A resurgence in work for the UK Patent Office has led to a slight fall in the number of applications actually being passed, says the office’s 1996-97 report.
The office recorded a modest 2.5% increase in applications to register innovative designs during the year, leading to the ‘paradoxical’ cut in patents granted. ‘Resources had to be diverted to preliminary examination and search of applications,’ the office says.
Nevertheless it welcomed the upturn and says that it had reversed a trend for declining submissions following the opening of European Patent Office, in Munich.
The office reported a surplus of £12.1m after interest payments on debt for the year to 31 March. This is set to translate into a £1.7m dividend payment to the Treasury.