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Saturday, 16 December 1905

Mr KNOX (Kooyong) - I am sure that we are very much indebted to the legal members of the House for drawing attention to the far-reaching effects of this Bill. The more one considers its provisions, the more far-reaching its possibilities appear. It is manifest, from the speech made by the honorable member for Bland, that it has been introduced to meet specific cases in which applicants for patents have been unwittingly made sufferers, and I think that it should be confined to the rectification of errors that have actually crept in. My suggestion is that on the Bill being read a second time, the Minister should agree to its further consideration being postponed until Monday; that he should then bring down a list of the cases of injustice which it is proposed to remedy by this measure, and that if honorable members consider that they are deserving of special consideration, they should be made a schedule to the Bill, which would then apply simply to them. As one who has had practical experience in connexion with patents of some magnitude, I feel that the Bill is a most important one, and that the House is under an obligation to the honorable and learned member for Parkes, the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne, and others, who have pointed out its true significance. If passed, it would not only neutralize certain legislation relating to patents, but would strike at the very root of the value of many existing patents in respect of which large sums have been expended. I hope that the Minister will be prepared to accept this suggestion.

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