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Patents: Complaints

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many complaints (a) the Patent Office and (b) his Department have received on the (i) registration and (ii) administration of patents since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (266814)

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the operating name of The Patent Office, has records of complaints received since the year 2000. Records prior to that have not been retained. These records do not distinguish between registration and administration. Information on recent complaints received since 2006 is available on the IPO website at:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/feedback/feedback-previous.htm

The numbers of complaints received in each financial year since 2000 are as follows:

Number of complaints

Including Box 49

2000-01

46

2001-02

19

2002-03

28

2003-04

53

16

2004-05

35

8

2005-06

23

10

2006-07

28

6

2007-08

25

11

2008-09

127

15

1 To date.

Those complaints referred to as “Box 49” were made direct to the chief executive through the IPO’s formal complaints procedure.

These figures include complaints received by the IPO’s parent Department, currently the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and before that the Department for Trade and Industry, and forwarded to the IPO for action. It is unlikely that any complaints made to the parent Department about patent registration or administration would not have been referred to the IPO.