§ Order for Committee read.
§ House in Committee.
§ Clause 1 postponed.
§ Clauses 2 to 6 agreed to.
§ Clause 7 (Penalties).
§ MR. M'MAHON
said, that a person who placed false representations on his goods did so with intent to defraud, and he apprehended that he would be punishable at common law for a misdemeanour. The Bill proposed to reduce an offence of that serious nature to an offence of a milder form, and directed that the party committing such an offence should only be subjected to certain penalties. Those penalties, namely, a fine of 10s., and for- 1419 feiture of the article in reference to which, fraud on the public was attempted to be committed, were, he considered, insufficient. He therefore proposed to insert words, to provide that all persons so offending should be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, that the enactment in the clause did not at all put aside the character of the offence which the right hon. and learned Gentleman had described at common law. Its object was to avoid the necessity of having to adduce before a jury such evidence—which it was sometimes very difficult to get—as would satisfy them that the offence of cheating at common law had been committed.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses also agreed to.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, he then proposed the insertion, in Section 1, of a provision for the registration of trade marks. From the want of such a registration his constituents suffered daily by the forgery of their trade marks to inferior goods. The Prussian manufacturers were driving the English out of the foreign market by introducing worthless goods under the name and marks of English firms, thus bringing on them the character of inferior manufacturers. The Act was a very useful one; but if its provisions were so extended as to embrace the registration of trade marks, it would be much more acceptable to the country as a protective measure.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
said, the Committee to whom the Bill had been referred had well considered the question, and had come to the conclusion that, at present at least, it would not be expedient to attempt to establish a registration of trade marks. His objection to it was one of principle, as he did not see why previous registration of a mark should be made the condition of obtaining a legal protection. The forgery of a mark was like the forgery of a check on a bank. If an intent to defraud him was proved, a man was entitled to protection, without being put to the expense of registration. He thought that a registration would be rather an impediment to prosecution.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ In reply to a question from Mr. ROEBUCK,
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, he 1420 would consent, on bringing up the report, to introduce a clause to protect the rights of the Cutlers' Company of Hallamshire, in the county of York.
§ Preamble agreed, to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered on Monday next, and to be printed [Bill 187].