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Wednesday, 20 June 1906

Senator TRENWITH (Victoria) . - There certainly appears to be something very important in the contention raised by Senator Symon that we might have persons from abroad registering a trade mark and using it here, for at least twelve months, to the exclusion and detriment of local producers. If the term could be shortened without doing injury to any one, I think it should. I do not agree with Senator Symon's view as to the period over which protection to the registered owner of a trade mark or design should extend. I do not think that any person should have the right to register a design, and to ask an unreasonable price for the use of something that is extremely desirable, for an extended period, to the detriment of the common weal. The period fixed in the clause seems to be long enough. I think, however, that there is a great deal of force in Senator Symon's contention that some person abroad might secure a monopoly of our markets without producing here, as designed by our legislation. I have in mind a case in point. I have had my attention called to a proprietary right in a descriptive word applied to aru article of very common use which is largely imported. People here are manufacturing the same kind of thing, but are not permitted to apply that word to it. The proprietary right in that word would not continue for any length of time if the provision which Senator Symon has suggested was inserted in the Bill, "and I would strongly urge upon the Minister the consideration of these points.

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