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Merchandise Marks Act (Prosecutions And Infringements)

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 29 April 1954

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42

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many prosecutions for alleged offences under the Merchandise Marks Acts have been initiated by his Department in each quinquennium since the original Act was passed; and how many complaints of alleged infringement of the Acts he is now considering.

Since the answer to the first part of the Question contains a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The answer to the second part of the Question is 11.

Can the hon. and learned Gentleman say whether the answer to the first part of the Question shows an increasing sense of responsibility on the part of the Board of Trade in implementing the Merchandise Marks Acts or the contrary? I take it that his answer to the second part was 11. Will the hon. and learned Gentleman say what action is being taken on these complaints?

If the hon. Member will devote his mind to it, he will see that the success of a statute is not measured by the number of prosecutions under it. As to the 11 cases mentioned in answer to the second part of his Question, they are, of course, being investigated.

Following is the table:

Number of prosecutions under the Merchandise Marks Acts initiated by the Board of Trade in each quinquennium since 1888.

Period

Number of prosecutions

1888–18926
1893–189712
1898–19024
1903–19075
1908–191217
1913–191737
1918–19226
1923–19275
1928–193210
1933–193717
1938–194214
1943–19471
1948–19522

Note: The figures given for periods before 1938 are only approximate.