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Wednesday, 1 August 1906


Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) . - The proviso to which objection is taken is merely a re-enactment of the English law. The first part of the clause deals with registered designs. If a person in Australia registers a design, and does not manufacture in Australia, or elsewhere, within two 5years, he will forfeit his copyright. That is only right, because the registration of the design may prevent other persons from using it. That provision seems to me to be reasonable and just. Let me put another case. A man may register a design in Australia, and after registration may not use the design in Australia, but may manufacture abroad. He may neither use the design in Australia nor import into Australia the manufactured article bearing it. He may simply keep the design on the register, in order to block others from using it in Australia. The clause provides that, if that course be adopted, the period of protection shall extend over only six months. The provision to which the honorable member for North Sydney takes ex- ception is contained in the English Act, which reads as follows: -

If the registered design is used in manufacture in any foreign country, and is not used in this country within six months of its registration in this country, the copyright in the design shall cease.


Mr Kelly - The words " in manufacture " are not used in connexion with the word " used " upon its recurrence in the provision.


Mr GROOM - No; but "used in manufacture" is meant.


Mr McCay - The words "in manufacture " are deliberately omitted after the word " used " in the second line.


Mr Kelly - Will the Minister adopt the English provision?


Mr GROOM - I prefer to stand by the clause as adopted by the Senate, as I understand, on the motion of Senator Symon. I think the clause is quite reasonable. If a man takes advantage of the law and registers a design here, I think that it is only fair to require that he should manufacture here.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That principle is not applied to copyright.


Mr GROOM - A copyright is different altogether, because a play, a poem, or book is in itself protected. On the other hand, a design is merely applied to articles which are manufactured, such as clothes or carpets. If the registration of a design were permitted to stand irrespective of any condition as to manufacture within the Commonwealth, the course of trade might be seriously interfered with, because persons who might desire to make use of a design would be prevented from doing so. In effect, we propose to say, " If you ask for a monopoly you shall in return for the concession be called upon to use the design in manufacture in this country."


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The limitation would be all right if it were similar to that imposed bv the English Statute.


Mr GROOM - The English provision is intended to apply to the use in manufacture in the same way that our provision is. A manufacturer might have a factorv in the United States, , and, by registering a design in Australia, absolutely prevent any other person from using it.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why did not the Government make a similar provision in regard to patents? All the Minister's arguments apply equally to patents.


Mr GROOM - Patents are different altogether. A patent is a contrivance which is used in some particular industry. For instance, it may apply to gold-mining, and there are strong reasons why a person who obtains patent rights should be compelled to use his patent within the Commonwealth. If we give a special monopoly to a man, he should certainly be compelled to use the design which is the subject of a monopoly.


Mr Kelly - Does not a patent' confer a monopoly?


Mr GROOM - Certainly ; but-


Mr McCay - Under this clause, how would the passing off of imitation goods be affected?


Mr GROOM - There is a provision in the Bill which declares that if a design is registered and any person infringes it by knowingly passing off a colourable imitation of it, he .shall be liable to a penalty.


Mr McCay - Suppose a copyright design has lapsed.


Mr GROOM - If a man manufactures abroad andi fails to manufacture in Australia within six months from the registration of his copyright, that copyright ceases.


Mr McCay - Is there no common law remedy, then?


Mr GROOM - I do not think so. The Bill provides that under such circumstances the copyright shall cease, and thereafter there is nothing - so far as I am aware - to prevent the design from being used.







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