MR. PARKER SMITH
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the recent case of "Lockwood v. The Chartered Institute of Patent Agents," in which it has been decided by the Court of Session that the Patent Agents' Rules, 1889, are not in accordance with "The Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks Act, 1888," under which they purport to be made, and that the Institute of Patent Agents have no power to impose fees for registration of patent agents; whether he is aware that the fees hitherto charged have been greatly in excess of any requirements of registration, and have been used for the general purposes of the Institute; and, if so, what steps he will take to secure the restitution of such fees already paid; and whether he will recall the Rules in question, and will issue a fresh set, by which the Register of Patent Agents shall be kept by the Comptroller General of Patents or other officer of the Board of Trade, and not under the control of any private Association?
§ MR. MUNDELLA
Yes, Sir; my attention has been called to the decision referred to by the hon. Member. It is my intention to give a reasonable time in order that it may be decided whether an appeal against this decision will be presented. If no appeal is presented and the decision is not reversed, I shall lose no time in cancelling the Rules. I am not at present able to say anything 838 as regards the form in which new Rules, as they become necessary, will be framed. I have no power to order the restitution of fees, but the matter, I understand, is under the consideration of the Institute.