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UNITED STATES STATUTES
RELATING TO LETTERS PATENT.
An Act to promote the progress of Useful Arts, and to repeal all
Acts and parts of Acts heretofore made for that purpose. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Organization United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall of the patent be established and attached to the Department of State an office once, and 145
government. to be denominated the Patent Office, the chief officer of which shall be called the Commissioner of Patents, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, whose duty it shall be, under the direction of the Secretary of State, to superintend, execute, and perform all such acts and things, touching and respecting the granting and issuing of patents for new and useful discoveries, inventions, and improvements, as are herein provided for, or shall hereafter be, by law, directed to be done and performed, and shall have charge and custody of all the books, records, papers, models, machines, and all other things belonging to said office. And said Commissioner shall receive the same compensation as is allowed by law to the Commissioner of the Indian Department, and shall be entitled to send and receive letters and packages by mail, relating to the business of the office, free of postage..
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be in said Of clerks and office an inferior officer, to be appointed by the said principal offi- interior cer, with the approval of the Secretary of State, to receive an alar
Con cers, and their annual salary of seventeen hundred dollars, and to be called the Chief Clerk of the Patent Office, who, in all cases during the necessary absence of the Commissioner, or when the said principal office shall become vacant, shall have the charge and custody of the seal, and of the records, books, papers, machines, models, and all other things belonging to the said office, and shall perform the duties of Commissioner during such vacancy. And the said Commissioner may also, with like approval, appoint an examining clerk, at an annual salary of fifteen hundred dollars; two other clerks, at twelve hundred dollars each, one of whom shall be a competent draughtsman; one other clerk, at one thousand dollars ; a machinist, at twelve hundred and fifty dollars; and a messenger,
Cannot take at seven hundred dollars. And said Commissioner, clerks, and or hold any
any every other person appointed and employed in said office, shall be interest in patents.
disqualified and interdicted from acquiring or taking, except by inheritance, during the period for which they shall hold their appointments, respectively, any right or interest, directly or indirectly, in any patent for an invention or discovery which has been,
or may hereafter be, granted. Officers must Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said principal officer, give bonds for and every other person to be appointed in the said office, shall, faithful performance of
i before he enters upon the duties of his office or appointment, make duties.
oath or affirmation truly and faithfully to execute the trust committed to him. And the said Commissioner and the Chief Clerk shall also, before entering upon their duties, severally give bonds, with sureties, to the Treasurer of the United States, the former in the sum of ten thousand dollars, and the latter in the sum of five thousand dollars, with condition to render a true and faithful account to him or his successor in office, quarterly, of all moneys which shall be by them respectively received for duties on patents, and for copies of records and drawings, and all other moneys
received by virtue of said office. Patent and Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the said Commissioner record seal shall cause a seal to be made and provided for the said office, with cost of certi
such device as the President of the United States shall approve; fied copies of documents. nts.
same. What a patent Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That all patents issuing from shall contain— said office shall be issued in the name of the United States, and specification under the seal of said office, and be signed by the Secretary of and claims.
State, and countersigned by the Commissioner of said office, and shall be recorded, together with the descriptions, specifications, and drawings, in the said office, in books to be kept for that purpose. Every such patent shall contain a short description or title of the invention or discovery, correctly indicating its nature and design, and in its terms grant to the applicant or applicants, his or their heirs, administrators, executors or assigns, for a term not exceeding fourteen years, the full and exclusive right and liberty of making, using, and vending to others to be used, the said invention or discovery, referring to the specifications for the particulars thereof, a copy of which shall be annexed to the patent, specifying what the patentee claims as his invention or discovery.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That any person or persons What are sub having discovered or invented any new and useful art, machine, jects of pat
ents, and on manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful whor condi. improvement on any art, machine, manufacture, or.composition of tions granted. matter, not known or used by others before his or their discovery or invention thereof, and not, at the time of his application for a patent, in public use or on sale, with his consent or allowance, as the inventor or discoverer, and shall desire to obtain an exclusive property therein, may make application, in writing, to the Commissioner of Patents, expressing such desire, and the Commissioner, on due proceedings had, may grant a patent therefor. But before any inventor shall receive a patent for any such new inven- How the spetion or discovery, he shall deliver a written description of his cification must invention or discovery, and of the manner and process of making, be constructing, using, and compounding the same, in such full, clear, and exact terms, avoiding unnecessary prolixity, as to enable any person skilled in the art or science to which it appertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make, construct, compound and use the same ; and in case of any machine, he shall fully explain the principle, and the several modes in which he has contemplated the application of that principle or character by which it may be distinguished from other inventions; and shall particularly specify and point out the part, improvement, or combination, which he claims as his own invention or discovery. He shall, furthermore, accompany the whole with a drawing or drawings, Of drawings, and written references, where the nature of the case admits of specimens,
models. drawings; or with specimens of ingredients, and of the composi- ai tion of matter, sufficient in quantity for the purpose of experiment, where the invention or discovery is of a composition of matter; which descriptions and drawings, signed by the inventor, and attested by two witnesses, shall be filed in the Patent Office; and he shall, moreover, furnish a model of his invention, in all cases which admit of a representation by model, of a convenient size to exhibit advantageously its several parts. The applicant shall also make oath, or affirmation, that he does verily believe that he is the Oath, and citi. original and first inventor or discoverer of the art, machine, com- zenship. position, or improvement, for which he solicits a patent; and that he does not know or believe that the same was ever before known or used; and also of what country he is a citizen: which oath or affirmation may be made before any person authorized by law to administer oaths.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That on the filing of any such Examination application, description, and specification, and the payment of the as to noveltyduty hereinafter provided, the Commissioner shall make, or cause
so if not new re
ejected, with to be made, an examination of the alleged new invention or dis-reference to covery; and if, on any such examination, it shall not appear to prior disthe Commissioner that the same had been invented or discovered covery. by any other person in this country, prior to the alleged invention or discovery thereof by the applicant, or that it had been patented
or described in any printed publication in this or any foreign country, or had been in public use or on sale, with the applicant's consent or allowance, prior to the application, if the Commissioner
shall deem it to be sufficiently useful and important, it shall be his How amend duty to issue a patent therefor. But whenever, on such examinaif part is new. tion, it shall appear to the Commissioner that the applicant was
not the original and first inventor or discoverer thereof, or that any, part of that which is claimed as new had before been invented or discovered, or patented, or described in any printed publication in this or any foreign country as aforesaid, or that the description is defective and insufficient, he shall notify the applicant thereof, giving him briefly such information and references as may be useful in judging of the propriety of renewing his application,
or of altering his specification to embrace only that part of the Can withdraw invention or discovery which is new. In every such case, if the the case, with applicant shall elect to withdraw his application, relinquishing his part of the tax, Model re
claim to the model, he shall be entitled to receive back twenty mains. dollars, part of the duty required by this act, on filing a notice in
writing of such election in the Patent Office ; a copy of which, certified by the Commissioner, shall be a sufficient warrant to the
Treasurer for paying back to the said applicant the said sum of To whom ap- twenty dollars. But if the applicant, in such case, shall persist in peals are, his claims for a patent, with or without any alteration of his specimade, and
fication, he shall be required to make oath or affirmation anew, in manner as aforesaid; and if the specification and claim shall not have been so modified as, in the opinion of the Commissioner, shall entitle the applicant to a patent, he may, on appeal, and upon request in writing, have the decision of a board of examiners,* to be composed of three disinterested persons, who shall be appointed for that purpose by the Secretary of State, one of whom, at least, to be selected, if practicable and convenient, for his knowledge and skill in the particular art, manufacture, or branch of science to which the alleged invention appertains; who shall be under
oath or affirmation for the faithful and impartial performance of the Commissioner duty imposed upon them by said appointment. Said board shall must state the be furnished with a certificate in writing of the opinion and deci grounds of his rejection.
sion of the Commissioner, stating the particular grounds of his objection, and the part or parts of the invention which he considers as not entitled to be patented. And the said board shall give reasonable notice to the applicant, as well as to the Commissioner, of the time and place of their meeting, that they may have an opportunity of furnishing them with such facts and evidence as they may deem necessary to a just decision; and it shall be the duty of the Commissioner to furnish to the board of examiners such information as he may possess relative to the matter under their consideration. And on an examination and consideration of the matter by such board, it shall be in their power, or of a majority
* Note.-This Board of Examiners is repealed by Sec. 12. Act, March, 1839.
of them, to reverse the decision of the Commissioner, either in whole or in part; and their opinion being certified to the Commissioner, he shall be governed thereby in the further proceedings to be had on such application : Provided, however, That, before a Tax on apboard shall be instituted in any such case, the applicant shall pay peal, and pay to the credit of the Treasury, as provided in the ninth section of of appeal this act, the sum of twenty-five dollars; and each of said persons so appointed shall be entitled to receive for his services in each case, a sum not exceeding ten dollars, to be determined and paid by the Commissioner' out of any monies in his hands, which shall be in full compensation to the persons who may be so appointed for their examination and certificate as aforesaid.
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That whenever an application On interfering shall be made for a patent, which, in the opinion of the Commis- applications.
How decided. sioner, would interfere with any other patent for which an appli- Appeals fron cation may be pending, or with any unexpired patent which shall Commissionhave been granted, it shall be the duty of the Commissioner to er's decision. give notice thereof to such applicants, or patentees, as the case may be ; and if either shall be dissatisfied with the decision of the Commissioner on the question of priority of right or invention, on a hearing thereof, he may appeal from such decision, on the like terms and conditions as are provided in the preceding section of this act, and the like proceedings shall be had, to determine which, or whether either, of the applicants is entitled to receive a patent as prayed for. But nothing in this act contained shall be construed Patents taken to deprive an original and true inventor of the right to a patent first abroad. for his invention, by reason of his having previously taken out let- en
16 Dates of pat
·lecents, and filing ters patent therefor in a foreign country, and the same having been papers in published, at any time within six months next preceding the filing secret arof his specification and drawings. And whenever the applicant chives, and shall request it, the patent shall take date from the time of filing of the specifications and drawings, not, however, exceeding six months prior to the actual issuing of the patent; and on like request, and the payment of the duty herein required, by any applicant, his specification and drawings shall be filed in the secret archives of the office, until he shall furnish the model, and the patent be issued, not exceeding the term of one year—the applicant being entitled to notice of interfering applications.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That, before any application Patent tax, for a patent shall be considered by the Commissioner as aforesaid, and fund. the applicant shall pay into the Treasury of the United States, or into the Patent Office, or into any of the deposite banks, to the credit of the Treasury, if he be a citizen in the United States, or an alien, and shall have been resident in the United States for one year next preceding, and shall have made oath of his intention to become a citizen thereof, the sum of thirty dollars ; if a subject of the King of Great Britain, the sum of five hundred dollars; and all other persons the sum of three hundred dollars; for which payment duplicate receipts shall be taken, one of which to be filed in