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Thursday, 7 December 1905


Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - I move -

That the amendment be agreed to.

This is one of the amendments to which I made reference when dealing with the matter generally. The object of it is simply to enable notice to ba taken of an assignment, so that any one who consults the register may know at any particular time who is the holder of a trade mark.


Senator Pearce - Is this new clause not a repetition of the provision in sub-clause b of clause 61. which provides that there shall be kept at the Trade Marks Office a register containing particulars of " notifications of assignments and transmissions, and disclaimers."


Senator KEATING - No. That subclause provides that there shall be kept a register, but there is no obligation to register. In the new clause, however, provision is made that notice in the manner prescribed mav be given to the Registrar.

Senator CLEMONS(Tasmania).- This is a very desirable clause, but I do not think it goes far enough. If I read it aright, it means that after an assignment the assignee may refrain from giving notice for as long a period as he likes ; and I am afraid that may lead to confusion. It is desirable, in my opinion, that not:ce of the assignment should be given within a certain time. The clause also fails in that the registration is not made compulsory.


Senator Keating - When the Bill left the Senate, there was no provision for compulsory registration beyond the sub-clause to which Senator Pearce has called attention.


Senator CLEMONS - I am not sure that there would not be considerable hardship in compelling registration of an assignment, and, while I do not press that point, I sayit. is doubtful if we are acting wisely in allowing the registration of an assignment to be delayed as long as the assignee may choose. I do not desire to fix any unfair limit, but there certainly should be some limit.


Senator Keating - The limit would be prescribed, I presume.


Senator CLEMONS - I do not think that the words " in the manner prescribed " will govern this matter. Unless the Minister will submit an amendment, I shall do so.

Senator KEATING(Tasmania- Honorary Minister). - I understand that with regard to trade marks in every other part of the world, there is no compulsion to register any assignment. If a person does desire to register he may do so whenever he pleases, and, in any case, I fail to see what could be done with a person who failed to register. He could not be said to have forfeited his right to the trade mark.


Senator Clemons - We must consider the public, who otherwise will not know who is the. owner of the trade mark.


Senator KEATING - An amendment of the kind would be a radical departure from all legislation on the subject ; and, as I sa.y, when the Bill left the Senate, there was no provision to compel registration.


Senator Clemons - We did not give the matter very close attention.


Senator KEATING - I think the Bill received a very great deal of consideration.


Senator Clemons - It will stand further consideration.


Senator KEATING - -This new clause was inserted in another place simply to provide what the Registrar shall do if a person chooses to exercise his option to register.

Senator CLEMONS(Tasmania).- In the form which I think the least objectionable to the Minister, I move -

That the amendment be amended by inserting after the word " transmission " the words "within the time."


Senator Keating - What will happen if a man fails to register within the time? Will he be barred from registering afterwards ?


Senator CLEMONS - I certainly think he should be; and there would not, in my opinion, be any unfair hardship imposed


Senator Keating - A person might have a trade mark, which he did not think would be of much use for two or three years to come.


Senator CLEMONS - We must consider the public. It is not fair to allow the public to-be under the impression that the original owner, who has become the vendor, is really and truly the owner, when he may have made an assignment long ago. Senator Keating asks what would be done with a man who failed to .register in the time prescribed, and, in reply. I ask what will be done to a man who fails to give a notification " in the form, and authenticated in the manner prescribed " ?


Senator Keating - The clause is purely optional.


Senator CLEMONS - Surely it is a very ordinary piece of legislation to provide for regulations as to .time as well as to form and manner. I cannot hope to make registration compulsory, because that, it appears, would be altogether a reversal of the policy we have adopted ; but the amendment I have submitted! does not make anyradical change, and is certainly an improvement.


Senator Givens - What would be the alternative if a man failed to register in time ?


Senator Millen - He could not register at all.


Senator CLEMONS - He would also lose his assignment, and would, for instance, be unable, under certain circumstances, to bring an action. He would not lose the absolute ownership, but would be deprived of rights which, I think, he ought not to possess if he conceals the fact that he is the owner. His position as an assignee is not the same as that of an original owner, who has become the vendor ; and under the circumstances, it is desirable that there should be a time limit. Ample opportunity will be given to the Minister to decide what is a fair time.







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