We believe it was proposed recently, by Lord Stanley, to mbstitute grants from the national purse, instead of allowing patents for new and meritorious inventions. His lordship ap-3ears to have forgotten the fact that this system of grants vas tried a century ago in England and abandoned. It en-jouraged imposture and gave no advantage to the public, as ian be shown by reference to some examples. One Johanna Stevens obtained $25,000 for disclosing the secret of her cure 'or the stone. A Mr. Blake got $12,500 to assist him in per-ecting his scheme for transporting fish to London by land ; while a Mr. Foden was greatly overpaid with $2,500, to en-ible him to prosecute a discovery made by him of a paste as 1 substitute for wheat flour. If we mistake not, the British Parliament granted a considerable sum of money to pay Lady Webster for divulging the secret of her celebrated dinner pills, which were made up of aloes, mastic, red roses, and sirup 3f wormwood. The pills, perhaps, afforded a vsry com fort-able relief to aristocratic gourmands, who, no doubt, were astonished to find of what simple elements they were composed. Give a man a sum of money for his invention and you run the risk of paying him either too much or too little. Gfive tiim a patent and you secure the invention for the public, while his remuneration in money is determined according to ts value. If the invention enrich him, it must also have ben 3fited the nation. If the invention be a delusion, the public suffers no loss and the patentee reaps no gain. As a means for providing tUP-t the reward shall be lairly apportioned tQ 186 the service rendered, and shall he paid by those who profit by it, the grant of Letters Patent takes precedence of any arrangement hitherto made, and of ei'ery proposition yet advanced.
This article was originally published with the title "Grants versus Patents"