49 and 50. Sir GEORGE HAMILTON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether, seeing that His Majesty's Government has had to pay large sums to British patentees for the use of their patents by the United States of America after the United States had entered the War, he will say approximately what sums were and will be so paid; whether the United States will refund to this country such payments;
(2) whether the British Government has been called upon by the United States of America to pay for the use of aircraft patents which were taken out in America before the United States entered the War; and whether he is aware that the British Government, to assist the United States, informed them that they could use any British patents which would assist them in the War?
§ Major BOYD-CARPENTER
After the entry of the United States of America into the War in 1917, it was found necessary, in order to increase the common output of aeronautical material, to manufacture in America certain types of British aeroplanes, engines, and accessories. This course involved the disclosure to American manufacturers by British aircraft firms of certain patents, designs, and specifications, and also the supply of technical information and assistance. The War Cabinet decided that His Majesty's Government should be responsible during the War for any consequential financial arrangements to be made with the British manufacturers, the United States Government accepting financial liability arising in respect of 1869 post-war production in that country. The total sum paid and payable by His Majesty's Government under this arrangement is approximately £105,000, which is no; recoverable from the United States of America. Only a trifling proportion of this amount., approximately £300, is for the use of aircraft patents taken out in America before the United States of America entered the War.
51. Sir G. HAMILTON
also asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether there are now pending large claims for royalties in respect of alleged infringement by the British Air Force of patents owned by the Curtiss Aeroplane Company, which is an American company; and whether the United States of America have undertaken to pay any compensation which may be given against the British Government for the use of such patents?
§ Major BOYD - CARPENTER
The Curtiss Aeroplane Company presented, but subsequently withdrew, a claim in respect of the use of their patents; they have, however, now made a claim for an ex gratin award in respect of the use of their designs of flying-boats and of services rendered by them. The claim relates substantially to the early part of the War, 1915–16, before the United States became a belligerent. There is no ground upon which the United States Government could be asked, nor has that Government undertaken, to repay any compensation which may be payable by the British Government to the company.
§ Mr. HARDIE
May I ask whether the British patents being used during the War in America came under the protection of the American patent laws or remained under the protection of the British patent laws?