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Clause 38—(Co-Ownership Of Patents)

Volume 467: debated on Friday 22 July 1949

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I beg to move, in page 28, line 16, to leave out from "others," to the end of line 18, and to insert:

"(3) Subject to the provisions of section thirty-seven of the principal Act, and to any agreement for the time being in force, a licence under a patent shall not be granted, and a share in a patent shall not be assigned, except with the consent of all persons, other than the licensor or assignor, who are registered as grantee or proprietor of the patent."
Clause 38 (2) of the Bill provides, among other things, that where two or more persons are registered as grantees or proprietors of a patent, each of those persons shall not be entitled to grant a licence or assign the whole or any part of his interest in the patent without the consent of the other grantees or proprietors. It has been suggested that, under the subsection as worded at present, where a co-grantee or a co-proprietor assigns his interest to another person and the assignment is not registered, the assignee might be able to assign his interest to some other person without the consent of the other remaining registered proprietor and thus avoid the provisions of the subsection. This Amendment would stop up that hole.

12.30 p.m.

Although we have disposed of some difficulties, there remain some in Clause 38 to which reference was made during earlier stages of the Bill, and I am sorry that the Government have not seen their way to consider the representations which were made to them. As the matter stands at present, the part-owner of a patent can indeed hold things up very seriously if he has a mind to do so. I think it is a pity that rather more could not have been done to remedy that situation.

Amendment agreed to.