May 28, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)


That is quite true, but it is not the point about which I am speaking. I am refering to patents which have not been used either before or after the expiry date. There is no doulbt about it however that publicity would do much to cure the difficulty, and I shall have a suggestion to make in that respect.
In the price spreads report reference has been made to placing the administration of the commercial side of the Patent Act-not necessarily the legal side, because there are -two sides, legal and commercial

under a body such as is recommended, namely the -trade and industry commission. In any case there ought to be an official body of some kind or a business department responsible for the administration of the commercial side of the patent law, so that they could keep track of and check on- patents which have been issued, ascertain to what extent they are being used or pigeon-holed as the case may be, or to what extent the holders of a patent right are abusing that privilege in the manner I have mentioned, namely, by virtually turning it into a secon-dary customs protection.
These are two matters to which I should like to draw the attention of the house, and I feel that unless it is done in this revision there is not much hope of having any remedial action taken for a great many years. It is true that the commissioner of patents may order the patentee- to supply the patented article within reasonable limits at such price as may be fixed by him and in accordance with the trade. It may be answered this afternoon that that provision in the act takes care of the situation. I submit that in the first place the practice demonstrates it is not done and in the second- place I submit that under the present method of administration of the act the patent commissioner is so engrossed with his other duties and with, shall I say, the vision of his duties which has grown up through the years that this feature of it is practically ignored or neglected, not with intent but simply as a matter of form and practice.
That is why I suggest that the matter should be considered seriously because I am convinced of this, namely, that in this one instance alone, the manufacture and sale in Canada of electric -light bulbs, the public
are paying a price which I would say is at *least 30 per cent or 40 per cent above that which they ought to pay for this class of goods. If it is true in this instance it may be true in a great many other instances. As a matter of fact I have not any doubt that it is true in other instances and therefore I suggest that -before this measure leaves the committee stage of the house some provision should -be made for an adequate protection of the consumer in regard to this matter. I again suggest to the government that they consider the placing of the administration of the commercial features of the act under some business organization or body, official or board whose duty it shall be to check on these commercial sides or features of the patent laws of the country.

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