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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not quite like this clause. It seems to me that it involves an abnegation of our constitutional rights. Under section 5 1 of the Constitution, we are fully empowered to deal with trade marks, and it seems to me that we are now being, asked to surrender some of our rights in the Constitution by giving back to the Imperial authorities the right to apply to the Commonwealth any law of the United Kingdom for carrying into effect any arrangement made with the Government of any foreign State for the protection of trade marks. I do not think we should do that. In clause 100, it is proposed to deal with British Possessions which have made certain provisions for the protection of trade marks on reciprocal lines, and my idea is that if we enter into any arrangement with foreign Powers we should do so upon a similar basis. If it appears to the Governor-General in Council that foreign countries have made provision for the protection of trade marks registered in the Commonwealth we ought to give reciprocal protection to the trade marks registered in such countries. I do not care, however, to submit to the control of the Imperial authorities in this regard. I notice that it is provided that applications under the clause should be made within six months. I should like to make the registration for English or foreign trade marks subject to the condition that they were not identical with one already on the register, 'with respect to the like goods, or so nearly resembling a Commonwealth trade mark as to be likely to deceive. Under the clause as it stands, any registration made by a citizen of the Commonwealth, under the protection of our own law,could be set aside if some similar trade mark were registered in a foreign country. It would be quite sufficient if we extended to foreign countries the powers proposed to be taken in clause 100 with regard to British Possessions.

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