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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Mr LONSDALE (New England) - I desire to know whether some method cannot be devised by which individuals who have registered similar trade marks under the States Acts will be enabled to register new trade marks without cost, to take the place of the old ones, if they so desire, and if the owners can arrange between themselves to do so. Such a provision would assist to get rid of the confusion that will otherwise arise by the use throughout the various States of the Commonwealth of a number of similar trade marks.

Mr. ISAACS(Indi - Attorney-General). - In reply to the remarks of the honorable member for South Sydney regarding the desirableness of enabling a simpler form of transfer to be effected, I wish to say that at first I thought he was referring - as in the case of the Patents Act, or as was suggested by the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne, in the case of life assurance policies - to a short form of transfer to enable property to pass from one person to another. That plan would be difficult to apply in the case of a trade mark, because in connexion with a patent or a life assurance policy the thing which is transferred is transferred by itself. It is the only thing that needs to be transferred. But, in the case of a trade mark, we cannot pass the equitable right in it without passing the right to the good-will of the business in connexion with which that trade mark exists, t understood at first that that was the difficulty which the honorable member for South Sydney desired to overcome. Now, however, I understand that he is thoroughly seized of the fact that, when a person gets a conveyance of property, he has to get it in the old form. But the honorable member wishes to provide that, when a person goes to the Trade Marks Office, he may present a short document to the Registrar, and that that officer shall transfer the name on the registrar. That is all right in itself, and the regulations will provide for it. Clause 79 says -

The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing the fees to be paid under this Act, and all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed, or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for giving effect Ho this Act, or for the conduct of any business relating to the trade marks office.

That is part of the business relating to the Trade Marks Office.

Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is not sufficient.

Mr ISAACS - We have prescribed the simplest form possible-

Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That may be carried out, and yet a single transfer may never be effected.

Mr Isaacs - The honorable member's, idea is that we should provide a rule of the office which would really be a form of transfer.

Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Just as was done in the Patents Act.

Mr ISAACS - What was inserted in the Patents Act is not an office form. It is a sort of statutory provision that when an -individual agrees to sell a patent to another person, between themselves they can execute a document in a simple form, which shall be an effectual legal transfer. There is no objection to that being done- under regulations, and I will see that, as far as possible, it is carried out.

Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The AttorneyGeneral might consider the matter before we reach the end of the Bill.

Mr ISAACS - If what the honorable member desires is not embodied in the Bill,

I will take a note of his point, and see that effect is given to his object under the regulations

Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I want the provision inserted in a clause.

Mr ISAACS - I will take a note of the honorable member's objection, and, perhaps, he will consider what I have said.

Mr. LONSDALE(New England).What I understand the Attorney-General to say is that a trade mark must be transferred along with the good-will of a business, and that the documents transferring it must be those which contain a transfer of the good-will of that business. Let us suppose that I have a business in connexion with which there is a trade mark, and that

I sell that business upon the understanding that the purchaser is to get the trade mark. It appears to me that there is no need for any elaborate document transferring that trade mark. An agreement can be made to sell both the business and the trade mark. The suggestion of "the honorable member for South Sydney seems to me to be a very simple one, and one which we should adopt. I cannot understand the AttorneyGeneral objecting to it

Mr Isaacs - I am not objecting to it.

Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - A trade mark, apart from good-will, is inconceivable.

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