It would be helpful to have from OFTEL an update
on the situation with 0500 numbers, which it was stated in its
response might be left unchanged
OFTEL issued a statement on Freephone Numbering
in December 1999 which confirmed that users of 0500 numbers could
retain their number. The Statement also said that OFTEL would
consider possibilities for optional 0500 migration into 0800 numbers.
During the course of this year, operators have
discussed the possible migration arrangements that could be provided,
but ultimately could reach no agreement. In this time, although
OFTEL's consumer representation section has received some 40 calls
from 0500 customers seeking confirmation that they may retain
their number, it has received no calls from 0500 customers seeking
to change their number to an 0800 number.
However, in lieu of the commitment made in the
December 1999 statement, OFTEL is now working with Cable &
Wireless, the operator with the majority of 0500 customers, to
prepare a circular to its customers to determine if they would
prefer an 0800 number to their existing 0500 number. OFTEL will
shortly invite all operators with 0500 customers to do likewise.
The information received will allow OFTEL to consider the most
appropriate migration arrangements for those that wish to change.
It is envisaged that this work should be completed
by early next year.
Trade Marks, Fakes and Consumers, Eighth Report
of 1998-99, HC 380; Government Response, Tenth Special Report,
1. During the course of its inquiry into
the pricing of motor cars, the Committee received a substantial
amount of evidence on "parallel" and "grey"
importing of cars, that is, the importation of cars outside the
usual channels of distribution. In view of the broader issues
raised; of the 16 July 1998 judgement in the Silhouette case;
and of a number of well publicised cases of retailers being threatened
with legal action for offering branded goods purchased on the
grey market, the Committee decided in February 1999 to invite
evidence on a range of these issues. The Report was published
in June 1999; the Government's response was received in September
2. One of the Report's key recommendations
was that in the areas of clothing and shoes, perfumes and toiletries,
and motor vehicles, the potential consumer benefits of international
exhaustion of trade mark rights outweigh the dis-benefits. In
other sectors, for example the pharmaceutical and music industries,
the problems would outweigh the benefits. It recommended adoption
of a broad principle of international exhaustion of trade mark
rights allowing grey imports of goods but affording exceptional
protection to those sectors where such a principle could be seen
to have severe detrimental effects. The Government response stated
they agreed that adoption of international exhaustion of trade
mark rights could be beneficial but further study was needed.
3. At the Internal Market Council on 25
May 2000, Commissioner Bolkestein announced that the Commission
had decided not to propose a change to the Community-wide exhaustion