§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ MR. ARTHUR ARNOLD,
in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, it proposed to enact that from and after the expiration of five years from the date of the registration of a person as first proprietor of a trade mark, he and every subsequently registered proprietor thereof, lawfully claiming under or through him, should have an absolute and unimpeachable right to the exclusive use of such trade mark, subject, however, to Section 2 of the Act of 1875, as regarded the connection of the trade mark so registered with the goodwill of a business. It also proposed that no person but the Registrar and the registered proprietor should be entitled to take proceedings for the rectification of the registration of a trade mark, but did not affect any proceedings commenced prior to the 1st day of August, 1883, for the rectification of the register or otherwise; nor did it affect any judgment or order of the Court made or delivered before that date. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Chamberlain) had given Notice of the introduction of a Bill for the amendment and consolidation of the law in relation to trade marks; and he (Mr. Arnold) now asked the House to read this Bill a second time, in order that it might be referred to the Grand Committee, along with the Government measure, for the purpose of being incorporated therewith. He regarded it as essential that consideration should be given to the question of indefeasible registration of trade marks, and could not conceive that any hon. Member would object to the consolidation with the Government Bill of so important a prin- 501 ciple. He would conclude by moving the second reading.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Arthur Arnold.)
§ MR. H. DAVEY
regretted that the hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Arthur Arnold) had thought it proper to bring in this Bill at a moment when there was only present on the Treasury Bench the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury as Representative of Her Majesty's Government. The Bill, although consisting of three sections only, proposed within that small compass, nevertheless, to effect a complete revolution in the law of trade marks. The 1st section of the Bill proposed that after the lapse of five years, not only should the right to a registered trade mark be indefeasible, but that the question whether it was a trade mark should be excluded. Without venturing to put his knowledge of the law against the opinion of his hon. Friend, he would refer to the case brought before Mr. Justice Chitty, whose decision—which was a surprise to every lawyer—was overruled by the Court of Appeal. The plaintiff in that case had been on the register five years, and during that time he had taken no active steps; but he afterwards woke up and commenced bringing actions against those who had infringed the trade mark of "Fixed Stars." Now, as he (Mr. Davey) had already pointed out, the Bill before them proposed that after the lapse of five years the registration of a mark, whether it were a trade mark or not, should be conclusive evidence. Having had experience of the practice with regard to trade marks, he was bound to say he could conceive nothing more mischievous than the proposals embodied in the Bill. Her Majesty's Government wore, of course, masters of the situation, and if they thought fit to allow the Bill to pass the second reading, in order that it might be considered by the Grand Committee, he could not prevent them; but he must enter his protest against the practice of allowing a Bill upon an important subject, and which, although a small one, dealt with the existing law, and proposed to effect a revolution in it which every lawyer in the House would regard as serious, to pass the second reading without any discussion what- 502 ever, and merely upon the allegation that it would be discussed in the Grand Committee. If the Bill went to that Committee, it would, of course, be said that its principle had been accepted by the House. But, as the matter now stood, could anyone say that that was so? If his hon. Friend desired to introduce proposals of the kind set forth into the Bill which he informed the House that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Chamberlain) was about to introduce, nothing could be easier than to put forward Amendments; but it was not necessary for that purpose that the Bill should be read a second time, and he therefore felt it his duty to divide the House on his hon. Friend's Motion.
§ MR. ARNOLD MORLEY
said, he trusted the House would agree to the Motion of the hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Arthur Arnold). The Government Bill, as he understood, was to be a Consolidation Bill, and the present proposals might not come strictly within its scope; and it was upon that ground that his hon. Friend asked that the second reading stage might be taken, so that they might be considered by the Grand Committee at the same time as the proposals contained in the Government measure.
§ Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,
§ House adjourned at half after Twelve o'clock.