§ MR. CAWLEY (Lancs., Prestwich)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether a patent expiring in any one of the following three countries, viz., France, Germany, and the United States, must simultaneously expire in the other two countries, whilst in the United Kingdom the same patent may afterwards run on to the end of its term notwithstanding that it has ceased to exist in the aforesaid countries?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. C. T. RITCHIE,) Croydon
No, Sir. I think the honourable Member's Question is founded upon some misapprehension of the existing position of this subject. In the United Kingdom the duration of a patent is not affected by the expiry of a patent for the same invention in any other State. There appears, however, to be no difference in respect between the law in this country and the laws which have been in force in Germany for many years past, and in the United States since the 1st January, 1898. According to the old French law, the duration of a patent in France could not exceed that of a patent for the same invention obtained abroad, but by the Protocol of the International Convention signed at Brussels in December, 1897, the several States of the Union, including France, agreed that patents in those States should be independent of the patents for the same invention obtained in other States.