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6 Feb 2007 : Column 899Wcontinued
DCTA had 46 patents granted up to 31 December 2001 in 11 families of which 41 patents (in seven families) have been subsequently abandoned.
In 2002 11 patents were granted in three families of which one patent has been subsequently abandoned.
In 2003 nine patents were granted in three families of which one patent has been subsequently abandoned.
In 2004 one patent was granted.
DCTA currently has one patent family licensed.
Atomic Weapons Establishment AWE
AWE had 87 patents granted up to 31 December 2001 in 32 families of which 68 patents (in 32 families) have been subsequently abandoned.
In 2002 seven patents were granted in four families.
In 2003 12 patents were granted in eight families of which five patents (in five families) have been subsequently abandoned.
In 2004 23 patents were granted in seven families of which two patents (in two families) have been subsequently abandoned.
In 2005 four patents were granted in three families of which one patent has been subsequently abandoned.
In 2006 seven patents was granted in three families.
AWE currently has five patent families licensed.
The following have been identified as bodies which may come under the general heading but for which there has been insufficient time to investigate in detail or identify any licenses.
The table indicates the total number of GB and EP patents published in the names of the Government research laboratories indicated, which were chosen as a sample of the most well known from a list from the UK Trade and Investment website (www.ibb.gov.uk/rd/natlab) searching national laboratories. We have not checked which of these are published, which granted, and no account of the date of publication or grant has been taken.
I add that these figures can be considered as approximate only, since the laboratories above may also have applied for patents in other names (such as Department for Trade and Industry, Secretary of State for...). Moreover name searching is fraught with difficulty because of the many different forms in which a name may be presented, and the figures should be considered as a guide.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact of pre-payment gas and electricity meters on low income customers; and what estimate he has made of the cost to customers of having to use pre-payment meters. 
Malcolm Wicks: According to the Expenditure and Food Survey 2005-06, around half of prepayment meter customers fall into households in the bottom 30 per cent. of the income distribution. The average annual bill for gas pre-payment customers in 2006 is £25 higher than standard credit, while the average bill for electricity pre-payment customers is £21 higher than standard credit. Some companies have equalised their pre-payment and standard credit tariffs.
The Government continue to encourage energy companies to consider their most vulnerable consumers when considering price or service changes, however the choice of a pre-payment meter is mainly a matter for the consumer. We encourage everyone to use the competitive market to get the best deal.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to ensure that procurement by Government Departments supports innovation within UK manufacturing; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: To ensure high quality public services, value for money and spending in an efficient way, the Government need to maximise the opportunities that businesses, including UK manufacturing companies, can offer through their commercial expertise and ability to innovate. The Government have made significant improvements in their procurement capability in recent years and a further major package of reforms to transform Government procurement was announced recently. In addition, the Government set out a programme of work to promote the use of innovation in public procurement in its Innovation Report (2003) and DTIs Five Year Programme (2004), which is still continuing. This includes fostering the innovation and creativity of small businesses through the Small Business Research Initiative.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on funding of (a) solar photovoltaic, (b) solar hot water and (c) micro wind generation for domestic use; and whether there has been a change in the funding stream of such projects. 
Malcolm Wicks: Under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 1, we continue to offer funding for successfully completed solar photovoltaic, solar hot water and micro wind turbine projects at the same levels as when the scheme was launched in April 2006. We have held discussions with industry over the level of funding for all microgeneration technologies going forward, and these discussions are ongoing.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government are taking to ensure that it funds research that complements other research going on around the world. 
Malcolm Wicks: In response to the Governments Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-14 the Global Science and Innovation Forum (GSIF) published its strategy for international engagement in research and development in October 2006. This strategy sets out a framework of objectives to prioritise and co-ordinate the UKs international engagement in research and development. The Government are also working to ensure effective co-ordination of national research activities with other European Union countries as part of the European Research Area through UK participation in the EC Framework Programme.
All research councils in Research Councils UK (RCUK) take account of international research in developing their strategies and determining their funding priorities. This includes engaging with international experts for the peer review of funding applications and the establishment of Memoranda of Understanding with counterpart organisations in other countries. Each research council has an international strategy which sets out its priorities for international engagement.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what legislation governs the imposition of service charges by food retail outlets; and what requirements there are for the provision of information about such charges (a) on menus and (b) in in-house advertisements. 
Mr. McCartney: The Price Marking (Food and Drink Services) Order 2003 requires restaurants, pubs and similar establishments to provide certain information to customers on menus and price lists. The order requires that an indication of the price, including service charges, shall be unambiguous, easily identifiable, and clearly legible to consumers on menus and price lists.
Eating establishments are also bound by the general rules for traders on misleading price indications contained in the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much his Department has made available for the installation of solar panels in
West Lancashire in the last three years; what allocation has been made for 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Under the Solar PV Major Demonstration and Low Carbon Buildings Programmes we have committed £2,270,001 towards the installation of solar panels in the North West region over the past three years. It is not possible to provide these figures for the West Lancashire region. The following table shows the breakdown by grant programme.
There is no grant provision made available by region going forward.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the implications for Ukrainian trading relations with the (a) UK and (b) EU of Ukraines possible accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2007. 
Mr. McCartney: WTO accession negotiations are a matter of European Commission competence. The Government fully support the accession of Ukraine to the WTO under the right terms and conditions that enable Ukraine to meet WTO commitments. During accession negotiations the Government have ensured that the Commission is aware of UK interests and concerns.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the implications of Thailands potential plans to change its commitments to the World Trade Organisation for Thailands trading relations with the (a) UK and (b) EU. 
Mr. McCartney: The Government are aware of a number of proposals that could potentially revise Thailands WTO commitments. We are continuing to assess these proposals in the context of WTO negotiations and remain in close contact with the Commission regarding potential implications for the UK and the European Community.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2007, Official Report, column 122W, on UK civil plutonium and uranium, what the name is of the
operator concerned; which nuclear plant is involved; and which bodies will conduct the independent verification and peer check in future. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 2 February 2007]: The operator concerned, British Nuclear Group Sellafield Limited (BNGSL), will introduce its enhanced checking procedures as declared. The data compiled will be checked and verified by separate BNGSL personnel who are not involved in or influenced by the compilation activities and are therefore independent of the compilation process. The Department's UK Safeguards Office (UKSO) compiles the summary information provided by the operators and ensures that these are consistent with their and the European Commission's safeguards accounts.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many full-time equivalent staff are employed by UK Trade and Investment in each South American country; and how many such staff are expected to be employed in each country in each of the next three financial years. 
Mr. Darling: There are currently 74.4 full-time equivalent staff engaged in trade and investment work in South America. The following table reflects the allocation of staff in the relevant markets over the next three years. However this will be subject to regular review and staffing levels will depend on operational requirements and available resources.
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