We do not know when we were more pained by an exhibition of bad administrative qualities than in reading the debate in the Senate on the 4th inst., respecting the bill for the relief of Hiram Moore and John Hascall, for extending their patent for a grain reaper, and granting a new patent for improvements on said machine. In 183S these two men took out a patent for a grain reaper, which patent, by standard law expired in 1850. Well, they have got a bill introduced into the'Senate to extend their patent for 14 years from the 27th June, 1850, and to it is tacked the following clause, " together with the improvements invented by them, or either of them in perfecting said machine, or any part thereof, from the date of the original patent, to the day from which the same is hereby renewed and extended." It is indeed a strange thing that such a bill in face of standing laws, got into the Senate, and should have been called up and advocated by Senator Cass, with all his experience as a statesman and lawyer. It is evident that he is either not acquainted with the Patent Laws, or that he never read the bill, an error on his part in both respects. The patent laws demand that a model,drawings, a specification, petition, oath, and certain fees, should be presented to the Patent Office before any patent for a new improvement can be granted. The Patent Office Department is organized for this purpose ; it is the agency of government to perform such duties, and patents for improvements are granted at all times. Why did not Messrs. Moore and Hascall submit their improvements to the Patent Office, and why did the Committee on Patents in the Senate not send them at once to the proper quarter, where alleged improvements are examined, and where patents are granted ? There must be something essentially wrong about the whole transaction. Senator Walker detected the wrong, and appeared to be the only-Senator who spoke, that had studied ami thoroughly understood the question. He said, " sir, I believe it may be safely said that there never has been such a proposition before the American Congress, if there ever was such a proposition before any other legislative body in the world. Is this a bill simply extending benefits to Moore and Hascall ? Not at all, but the effect of it, in my opinion will be, and I have come to the conclusion, after an examination of it in connection with the patent laws, to give Moore and Hascall a monopoly of everything; that has been discovered, invented, or constructed, in the way of improvement since the date of the original patent." This is a fact, and let it ring far and wide, so that our people may see the dangerous influences, which are at work in Washington.mdash; Why did not these patentees get their patent extended in the usual way, at the Patent Office, and why did they not apply in the usual way ; has there been a plot to obtain a renewal of the patent, and a new patent combined, by surreptitious action ? Ifc looks like it.mdash; Those Senators whose attention has been directed to the real question (not the extension of the ld patent,) but the dangerous grant oi a new patent, we hope will throw out all the amendments. The improvements claimed by Moore and Hascall may not be their invention at all. How does Senator Cass know. The improvements claimed may belong to McCormick or Hussey, and may be covered by their patents. Unless Moore and Hascall were afraid of something like this, they would go like honest inventors and make application in the usual way, and submit their alleged improvements for examination. This is the way provided for by law, and we do not see why the Senate, who made the law, should override it. The majority will not, we are sure, disgrace the Senate by granting such a bill. We do not say a word against the legal extension of a patent, but to grant this one in this manner would [be a'violation of the existing statute, which provides for the extension of a patent for seven years, when the inventors have not been sufficiently remunerated. We are believers in sticking to the law in all cases. Moore and Hascall have not complied with its provisions, and for the Senate to grant their petition would be like paying them a premium for eontemning the very laws made by the Senate itself; such an act should not be so much as named in the Senate.
This article was originally published with the title "Extension of a Patent, and the Granting of a New Patent"