Mr. Editor.—I was glad to see your time ly recommendation of a reform ot .the patent laws, whereby the inventor and applicant for a patent would be put on an equal and just level with the Patent Office in the defence of his inalienable rights. I refer to cases of ap peal. It is certainly anything but justice- much less republican policy—to make a reject ed applicant for a patent pay the expenses of his appeal even when right and the Patent Office wrong. It would be no more than sim ple justice to alter our patent laws so as to make the Patent Office pay the stated ex pense of an appeal if its decision has been wrong, not as the law now is, by which the in ventor has to pay the expense right or wrong —successful or unsuccessful. President Filmore, in his message of Mon day the 6th inst., recommends by the sugges tion of the Secretary of the Interior that “ provision be made for the publication and distribution periodically of an analytical di gest of all the patents which have been or may hereafter be granted for useful inventions and discoveries with such descriptions and il lustrations as may be necessary tct present an intelligent view of their nature and operatioh. The cost of such a publication,” says the mes sage, “ could easily be defrayed out of the pa tent fund, and I am persuaded that it could be applied to no object more acceptable to inven tors and beneficial to the public at large." This is very well in words; the French government does this, and that government also defends patents, so that a poor patentee, can have an able lawyer and an officer to pur sue infringers. The great expense of law suits is the crying evil that poor patentees labor under. Why does not the President or the Secretary ot the Interior recommend a re form in the Judiciary connected with pa tents 1 Is it because it would take away some of the lawyer's fees 1 The President is surely above this although a lawyer, by pro fession. There is a surplus fund belonging to the Patent Office, and some people are continu ally on tbe look-out for such appropriations as may be beneficial to themselves. I trust that no one so interested has suggested trom personal motives, such a plan as that propo sed to the Secretary of the Interior; yet when it is taken into consideration that the Patent Office Report for 1851 is not yet printed, the recommendation made by the President is anything but well timed in accordance with the present and past practice of government publishing. I have been informed that the late Commissioner of Patents was an urgent advocate of the government publishing a di gest of the patents, but he was favorable to a sum being granted by authority to the “ Franklin Journal “ tor so doing. It is well known that attempts have been made (and glad I am they have all as yet been unsuc cessful,) to get a grant from the patent fund, by some publishers of magazines. I hope that no movement of this kind is now going on 1 under the rose.” Junius Redivivus.
This article was originally published with the title "Reform of the Patent Laws.—Patent Office and Patent Funds" in Scientific American 8, 14, 110 (December 1852)