§ 6. Mr. SMEDLEY CROOKE
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the average fee received per application for patents in this country; and what proportion of patents are kept in force for the full term of 16 years?
The average fees received on applications for patents amount to rather more than £3 per application. The patents maintained in force for the full term of 16 years are about 4 per cent. of the total number granted.
§ Lieut.-Commander BURNEY
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the fees received are more than sufficient for the upkeep of the Patent Office, and, if so, will he consider their reduction?
I believe the fees of the Patent Office do not appreciably more than maintain the Patent Office. Certainly there is no large margin.
§ 7. Mr. CROOKE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, since the formation of the Irish Free State, patents issued in this country have ceased to be in force in that State; and, if so, whether there has been any reduction in patent fees?
The question of the position of British patents in the Irish Free State is under consideration. It is not proposed to reduce the fees charged by the British Patent Office in respect of the grant of patents.
The legal position is not perfectly clear, but unless and until some legislation is adopted in the Irish Free 221 State, those patents, at any rate, which were in existence will continue in force.
§ 8. Mr. CROOKE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, seeing that reckoned in terms of population per annum the patent fees of the United States of America are about 43 times less than those of this country, he will consider the advisability of reducing the fees and thus encourage inventors, while possibly increasing the revenue derived from fees by reason of the probable enormous increase of patents which would be applied for?
It is impossible to establish a fair basis of comparison between British and American fees, owing to difference in practice with regard to the permissible scope of a single patent, and other considerations. I am afraid it is not practicable to reduce the British scale of fees at the present time.