§ 17. Mr. Stokes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether German patents are still protected outside Germany; and what notice has been taken of their value when assessing reparations from Germany to other countries.
§ Mr. Mayhew
German patent rights in existence abroad on 1st August, 1946, are German external assets to be liquidated in accordance with the terms of the Final Act of the Paris Conference on Reparation. The London Patents Accord of 27th July, 1946, to which 28 nations are party, placed the majority of these patents in the public domain or made them available for royalty-free licensing, subject to certain exceptions. German inventions made after 31st December, 1945, may be patented in the United Kingdom, United States and France and receive normal protection. Since value is not the criterion for assessing the German reparations debt to other countries, the second part of the Question does not arise.
§ Mr. Stokes
But with great respect, the second part of the Question does arise. Is my hon. Friend not aware that there has been a general stealing of design patents, with no regard paid to the value to the people from whom they have been stolen, just as in the case of the Kalibri works, when tools were taken away and had to be returned because they had been stolen by competitors in this country; and is it not about time that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary paid attention to this matter, which is widespread and causing a great deal of distress?
§ Mr. Mayhew
No, Sir, the Kalibri works case has nothing whatsoever to do with this. This Question is about patents.