Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors

A Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors is a periodic Royal Commission of the United Kingdom used to hear patent disputes.

These inventions were broadly divided into two groups, patented and unpatented. Where an invention had been patented the inventor was legally protected. Although he or she could not control the use of his or her invention by the Government, or prevent the use of it at all, as was possible with private users, he or she was entitled to negotiate an equitable payment. The inventor of an unpatented device was not entitled by right to any payment for its use, but relied on the bounty of the Crown, exercised on the recommendation of the commission.

A Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors was set up in 1919, which embraced consideration of all inventions used by the Government in the prosecution of the 1914-18 War. This wound up in 1937. Another was established in 1946 until 1955, this commission followed the general lines of that set up in 1919.