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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2170

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - If we are determined to grant protection to our manufacturers, we should not give effect to our intention in Bills of this character. We have ample power to protect our own people by means of the Tariff, and by other means without endeavouring to accomplish that end in an indirect way in a measure for the registration of industrial designs. I would ask the Minister how he can justify the granting of patents for articles which are not manufactured in Australia in the light of his statement that we should not register designs relating to goods not manufactured in Australia? All principles of honest trade support the desirability of designs being registered for the purpose of protecting them fi om piracy. Anybody who is prepared ta register his design should, in the interests of honesty, be protected from the pirating of a competitor. Then, as the honorable and learned member for West Sydney asked, " What protection will be conferred by this clause upon the person who cannot manufacture here?" If it be impossible for him. to do so-

Mr Groom - Impossible from what point of view?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Either because so small a quantity of the goods is used here, or because the climatic conditions are not suitable, or because the material from which a particular article can be manufactured, is not obtainable in Australia. What protection is such an individual to be afforded against his competitors ?

Mr Storrer - He will not require to be protected in that case.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - May not his designs in this market be imitated by competitors elsewhere? If the Minister provided that there should be no monopoly of a design unless it were used within Australia, I could understand his position.

Mr Groom - What does the honorable member mean by "use"?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I mean "circulated." The Minister knows perfectly well what interpretation is attached to the word " user " in other cases. The clause will tend to encourage dishonesty, and, moreover, it does not permit us to deal reciprocally with Great Britain.

Mr Groom - When Senator Symon drafted this clause in the Senate he said -

I suggest that we should embody in the form of a proviso the substance of the Imperial Act.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the Minister deny that an Australian can register a design in Great Britain, manufacture his goods in Australia according to that design, and send them to Great Britain, and that that registration will protect him there from the imitations of local manufacturers ?

Mr Groom - For the whole period of five years ?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes, as long as he is shipping the goods there.

Mr Groom - I am not prepared to express an opinion until I have looked into the question more closely. The term " foreign country " is used, and a great deal would depend on the meaning of those words.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am of opinion that such a registration would protect the Australian manufacturer. I do not speak from an absolute knowledge of the law, but my commercial experience leads me to believe that one could protect oneself in that way. If that be so, there should be some reciprocity. If under an international arrangement such an advantage be given to Australia by another country, that country should secure from us a like, privilege. According to my reading of the Bill, however, that will not be possible.

Mr Groom - Any reciprocal arrangement made in Great Britain will give only a right to register, and the consequent rights which the Act confers.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - And this measure will deliberately deny the right in question.

Mr Groom - No; it will provide for exactly all reciprocal arrangements made.

Mr. DUGALDTHOMSON. If the Minister can assure me that neither in Great 'Britain nor any foreign country can an Australian register a design and be protected in that market in respect of goods made by him according to that design in Australia-

Mr McCay -Senator Symon took the view of the English Act, that goods made according to a design registered there must be manufactured in Great Britain within a limited time.

Mr Glynn - The definition of the English Act does not bear out that view.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I shall leave the honorable and learned member for Angas, with his legal knowledge, to deal with that phase of the question. When a person invents a design - especially if he be a British subject - and registers it here, he should not be prevented, even when there are no manufacturers of goods of that design in Australia, from taking action against competitors elsewhere who may be pirating it and using it to his detriment here. There should be an opportunity to protect a design in such circumstances, and I feel convinced that such a right is granted in Great Britain. If the Minister could produce evidence showing, that that is not so, the posi tion would be different.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 29 to 31 agreed to.

Clause 32 (Penalty for knowingly infringing design).

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