HL Deb 24 July 1961 vol 233 cc850-1

4.2 p.m.

Debate continued.


My Lords, as one who took.part in the discussion which have already been referred to, I should like to associate myself with what has been said by my noble friend Lord Silkin. I emphasised earlier that this problem of fees in connection with patents ought to be carried by the community, which benefits from the inventions even more than does the inventor himself. I am glad to find that my noble friend Lord Silkin is advocating that point of view which I stressed very much at that time.

As regards the proposals which are brought forward, I am very much in sympathy with what the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, has said, and I feel that the criticisms which we made on the previous occasion have borne some fruit in that this initial fee of £1 is to remain, which obviously is very sensible. I feel that the Government might have given way a little on the other matter, too. While it is no doubt true that the amount of work involved in doing it to specifications is a good deal heavier than that in connection with other aspects of this matter, nevertheless it is a very substantial increase which is now proposed and, clearly, one which might very hardly hit the little man whose interests we all had in view. I suppose that it is now too late to ask the Government to think again on this point, but I must say that I feel that a rise in the nature of 50 per cent. would have been very much more reasonable than the very heavy one which is put into force by this particular Order.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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