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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2168

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - If a British manufacturer of tweeds wishes to register a design in Australia to protect himself from the imitation of his goods by local manufacturers, can he do so without manufacturing here ?

Mr Groom - No.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Bill does not protect manufacturers abroad from the piracy of their designs in Australia unless they manufacture here.

Mr Groom - Except under the special agreements dealt with in clauses 48 and 49.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It appears to me that the effect of this clause is to nullify the provision in clause 48. Are we to understand that the Bill protects only designs used in manufacture in Australia, or will it protect, either under the international arrangement dealt with in clause 48, or, generally, designs registered here by an owner who is not manufacturing in Australia ? For instance, a copyright may be obtained in Australia under the Copyright Act, although the subject of copyright is not produced in Australia. Why should we adopt a different principle here, and refuse ownership of copyright, unless the goods are manufactured in Australia ?

Mr Groom - If the honorable member will look at section 54 of the English Act he will see that we have followed the wording of the Imperial provision.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The wording of the Imperial provision is different from that contained in the Bill. No reference is made to the " use in manufacture." Suppose an English manufacturer registered a design applied to tweeds and sent them out here. The provision in the Bill requires that the design shall be used in manufacture in Australia within six months.

Mr Groom - Surely the honorable member does not object to the provision that the owner of a registered design shall, within two years after registration, substantially use the design?

Mr.-, DUGALDTHOMSON.- No; I am not objecting to that, but to the enactment in the proviso that if a design is not used in manufacture in the Commonwealth it shall be cancelled. A manufacturer might register here a design for goods manufactured in Great Britain, but unless he used the design in manufacture in the Commonwealth within six months, his copyright would expire, and his design might be pirated. I am perfectly sure that foreign designs are registered and protected in Great Britain, although the goods upon which they are used are not manufactured there. That may be done under an international arrangement. Under the Bill it would not be possible, even under an international arrangement with Great Britain, or any other country, to protect a design registered in Australia, unless the goods were manufactured here. I had no idea that it was intended to make such a wide departure from the principle embodied in the Copyright Act. I think that we ought to extend to British manufacturers the right to maintain their copyright of designs here, and that Australian designers should enjoy similar rights in Great Britain.

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