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Baroness Miller of Hendon: I am grateful to the Minister for his assurances and for the explanation that the amendment is not necessary. In those circumstances, I have pleasure in withdrawing my amendment.
"( ) In paragraph 29 of that Schedule (duties of the CAC when informed of result of ballot), after sub-paragraph (1) insert "(1A) The duty in sub-paragraph (1) does not apply if the CAC gives a notice under paragraph 27C(3)(b).""
The Committee adjourned at twenty-seven minutes past seven o'clock.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The 2003 annual report on strategic export controls will be published at 14.30 today as a Command Paper, and copies will be placed in the Library of the House. The report includes information on licensing decisions made during 2003 as well as describing UK policy and international developments in export control regimes.
Annual reports on strategic export controls are an innovation of this Government. Our defence exports licensing system is one of the most rigorous and open in the world and this annual report is a symbol of our commitment to transparency and accountability. This will be the Government's seventh annual report (the first report was published in 1997). The report will be available on the FCO web site (www.fco.gov.uk) and published through The Stationery Office.
7 Jun 2004 : Column WS2
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): In response to the House of Lords Select Committee on Genetic Databases report, the Government made a commitment to carry out an investigation into the impact of current UK law and practice regarding patents for genetic sequences. I am pleased to announce that the Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) on behalf of the DTI has now completed this study.
The Government welcome the main findings of the study, which show that current UK law and practice regarding patents for genetic sequences is generally meeting the needs of those currently active in this research area. The study indicates that this is true for both public and private sectors.
In its recommendations the study identifies two key areas that could be addressed, to improve the current situation further: reducing uncertainty about the extent of the patent research exemption; and improving the public perception of the patenting of biotechnological inventions.
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