The Government's Merchandise Marks Bill had an uneventful passage through the House of Lords and has been formally read a first time in the House of Commons. The main purpose of the Bill is to give greater protection to honest traders against less scrupulous competitors. With this object, the main provision of the Bill extends the definition of “trade description” so as to include statements as to “the quality, fitness for purpose, strength, accuracy, performance or behaviour of any goods.” In addition, the existing prohibition of false trade descriptions is extended to misleading descriptions, including any trade description which, although true in itself is calculated to be misunderstood or to create a false impression. It is hoped that the amendments will achieve also two other aims, namely, greater protection to the public generally and to the shopping public in particular, and better protection to the good name of British craftsmanship throughout the world.
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