PATENTS, LAW OF (PATENT; PATENT LAWS, ante), though originally used to include the alleged authority for granting monopolies and the law of copyright, is now confined to the granting by the sovereign power in the state of certain immunities, privi leges, and authority as to the making, use, and sale of useful articles newly discovered or invented and not already openly or by implication surrendered to the public; or as to the employment of some newly discovered process in art or manufactures. The privileges are continued for a limited time. To the inventor the consideration is the pia fit to be derived from the sale or use of the invention; to the public the consideration is, fir-t, the stimulation of invention; secondly, the free public use of the invented article after the limited time expires. It is noticeable that the first patent granted in this country, 1641, was for a new process, that of making, salt. Several others were granted before the revo lution, under the royal charter, or by the authority of colonial statutes. .the most impor tant instances occurring in Connecticut and Massachusetts. By the U. S. constitution power was conferred -upon congress to pass statutes "securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right of their respective writings or discoveries." The first statute was that of 1790. This fixed the limit at 14 years, or less, at the discre tion of the grantors, who were to be the attorney-general and time secretaries of state and Iof war. The approval of any two of these.sufficed. A foreigner could receive a patent. Tees were fixed; infringers were made liable to punishment, but no provision was made for the of the claims. The act was found deficient, and in 1793 a second was passed which introduced the principle of deciding interfering claims and made the form of petition to tke secretary of state alone. Triple damages were to be paid by infringers; the fee was fixed at $30, and a method was provided for disputed claims before a U. S. district court. Time act of 16U0 compelled the applicant to make oath that the invention had not been previously known or used in this or any foreign country. These and other acts and amendments, in 1819 and 1832, were rendered void by the act of 1830. which, though changed in many points by subsequent statutes (1837, '39, '42, '48, '49, '52, '00, '61, '70, '72), forms the basis of our present regulations. This statute had for its marked features the establishment of a separate office (see,PATExp OFFICE), the appointment of a commissioner as its head officer, and of another officer to examine the patentability of claims, and the introduction of the system of caveats. The fee to foreigners (except aliens resident here one year) was $500 if subjects of Great Britain; to others $300. A board was appointed to which appeal could be made from the decisions of the commissioner and examiner. The power of extending the patent for 7 years, after the expiration of the 14 was granted to a board of three commissioners. Reference must be made to the statutes for the details of changes made by later acts. Among the more important were: that of 1839, providing that an "abandonment" to the public must have taken place two years before the application for the patent., to justify refusal of the grant; drat. of 1848, the powers of the commissioner; of 1849, transferring the office from the department of state to that of the interior; of 1801, extending the term from 14 to 17 years, withdrawing time power of extension from the commissioner, removing the distinction between U. S. citizens, and those of nations not
discriminating against this country in the matter, fixing the fees at $15 on application and $20 on issue of the patent, and establishing a "board of examiners-in-chief," to whom there is mum appeal from the decisions of the primary examiner. The act of 1870 differed from the then existing statutes only in unimportant particulars. Under the present law patents are granted to aliens as well as hi citizens, the only requirement being that the invention shall be original; and to this rule the exception exists that as against a previous knowledge or use in other 'countries it is necessary for the applicant to show only that he believed himself to be the original discoverer at the time of application. Executors and administrators of a deceased inventor may receive the patent, and the grant may i3SLIC to two or more jointly. An extension for 7 years may be obtained on paying an application fee of $50, and the same sum on issue. In applying for a patent a specification mast be presented describing the nature and principle of operation of the invention, with a detailed account of time relation of the different parts, and a distinct statement of what is claimed as new. This mist be signed and attested by two witnesses, and accompanied by a sworn statement of the applicant's bona fide belief of the original ity of his invention. possible, a model, not to exceed a foot in the length of any dimension, must be furnished; and in case of a composition of matter, samples of time ingredients and specimens of the compOsition should be forwarded. The application is by petition to the commissioner of patents; by hint it is referred to one of a number of primary examiners, each having charge of a special class of invention. On the approval of such examiner the patent is granted; if adverse cause be found, an opportunity is given the applicant to remove the objection by explanation or proof. If unsuccessful he may appeal to the three examiners-in-chief; from this board he may again appeal to the commissioner, whose decision is final, unless reversed by the supreme court of the dis trict of Columbia. A ca vact is a paper filed by an inventor, briefly stating the nature of his intended claims, and accompanied by a fee of $10. Its effect is to secure the appli cant for one year from the granting of any patent interfering with his claim, and thus allow him time to mature his invention. The caveat may be renewed from year to year. If application for an interfering patent be made, notice is given to the filer of the caveat, and he Must then within three months make the regular application. The question of priority of invention is then tried as in other and in all, appeal lies to the district supreme court. A reissue is granted on the surrender of the old grant and a request to amend it in certain specified. points; new claims cannot be introduced into the re-issue; the amendment must be for mistakes or errors by which the original intent of the grant was rendered vo:..1 or incompletely carried out. No extension beyond the term of 17 years is 110.W allowed. Patents are granted for designs, artistic, ornamental, or timed with manufactures. The question of trade marks (q.v.) was formerly closely con nected with the patenting of designs. The patent takes effect from the day of issue.