§ MR. G. CROYDON MARKS (Cornwall, Launceston)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the fees prescribed in the new rules made by the Board of Trade for regulating the practice under the Trade Marks Act, 1905, which comes into operation on the 1st April, are greatly in excess of those charged under the old Act; whether he is aware that under such new rules for a fee of 5s. the Registrar of the Trade Marks Branch of the Patent Office is required to make an examination or 786 search of the existing registered trade marks and arrive at a decision as to accepting or rejecting an application to register a new trade mark; yet, if he is asked to state how and why he thus arrived at such a decision, the fee payable is £2, or eight times the amount charged for doing the work involved for enabling the decision to be arrived at; and whether any revision of such scale of fees will be made prior to the 1st April.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
The rules to which the hon. Member refers are draft rules, and are subject to alteration. The Board of Trade are in communication with the Chamber of Commerce, the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents, and other bodies with a view of obtaining the fullest information as to the opinions of those interested in the proposed rules, and they have arranged that a conference, to which the principal Chambers of Commerce, the Chartered Institute, and other bodies have been invited to send representatives, should shortly take place at the Board of Trade to discuss the rules and schedules of fees before they are finally issued. I must, however, remind the hon. Member that the question of the fees to be charged does not rest wholly with the Board of Trade, as the sanction of the Treasury is required by the Act.