February 14, 1928

PATENT ACT AMENDMENT BILL


The house resumed from February 10 consideration in committee on Bill No. 7 to amend the Patent Act. Mr. Rinfret. Mr. Johnston in the chair: On section 1-Manufacture for reasonable requirements.


LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (Secretary of State):

When we were discussing thfg

section the other day reference was made to the words:

Not less than one year after the thirteenth day of June one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three.

It was pointed out quite properly that this revision was perfectly obsolete. I may say that it was intended in this act to reproduce the exact wording of the revised statutes. I quite admit it has no meaning at all. At the same time, if we adopt the other phrase, "one year after the passing of this act" it may be misconstrued, and may be interpreted to mean that we intend to give an additional year to the holder of the patent. I move that we rescind the amendment made the other day, and strike out the words: "and not less than one year after the thirteenth day of June one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three."

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

Will the minister tell me what he proposes to do, now that he has struck out the amendment, in regard to having in Canada a national patent and trade mark policy? On looking up the records I find that under this section over 90 per cent of the trade marks are owned by aliens. My

point is that all these patents which deal with the raw materials or natural resources of Canada should be under the control of Canadians. The commissioner of patents should be given power to require that these patents shall stay in Canada and that the product shall be manufactured in Canada for the time limit of one year. I find in other countries where similar legislation is in force, what they call a national policy, and provision is made for the revocation of a patent in such cases. What is the result to-day of this patent law which we have in Canada? Has there been any revocation?

I do not believe there has been a single revocation. An American citizen comes into Canada, goes to the patent office and files his application under this section or some other section. He procures his patent, goes to the United States with the patent in his pocket, takes the raw material from Canada and manufactures it in the United States.

In the case of the radio and motor car business, if we had a law providing that all the work should be done in Canada, it would create employment for our people. You cannot go to Washington and secure a patent, and then take the profits accruing therefrom out of the country, for there they have a national policy in the patent office, a policy that applies also in other departments of the United States government. To-day we have no brakes to control patentees, and I am confident that a return to the house will show that over ninety per cent of our patents and trademarks are held by other than British subjects. If this bill is the best the government can do in consolidating our patent act, the sooner we make a patent law after the American pattern the better it will be for Canada.

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

Mr. Chairman, as I explained the other day, the object of this bill is to bring our patent act into conformity with the decisions arrived at by the countries which met at The Hague international conference. On Friday the committee was quite agreeable to the bill. I think my hon. friend will agree that when a patent is granted we should see to it that within a reasonable time the patentee manufactures under his patent for the benefit of the country.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I would remind the minister that this bill is now before the parliament of Canada, not The Hague conference. I appeal to him as a Canadian interested in the development of our natural resources to see to it that we have in our patent law a national policy that will ensure the patented

Patent Act

article being manufactured in Canada for at least a year, to give Canadians a chance of employment. Our present patent law is driving our people across the border to work up our raw materials there.

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LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

When this bill was last before the committee clause 1 was amended. In line 8 the words:

-thirteenth day of June one thousand nine hundred and twenty-threewere stricken out, and the words:

-after the passing of this act substituted. The minister now moves that the amendment be rescinded and the words in the seventh and following lines:

and not less than one year after the thirteenth day of June one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three

be struck out.

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Amendment agreed to. Section as amended agreed to.


LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

I now ask, Mr. Chairman, that we revert to clause 2, where the same situation occurs. I move that we also rescind the amendment agreed to last Friday and that the words:

not less than one year after the thirteenth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three

be stricken out.

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CON
LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

It is the same amendment as we have made in the preceding clause.

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Amendment agreed to.


LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

Since the bill was in committee some interested parties have reported to me that we might possibly make a change at the thirty-first line. It says:

if a license in respect of said patent has previously been granted under section 40,

I may explain that the commissioner of patents does not grant the license; he simply orders the patentee to do so. The intention of the legislation would be carried out if we substitute for the word "granted" the word " ordered," because a case might arise where a patentee had been ordered to grant a license and had not done so. I believe that under the other sections of the act we could still proceed against him and revoke his patent. However, I think the clause will be much clearer if it is made to read:

if a license in respect of said patent has previously been ordered under section 40.

I would therefore move, Mr. Chairman, that in line 31 we strike out the word "granted" and insert the word " ordered."

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Amendment agreed to.


CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

Mr. Chairman, in the same section, a few lines below the place to which the minister has just referred, are the following words:

and unless the patentee proves that the patented article or process is manufactured or carried on to an adequate extent in Canada.

Will he kindly explain what "adequate extent" means?

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

A similar question was put to me the other day. It is within the discretion of the commissioner. If my hon. friend will revert to clause 1, subsection (c), he will see that the commissioner considers the petition, and has discretion to determine whether in his judgment the requirements of the public are adequately provided for and the article adequately manufactured. I may say to my hon. friend from South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) that although we were very much pleased last week to do away with the split infinitive, the words "adequately manufactured" are used throughout the bill, and practically form a verb by themselves. It is immaterial either way.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

Mr. Chairman, I expected some such answer from the minister. I believe the reason why Canadian patents are not as well taken care of as they ought to be is that there is too much power given to the commissioner of patents. You should have your law so framed that if a patent is void, it is void; and if it is not void, then the commissioner should have no discretion.

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

I welcome my hon. friend's opinion, which I prize very highly. There is no intention in this bill to alter the principle of our patent law. We are merely bringing our legislation into conformity with the decisions of The Hague conference in respect of such minor matters as I have indicated. I shall be only too pleased to consider my hon. friend's representations and if possible make a more extensive study of the whole patent law with a view to its general revision.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

I did not catch the full purport of the amendment; perhaps the minister will read it again.

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

The amendment is very plain. It was provided in the amending act of 1923 that the disposition would obtain for one year, and when the revision was made this was carried into the revised statutes-

Patent Act

"not less than one year after the thirteenth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three This is now quite obsolete.

I am sure my hon. friend will have no objection to the amendment in this respect, and the other amendment consists merely in the changing of a word. Subsection 2 empowers the commissioner to consider the application,

" and if a license in respect of said patent has previously been granted under section 40", then certain action is taken. This is what I should call a clerical error, because we do not grant licenses under section 40; we order the license to be granted by the patentee. The only change, therefore, is from the word " granted " to the word " ordered ".

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February 14, 1928