HL Deb 18 February 1908 vol 184 cc566-7


Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, towards the close of last session your Lordships were good enough to pass an amending Act with regard to patents and designs, and you also passed a measure to consolidate the whole of the Acts relating to that subject. Section 25 of the amending Act was transferred to the Consolidation Act as Section 92, and the question has arisen whether that transfer has in any way affected the right of appeal to your Lordships' House in the case of the revocation of a patent by the controller. This Bill is simply a declaration to the effect that this is not the case, and therefore I sincerely trust your Lordships will see your way to allow the Bill to be read a second time.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Earl of Granard.)


I am not surprised that difficulties have arisen in consequence of the method in which the Patents Act was passed last session. It was under great duress that your Lordships were asked to agree to that most important Bill. It so happened that, if I may use such a phrase in your Lordships' House, it was only by the skin of our teeth that we were able to pass the Patents Bill in time for it to be incorporated in the Consolidation Bill; and, when we came to the Consolidation Bill, the Amendments were presented in a volume and put in one question from the Woolsack. I ventured to say at the time that that was an unusual practice, and that it would have been a useful procedure to have referred the Bill to a Select Committee. The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, however, assured me that there would not be mistakes. There have been mistakes, and I am not surprised.


The noble Marquess is quite right in saying that the Bid of last year was brought up at a time when it was not easy to give it proper consideration, but I venture to assert that there was no mistake. What happened was that the amending Bill and the Consolidation Bill, running side by side, reached their final stages on the last day but one of the session. It has not been customary to send such Bills to a Select Committee, and the amending Bill in the last stage was grafted on the Consolidation Bill. The present Bill is to remove a doubt, which I really think has no foundation, arising out of the language used in graft-ting the amending Bill on the Consolidation Bill.

On Question, Bill read 2a (according to order) and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.