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Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether his Department monitors how VALPAK uses its licence fee income from the use of the Green Dot trademark; (145805)

(2) for what reasons the decision was taken to authorise VALPAK to charge a licence fee for the use of the Green Dot trademark;

(2) how his Department monitors the use of the Green Dot trademark to ensure that products bearing the trademark uphold the environmental obligations associated with the logo.

Currently, the Green Dot Licensing Company (a subsidiary of Valpak) is vested with the task of managing the Green Dot trademark in the UK. The Green Dot Licensing Company administers Green Dot licences in the UK on behalf of the licence-holder, Pro-Europe, and this decision was made by Pro-Europe rather than the UK Government.

Valpak, as part of the agreement with Pro-Europe, is required to manage the Green Dot registered trademark according to English trademark laws. This includes the policing of its use, granting “User Agreements”‘, ensuring the integrity of the mark is protected and that it is not used in a misleading fashion or in derogation of its meaning in any way.

Valpak operates the Green Dot Licensing Company on a non-profit making basis and charges a flat licence fee. The licence fee reflects Valpak’s operating costs and these will depend on the number of Green Dot users; the more users, the lower the fee. The costs are purely operating costs which will be charged back to those companies using the Green Dot logo.