A study by the Office for National Statistics based on the 2001 national census (study available here) has revealed some interesting figures about the proportion of people in Wales who understand written Welsh. Out of a sample size of 2,805,701, only 20% stated that they could read Welsh. When broken down into regions, Newport came bottom of the list with only 9% understanding written Welsh (Anglesey came top with 54%).
So, the IPKat now asks, does it make any sense at all to allow patent applications to be prosecuted and granted in Welsh? Would this be fairer to those who only understand Welsh and want to avoid having to translate? Would it be fair to the rest of us in the UK (i.e. the vast majority) to allow patents to be granted that we cannot understand, particularly when there is still a requirement for applications in any other language to be translated into English before protection is allowed in the UK? Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation process might like to consider these questions.