February 25, 1902

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Well, that question came up in the Committee on Private Bills and also in the House, and the expression of the House indicated clearly its desire to hold that power in its own hands and not delegate it to anybody else. The most frequent applications are in cases where the parties allowed the time to elapse within which they had the right to extend the life of their patent by paying the additional fees, and then apply to parliament to have that extension of life which the department is debarred from granting them through their own fault. I have constant application for such extensions but am absolutely powerless. If the government were to undertake to grant an extension by Order in Council, once the delay for granting it has expired, that would be of no effect, because it is distinctly contrary to the law. The parties have to apply to this House to pass a private Bill for that purpose, and the question which the hon. gentleman has put has frequently been discussed both in the Private Bills Committee and the House. Two years ago the question came up of amending the Act in the direction suggested. What I proposed was that after a patent had expired without any commercial use having been made of it, and the inventor subsequently found a chance of utilizing his invention, we should give to the Exchequer Court the power to reinstate such a patent under certain conditions. A Bill to that effect was submitted to a special committee and the committee failed to report on it, and I believe did so designedly. Under the circumstances, I felt that this House did not desire to delegate its power in this respect to anv other body. On several other occasions also, both in the Private Bills Committee and in the House, it has been made clear that parliament does not wish to divest itself of this power.

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William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

In the event of a party applying for a patent and the examiner refusing to grant his request on the ground that it clashed with an already patented article, is there any appeal from his decision ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Yes, to the minister.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I do not remember any particular one, but there have been two or three since I have been in office.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

When were these two or three made ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I cannot give the dates. I think there was one last year, but am speaking only from memory.

ilr. BENNETT. I presume that in such cases both parties-those making the application and those opposing it-are represented by counsel.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Yes.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

Were the counsel members of the House ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I do not remember, but I do not think so.

I am certain that the counsel were not members.

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William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

Were the parties who appeared before the Minister to argue the cases members of this House ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

No.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

Does the hon. gentleman recollect any cases which, if not dealt with by himself, were dealt with by an officer of the department who afterwards reported to him, and in which members of this House did appear on behalf of the parties interested.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I remember no such case. The usual course is for the deputy minister, who is the assistant commissioner of patents, to go into the details and prepare a memo, for

me. Then when the ease finally comes before me, I take that memo, and hear the case. What occurs before the deputy minister I am not aware of in all cases.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Are not all those cases, cases which have been legislated upon since by the House of Commons or Senate ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I do not think so. I do not carry in my mind the exact cases. There were three or four, but I could not mention one of them.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Has it never been suggested to the hon. gentleman that a period of eighteen years was sufficiently long and that there should be no extension after that time ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

There is no extension after that time. The only proposal was to give power to increase the time.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Has there been no appli-catron to have that part of the Act wiped out which allows the parties, after twelve years have elapsed, to have the term extended ?

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February 25, 1902