Opinion Number. 1426

Subject

STATUTORY INTERPRETATION appointment of SECOND Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks: STATUTORY POWER TO CREATe OFFICE: WHETHER PROVISION IN ACTS INTERPRETATION ACT THAT WORDS IN THE SINGULAR INCLUDE THE PLURAL MEANS THAT TWO OR MORE OF SUCH OFFICES CAN BE CREATED

Key Legislation

Acts Interpretation Act 1901 s 23: Trade Marks Act 1905 s 11(3)

Date
Client
The Commissioner of Patents

I am in receipt of your memorandum of 23rd September, 1927, recommending the appointment of Mr C. LeM. Allan as Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks.

A similar recommendation was dealt with in my memorandum of 19th August, 1924,(1) in which I pointed out that as the office of Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks was occupied by Mr Teece no purported appointment of another Deputy Registrar would have any statutory effect.

I note that in support of your proposal you cite section 23 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 which provides that ‘in any Act unless the contrary intention appears, words in the singular shall include plural …’.

I am of opinion that, in cases such as that under consideration, where a statute authorises the creation of a specific office section 23 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 is no authority for assuming that authority is given for two or more offices of the specified designation to be created.

I am further of opinion that your proposition that the meaning of subsection (3) of section 11 of the Trade Marks Act varies according to requirements, is unsound.

I am therefore unable to agree that in the circumstances action can be taken in the direction you suggest.

[Vol. 23, p. 408]

(1) Memorandum not found.