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INTERNATIONAL AND COLONIAL ARRANGEMENTS.
International Arrangements. It is enacted by the 103rd section of the Patent Act of 1883 that, if the Crown should make any arrangement with the government or governments of any foreign state or states for the mutual protection of inventions, then any person who has applied for protection for any invention in any such state shall be entitled to a patent for his invention under the Act in priority to other applicants, and such patent shall have the same date as the date of the protection obtained in such foreign state. But the application must be made in this country in the same manner as an ordinary application under the Act, and within seven months from the date of the application for protection in the foreign state. A patentee under this section will not be allowed to recover damages for infringements happening prior to the date of the actual acceptance of his complete
fication in this country. By the second subsection of the same section it is enacted that the publication in the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man, during the said period of seven months, of any description of the invention, or the use therein during the said period of the invention, shall not invalidate the patent which may be granted for the invention.
Then by the fourth subsection it is directed that these provisions are only to apply to those foreign States with respect to which Her Majesty shall from time to time by Order in Council declare them to be applicable, and so long only in the case of each State as the Order in Council shall continue in force with respect to that State.
On March 20, 1883, a Convention was signed by representatives of the governments of Belgium, Brazil, Spain, France, Guatemala, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Salvador, Servia and Switzerland, which was afterwards ratified by these governments. By the first article of this Convention it was declared that the said States formed themselves into a Union for the Protection of Industrial Property, which words were (according to the Protocol accompanying the Convention and having the same force, validity, and duration as the Convention itself) to be understood in their broadest sense, and to be applicable not only to industrial products properly so called, but also to agricultural products (wines, corn, fruits, cattle, &c.) and to mineral products employed in commerce (mineral waters, &c). It may here be remarked that neither agricultural products nor mineral products are patentable in this country.
By the second article of the Convention, the subjects or citizens of each of the contracting States are to enjoy in all the other States of the Union the same advantages as regards patents of every kind (see the second paragraph of the Protocol) that their respective laws grant to their own subjects or citizens. They are to have the same protection and the same legal recourse' [i.e. remedies] on any infringement of their rights provided they observe the formalities and conditions imposed on subjects, or citizens by the internal legislation [i.e. laws] of each State. With regard to this clause the third paragraph of the Protocol explains that it is not to affect the legislation [i.e. laws] of the contracting states relating to legal procedure, jurisdiction, &c.
Subjects or citizens of States not forming part of
1 The Convention and Protocol will be found reprinted in the Appendix
the Union who are domiciled or have industrial or commercial establishments on the territory of any of the States of the Union are by article 3 of the Convention to be on the same footing as the subjects or citizens of the contracting States.
Then by Article 4, any person who has duly registered [i.e. made] an application for a patent in one of the contracting States shall enjoy as regards registration in the other States, and reserving the rights of these parties, a right of priority for six months, an additional month being allowed for countries beyond sea. Subsequent registration (i.e. a patent obtained on a subsequent application) in any of the other States of the Union before expiry of that period shall not be invalidated by any acts done in the interval, either by registration, by publication of the invention, or the working of it by a third party.
Article 5 declares that the introduction by the patentee into the country where the patent has been granted of articles manufactured in any of the States of the Union, shall not entail forfeiture of the patent as it did in several states before the date of the Convention. But this clause is followed by another which declares that the patentee shall remain bound to work his patent in those States where the law of the country obliges him to do so. It would appear, therefore, that although a patentee is entitled to introduce into a country articles made abroad, he must still work the invention in that country if the law has a regulation to that effect.
Temporary protection is to be granted under Article eleven to patentable inventions appearing at official or officially recognised international exhibitions.
In order to carry the Convention into full effect, it was directed by Article 13 that an International Office should be organised under the name of Bureau International de l'Union pour la protection de la Propriété Industrielle, and that this Office should be placed under the authority of the Central Administration of the Swiss Confederation, and worked under its supervision.
It was then agreed by the next Article that the Convention should be submitted to periodical revisions, with a view to improving its provisions, for which end conferences by delegates from the contracting States will be held. It was also agreed that special arrangements for the protection of industrial property might be made separately between any of the contracting States, provided that such arrangements do not contravene the provisions of the Convention.
By Article 16 it was agreed that States which did not originally take part in the Convention should be permitted to join the Union afterwards by diplomatically notifying their intention to do so to the Government of the Swiss Confederation. And by Article 18 it is provided that any State might retire from the Union by giving notice to that effect to the Government of the Swiss Confederation. At the expiration of one year from the date of the notice the State giving it will cease to be a member of the Union.
Great Britain joined this Convention on May 1, 1884, and the Order in Council under section 103 of the Patents Act will shortly be made. The Board of Trade will immediately issue rules as to applications for patents under this Convention.
Colonial Arrangements. When it is made to appear to Her Majesty that the legislature of any British possession has made satisfactory provision for the protection of inventions patented in this country, Her Majesty is empowered, by the 104th section of the Patents Act of 1883 by Order in Council, to apply the provisions of the 103rd section, with such variations or additions as may seem fit, to such British possession, but such order is made revocable by another Order in Council.
THE PATENT OFFICE--THE COMPTROLLER-GENERAL RULES
-SEAL OF THE OFFICE OFFICIAL DOCUMENTARY EVI-
UNTIL a new office has been provided by the Treasury, under the authority of the eighty-second section of the Act of 1883, the business relating to patents is transacted at the offices of the defunct Commissioners of Patents in Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane. All the officers and clerks of the office are appointed by the Board of Trade, subject to the approval of the Treasury.
The Office is open to the public every week-day between the hours of ten and four, except on Christmas day, Good Friday, the day observed as her Majesty's birthday, and the days observed as days of public fast or thanksgiving, or as holidays at the Bank of England.
The Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs, and Trade-Marks, is an officer appointed by the Board of Trade under the eighty-third section of the new statute to act under the superintendence and direction of the Board as chief of the Patent Office, which is placed under his immediate charge.
Besides acting as general manager of the business of the office, and as superintendent of the examiners and clerks therein, his principal duties, as prescribed by