developing countries' (a) attempts to conserve genetic resources and (b) farmers' rights; and if she will make a statement. 
The Commission's proposal for a Directive on legal protection of biotechnological inventions seeks to harmonise certain aspects of the national patent laws of the Member States. It is an Internal Market measure and seeks to eliminate current uncertainties as to what can attract patent rights in the biotechnological field, which may be acting as a deterrent to investment in the industry in Europe. Since the proposal concerns only the EU Member States' laws, and patent rights are valid only on a national basis, there is no direct read across for countries outside the Community. Other countries, including those of the developing world, remain free to determine their own national patent regimes, and to deal with conservation of genetic resources and the position of farmers as they see fit.
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment she has made of the impact of the EU Patent Directive on competitiveness within the EU Single Market; and if she will make a statement. 
The purpose of the proposed Directive is to establish a clear legal framework for the protection of biotechnological inventions through national patent law. Although the texts of Member States' patent laws are currently closely aligned with that of the European Patent Convention (an international governmental agreement dating from 1978), there have been differences in interpretation between Member states. Although no assessment has been made as to the direct effect this proposed Directive may have on enhancing competitiveness, the clarification arising from it will reduce current uncertainty in this area of law and its possible deterrent to investment in this industry.