HL Deb 04 March 1861 vol 161 c1271

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


, in moving the second reading of this Bill said, he had received a number of communications from chambers of commerce, eminent manufacturing firms, expressing their delight at the prospect of at last obtaining protection for their trade marks! The evil which the Bill was designed to prevent was a very serious one. The forgery of these marks inflicted a double injury on manufacturers, for it brought discredit upon their productions as well as robbed them of the fruits of their skill and industry, and it was carried on to a very great extent. Hitherto there had been no remedy against it except by an application to the Court of Chancery or a suit at common law. It was proposed in this Bill to make the forgery of trade marks a misdemeanour, liable to the punishment of fine or imprisonment. It had been suggested by some members of the mercantile community that there ought to be a registration of trade marks throughout the United Kingdom; that no trade mark should receive protection which was not registered; and that registration should be accepted as conclusive evidence of the property in such a mark. He believed, however, that the machinery to carry out such a system would be very complicated and expensive, and that the measure was better as it stood. There were also clauses in the Bill making it a misdemeanour in any one to use labels stating falsely the quantity or quality of the goods to which they were attached. He was doubtful whether he should retain the clause of the Bill with reference to works of art, as it might perhaps be found to come in more appropriately in the Bill which had been introduced into the other House on the copyright of such works.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.


approved generally of the measure, but believed that Amendments might be introduced in Committee to render its operation more effectual.

Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Friday next.