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among other States. With a single exception,' every State of any consequence in modern times had followed our example by adopting the institution, and attributed to its agency a large share of the improvements that had been effected in their manufactures. In this position of affairs, Parliament was unwilling to commit itself to the expression of an opinion to the contrary, or hazard the experiment of a change. The measures it enacted show how much attention had been occupied with the details and effect of the grant in other States, for they consist more in the removal of acknowledged abuses and the remodelling of our Law to meet the objections urged against it from political considerations, than in a general rearrangement of the system upon principle.
Be the difference of opinion, however, on the larger question what it may, there is little room for controversy as to the practical points connected with the grant. To maintain its character as a legitimate interference of the State with trade, there are few who will not allow that it should be far more cautiously conceded and more efficiently protected than is the case under the present system. Patent Agents, as the recognised representatives of inventors, should be made Officers of the Court. A Commission, comprising persons conversant with the various branches of manufacturing art," should decide upon the novelty of the
d The flourishing state of trade and the very considerable importance of the inventions which had originated in Switzerland (Loosey, 425 (1851), Evid. 2137), which is entirely without a Patent Law, were quoted in support of the argument that the stimulus of exclusive privileges was superfluous, either for the encouragement of manufactures, or as an inducement to invention.
e A case was referred to before the Committee of 1851 (Evid. 1437), as within the knowledge of one of the witnesses, in which the same Patent Agent had taken out three Patents for different parties for the same thing within a very short period.
I "According to the Report of the Commissioner of Patents (United
invention submitted to them, and suggest the conditions to be imposed upon the Patentee. Such a Commission might also act in the case of Amendment and Disclaimer, the practice with respect to these being open to all the objections urged against that connected with the original grant.
We must not, however, under-rate the importance of the vast improvements introduced by the recent Acts. The movement which effected them was less reformatory than destructive, consisting not so much in the erection of any new theory or system with reference to Patent right, as in the abolition of conditions which had long since ceased to be either necessary, useful, or significant, and which served only to derogate from the strictly commercial character the privilege naturally possessed. Much that is useful in detail has been adopted from the practice of foreign states ; not the least important features being the reduction of the duty payable, the provision of a Public Library, and the institution of an authoritative Registers of past patented inventions.
The mere substitution of filing for enrolment, and establishment of the Commissioners' Office, has reduced the proceedings to obtain the grant from a wearisome, and oftentimes dangerous formality, to the dimensions of an ordinary business-like transaction. Under the old law, a Patent for an invention passed through nine stages, in
States) the arrearages of business in that office have been well pushed forward by increasing the number of Eraminers. Since the 1st of January 1,600 Patents have been issued, and the whole number for the year will reach 1,900, or double that in 1853. The principal recommendations of Mr. Mason are that the examining force be permanently augmented; that better provision be made for taking testimony in cases of appeal, and a new rate of fees established.” Summary of Statistical Report presented to Congress in 1854.
& For the valuable Official Indexes now published, the public is indebted to the exertions of Mr. Bennett Woodcroft, the present Superintendent of Specifications.
seven separate offices, situate in parts of the town distant from each other. The new Act recognized three separate offices, the Great Seal Patent Office, being the ancient Office of Chancery for the passing of Patents; a new Office, the Office of the Commissioners; and the Office of the Law Officer making out the Warrant. With a view to consolidate these several Offices, the Lord Chancellor, by an Order dated 1st October, 1852, appointed the Great Seal Patent Office to be the Office in Chancery for the filing of Specifications, and the Commissioners, by an Order of the same date, directed the Great Seal Patent Office and the Office of the Commissioners to be combined, and the Clerk of the Patents for the time being to be the Clerk of the Commissioners; while by subsequent Orders of the late Attorney and Solicitor-General, the Warrants of the Law Officer, theretofore made in the Office of the Patent Clerk of the Attorney-General, was directed to be made in the Office of the Commissioners.
In consequence of these Orders matters have been very materially simplified, the whole of the duties of the Commissioners, from the reception of the Petition for Provisional Protection to the publication and sale of the Specifications, being discharged in one Office. This Office will be rendered still more complete by the establishment of the Public Library now collecting under the superintendence of Mr. Bennett Woodcroft, to consist of scientific and practical works of all nations on the subject of manufacturing art.
Each Specification filed under the New Act is, together with a lithographed outline copy of the drawings accompanying the same, printed and published by the Commissioners within three weeks of its deposit in the Office. It is sold to the public at the cost price of the printing and
b Stat, 15 & 16 Vict. c. 83, s. 28.
paper. The price of a print of the average length, of letterpress and drawings, is 8d.
A Journal of a somewhat indefinite character, entitled “The Commissioners of Patents Journal,” has, since January, 1854, been published twice a week by the authority of the Commissioners. It contains the various notices appearing in the Gazette on the subject of Patents, and a variety of other notices, and useful information and instruction, for the guidance of applicants in proceeding for their Patents. It is proposed to publish in it the names of Patentees, and the titles of Patents granted in other countries : also a notification from time to time of the date of the expiration of each Patent, as it may become void either by non-payment of the stamp duties of 501. and 1001., at the expiration of the third and seventh years respectively, pursuant to the Act, or at the full term of fourteen years : and also, from time to time, a list of the inventions provisionally protected, lapsed or forfeited by reason of the applicants having neglected to proceed for their Patents within the six months of provisional protection.
For the Forms of Assignment, Mortgage and Licence, in the Appendix, embracing the experience of long actual practice, I am indebted to the kindness of the able and learned Editor of Jarman and Bythewood's Conveyancing.
To Mr. Charles Cowper, Patent Agent, I am obliged for much of detail as to the practice connected with the grant in Continental States.
I take this opportunity of expressing my sense of the great courtesy of the Officers connected with the Privy Council. and Great Seal Patent Office. The information furnished by Mr. Ruscoe of the latter as to the routine of the Office, will, I trust, render the work useful as a manual to inventors.
J. C. 89, CHANCERY LANE,
. February 1st, 1855.