HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 cc1703-4
35 and 36. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he is aware of the reproduction of British designs and products by Japanese firms, and that in some cases the products are stamped in such a manner that they give people the impression that they are produced in Britain; and what steps have been taken or are contemplated to deal with this matter;

(2) whether he is aware that British ideas, designs, etc., in china and earthenware products have been copied by Japanese firms, are stamped in a misleading manner, and are imported into New Zealand; and what action is it proposed to take to deal with this question?

Mr. R. S. Hudson (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

As the answer to these questions is somewhat long and technical, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

Protests have been made from time to time to the Japanese and other Governments against various attempts to pass off foreign goods as of British manufacture, by the use of false marks or labels and by other methods; and cases of this kind, if details are brought to my notice, will continue to receive my careful attention. On the other hand, it is for the owners to protect designs and trade marks by registering them in the countries in which protection is desired, and taking legal action against infringements of their rights. The owners of any design registered in the United Kingdom or in New Zealand have legal remedies against the sale there of goods bearing designs which infringe the copyright, and in both countries the import of any goods bearing marks calculated to deceive as to their origin is prohibited.