HC Deb 25 July 1990 vol 177 cc544-5

'.—(1) Section 22 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (unqualified person not to prepare certain instruments) shall be amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (2) (persons exempt from subsection (1)), the following paragraphs shall be inserted after paragraph (a)

(3) The following subsection shall be inserted after subsection (3)— (3A) In subsection (2)—

Brought up, and read the First time.

The Attorney-General

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to consider Government amendment No. 116.

The Attorney-General

The new clause and the amendment amend section 22 of the Solicitors Act 1974, which makes it an offence for an unqualified person to prepare certain instruments so as to permit registered trade mark agents to draw or prepare any instrument relating to any design, trade mark or service mark, and to permit registered patent agents to draw or prepare any instrument relating to any invention, design, technical information, trade mark or service mark. The new clause also defines the meaning of those terms. Amendment No. 116 ensures that the provisions of new clause 21 will not be undermined by the provisions of section 102 and 102(a) of the Patents Act 1977.

The present monopoly is not thought to serve any real purpose in consumer protection and unnecessarily adds to the cost of the service that trade mark and patent agents provide to the public. As the monopoly relates neither to advocacy nor to the conduct of litigation and as these transfers are not conveyances in the sense in which that term is used in part II of the Bill, there is no way in which the monopoly can be altered under the machinery created by the Bill.

The amendments have the support of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents and the Institute of Trade Mark Agents. Looked at in the round, they are in the general public interest.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

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