§ Sir R. Russell
asked the Minister of Technology if he will give a list of inventions patented in the United Kingdom in the last 50 years, for which ex-gratia payments have been made by the Government to the inventor and the amount of each payment; and how many applications have been refused.
§ Mr. Benn
Departmental records do not show the making of ex-gratia awards for patented inventions for the following reasons:
- 1. Government use of a patented invention gives rise to a statutory right of claim under the Patents Act, 1949. The question of ex-gratia payment does not therefore arise in respect of patented inventions.
- 2. An ex-gratia award for use of an invention (e.g., where there is no statutory right of claim) may be appropriate in circumstances published in the Statement of Principles followed by the 1919 and 1946 Royal Commissions on Awards to Inventors.
- 3. When a claimant has both statutory and ex-gratia bases of claim he may forgo his statutory claim, i.e., under his patent, and rely solely on the circumstances giving rise to an ex-gratia basis of claim in accordance with the principles of the two Royal Commissions.