Regulatory Reform Committee

Session 2003-04        15 June 2004

Draft Regulatory Reform (Patents) Order 2004

The Government laid this draft order before Parliament on 7 June 2004. It would amend the Patents Act 1977 to render the formalities requirements of UK patent law compliant with the provisions of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Patent Law Treaty (PLT) of 2000.  The UK is a signatory to the PLT and intends in due course to ratify it, once the necessary changes to domestic legislation have been made. The order would also reduce burdens and restrictions in the present UK patent regime which the Government considers unnecessary. The principal beneficiaries of the proposed reforms are applicants for patents, patent agents and their clients.

The Committee has already reported on the proposal for the Order (2nd Report, Session 2003-04, HC 337).  The Committee recommended that the proposal should be amended before a draft order was laid before the House.

The Committee has now considered the draft Order in accordance with its Standing Order. The Committee is content with the amendments which have been made by the Government in response to its earlier report, and has recommended unanimously to the House that the draft Order be approved. 

The Committee's full report will be published as its Eighth Report of the current Session at 2.00 pm on Friday 18 June. It will be available from all Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 683).

The text of the report will also be available on the Committee's website from 3.30 pm on the day of publication. (