I feel sure that we have, because the minister can refuse the attorney access to the patent office thereafter, may strike him off the list, may in fact disbar him as far as the patent office is concerned. Any patent attorney, rather than incur such chastisement, would certainly restore any fees which he had received, which fees are usually very modest indeed.
I do not feel that I can prolong the discussion on this point, but I Buggest to the minister that the measures which he has said he can use remind me of the old case of locking the door after the horse is stolen.. From the statement the minister has made I do not think they would have any power to see that any man who had lost money by giving it to a patent attorney who did not use it properly would be able to get it back or get a proper accounting for the money.
Some years ago a case was brought to my notice of a man in western Canada who had invented a very clever device, and sold it to a man simply on a matter of promissory notes. This second man came to Ottawa and got some patent attorney to take up the case, and although application had been made by the first applicant the attorney managed to get a patent for the second man before the first man had a chance. I think in such cases the patent attorney should be strictly dealt with. The original inventor failed eventually to get his patent, did not even get any money at all for it. He not only lost the patent, which was given to the second man, but the man who had done all the work was at a complete loss in every way.
As I said to the other hon. member who spoke, it was only under one of the amendments passed in 1932, that complete jurisdiction was taken over the patent attorneys who are practicing at the patent office. Under the amendments during very recent years, therefore, we have complete jurisdiction over these patent attorneys and I think that in that respect the act is working very satisfactorily indeed.
As a matter of fact in April I did give notice of certain suggested amendments. Members of this house and others throughout the country read those suggested amendments and suggested that clearer statements might be made. Clause (b) of subsection (2) of this section reads as follows at present:
(b) within twelve months after the filing of the application, or of the first application, as the case may be, for such patent in such other country or countries.
Those who were before the Senate committee have agreed that this can be more clearly stated in the words of the amendment, which amount to exactly the same thing.
to which Canada originally adhered. At subsequent meetings of the parties thereto certain amendments have been made, and unless the amendments proposed at subsequent meetings are adopted by Canada the old convention remains in force according to its terms. Canada has acceded to each amendment so far made with the exception of those that were suggested at the meeting of the representatives of those countries held in London last July. This act will enable Canada to carry into force such amendments as were proposed at that meeting if the government of Canada adheres to the amendments so adopted.
The treaty to which Canada is a party is the convention that was signed at The Hague on the 6th November, 1925. That is the last convention to which Canada
Patents of Invention
adhered and the Canadian ratification was deposited on the first of May, 1928. This convention has been before this house and I think is available at the distribution office unless the supply there has been exhausted. Article XVII bis provides:
The convention shall remain in force for an unlimited time, till the expiry of one year from the date of its denunciation.
This denunciation shall be addressed to the government of the Swiss confederation. It shall only affect the denouncing country, the convention remaining in operation as regards the other contracting countries.