Modernisation and consolidation of the Patent Rules
The Patents Rules 1995 are the main piece of secondary legislation made under the Patents Act 1977. They regulate the business and procedure of the Patent Office in respect of patents and patent applications - and so they give details of (for example) formal and filing requirements, time periods and deadlines, and procedures concerning how patent disputes are resolved at the Office.
The 1995 Rules have been amended 10 times since they came into force.  As a result, some users have commented that a consolidated version of the Patents Rules would now be helpful and appropriate. However, the 1995 Rules themselves were in large part based on previous rules packages, and so the wording of many rules can be traced back to 1978. Furthermore, some areas of the Rules are increasingly seen as being at odds with best practice (for example, in the area of case management during litigation) or are seen as unnecessarily lacking in flexibility.
Therefore, the Patent Office suggests that it is time for a substantial modernisation of the 1995 Rules, alongside a consolidation.

The closing date for this consultation is 30 November 2005.

The Occupational Pension Schemes (Exemption) Regulations 2006
This consultation document seeks views on the Occupational Pension Schemes (Exemption) Regulations 2006. These regulations exempt certain occupational pension schemes with their main administration outside the member states of the EU from certain provisions of pensions legislation.

The closing date for this consultation is 16 December 2005.

Scottish Executive Environment Group: Draft Noise Management Guide
Consultation on the draft Scottish Noise Management Guide relating to guidance on the creation and maintenance of effective noise management policies and practices for Local Authorities and their officers in Scotland.  This guide has been produced to assist Local Authorities throughout Scotland to make decisions on the development of robust policies and how policies can be effectively implemented across the range of noise functions for which they are responsible.

The closing date for this consultation is 20 January 2006.

Consultation on Strategic Environmental Assessment: Draft Information Note on Procedures for Consultation with the Scottish Consultation Authorities
The process for strategic environmental assessment (SEA) set out in the Regulations includes requirements for the provision of specified information to and consultation with designated Consultation Authorities. To clarify these requirements and explain the accompanying administrative procedures, the Consultation Authorities have prepared a draft Information Note. The purpose of this consultation is to obtain the views of Responsible Authorities and others on the draft Information Note and its contents.

The closing date for this consultation is 20 January 2006.

Radioactively Contaminated Land Regulations
Transposing Articles 48 and 53 of European Directive 96/29 to implement a regime that will provide a system of identification and remediation of land where contamination is causing lasting exposures to radiation and where intervention is liable to be justified.

The closing date for this consultation is 23 January 2006.

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