HC Deb 11 February 1897 vol 46 cc163-4

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether Foreigners can, by taking out a patent in England, prevent a process from being carried out in this country by others without any obligation on their part to exercise it here themselves so long as they keep the market supplied from abroad; whether he is aware that, in all other European countries, a patentee is bound to exercise his patent within those countries; whether he is aware that trades amounting to very large sums, amongst others in certain dyes, the product of coal tar, are foreign monopolies, prejudicial to British industries, in consequence of this state of the law; and if he will take steps in the interests of Home industries and Home labour to bring the Patent Laws of the United Kingdom into conformity with those of every other European country?


In reply to the hon and gallant Member I would refer him to Section 22 of the Patent Act 1883. He will see that that section prescribes a course of procedure where (inter alia) a patent is not being worked in the United Kingdom by reason of the default of a patentee to grant licences, and in the absence of any decision to the contrary. I am not satisfied that the law is not effectual as it now stands to meet the cases suggested in the Question.


asked the right hon. Gentleman if he would answer the last paragraph of the question?


said he was satisfied that the law as it now stood was sufficient for his hon. and gallant Friend's purpose, and, therefore, he did not propose to do anything in the matter.