Important news for Welsh patentees

Ever since the Patents Rules 1995 were replaced by the Patents Rules 2007, the IPKat has been wondering how popular the newly available facility for filing and prosecuting UK patent applications in Welsh as well as English would be (for some background and sometimes irate IPKat commentary on the subject, see here, here, here and here).  He was thinking recently that the time had come to count up how many applications had actually been filed in Welsh since the new rules came into force back in December 2007.  

Rather than wading through the many thousands of application details published on the patent register, the IPKat thought that he would use the facility offered by the IPO under the UK Freedom of Information Act to ask the question directly, since he suspected that the IPO will have been keeping a close eye on this important issue anyway, and would have all the relevant details to hand.  The IPO have now, in double quick time, kindly come back with an answer.  The IPKat doesn't want to give the game away to everyone just yet, so he will let his readers make educated guesses as to the exact number.  The first person to leave a comment with the exact number wins a bunch of daffodils. 

UPDATE: See the result in the IPKat's later post here.
Important news for Welsh patentees Important news for Welsh patentees Reviewed by David Pearce on Monday, January 26, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Oh rubbish, that was going to be my guess ... 1 then?

  2. I've got to believe that someone has tried this on, if only for a laugh, like taking a Scientology personality test, but in terms of serious filings I go with zero too.

  3. But at least David was offering daffodils and not leeks!

  4. Dim un. Ond ma''na un ar y ffordd!

  5. I typed the following into GB Espacenet:
    1) Welsh translations of:
    "novel", "improvement", "invention" and "plural" [I couldn't find the Welsh for "plurality": maybe they don't have a word for the concept, necessitating the use English!]
    2) Some common words such as "y" (= "and").
    3) Some uniquely Welsh consonant-combinations like "gw".

    Maybe it's because I don't understand the consonant-mutation rules of Welsh grammar, but in total I found...Llareggub.

  6. All I can say is "etimodos", which is the more erudite way of expressing it

  7. A small number filed pointedly by Welsh language champions?!?

  8. There have been 4,587 filings. All have offended against s1(3) since they all deal with more efficient elimination of English holiday home owners.

  9. "The most recent census figures (2001) presented in "Main Statistics about Welsh"[8] by the Welsh Language Board, indicate 582,400 (20.8% of the population of Wales in households or communal establishments) were able to speak Welsh and 457,946 (16.3%) can speak, read and write it." So we have about 124,445 people in Wales who can read and write it. The United Kingdom files 31.4468 patents per 100,000 people. So, 39.13 patents? Do I get points for an analytical approach? And do you deliver to the U.S.?

  10. But these patentees will need to track down a Welsh-speaking patent attorney if they realistically want to get their application through to grant. Of the UK's 1750 qualifed attorneys, let us assume that half are in private practice, and one half of these can cope in the relevant practice-area (traditionally mechanical, electical/electronic, chemical and pharma/biotech). Of these, 0.2% read and write Welsh according to the above figures. That leaves a bit less than one attorney. Unless he or she can actually write technical Welsh fluently - and does not have to get their work signed off by a monoglotal Partner - the chances of a patent application ever being made in Welsh are very very low.

  11. So could any Welsh-speaking/reading/writing attorneys please make themselves known to the rest of us? This could be a great business opportunity for you!


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