The Ottawa Times, in replying to some strictures applied to the recent so-called amendment to the Canadian patent laws, feels compelled to put in a sort of quasi apology. It says :” The central idea of the commercial policy of England at the present day is free trade ; the commercial and manufacturing interests, of which the last are most directly influenced by patent rights and their regulation at home and abroad, will not brool any legislative action interfering with their pet theories, and where they believe that they can bring any pressure on outside communities, as upon these Colonies, by means of Imperial remonstrance they never hesitate to exercise it to the utmost. But in a new country such as ours, where our natural resources are undeveloped, our population sparse and scattered, except in a few large cities, and our manufractures wanting in the large capital necessary to, give that stability which they possess in the Mother Country, our policy must be to a certain extent protective, to give any degree of strength to our infant resources, and it is as great folly to compl ain of that system, as it would be to expect us to adopt in a day the land system, or any of those other peculiar forms of English social or commercial life, which have been the growth of centuries of increasing wealth among a dense and skillful population. ” The new patent law has been complained of for the illibe- rality of its enactments, but even a casual glance at its provisions will enable any one to see that the residence of one year, which is made compulsory for taking out a patent, is calculated to give more privileges to the foreign inventor than the old system under which patents might be ' introduced' into Canada, without any protection for the original patentee." Very true. We admit that the new law is somewhat better than the old. ono, but why insist that a non-resident inventor shall come into your Dominion, and there reside for one year before he call be allowed to take out a patent for his own invention? Canada, we admit, is a pleasant country to visit at certain geasons of the year; but, independent of the cost of a year's board at some boarding house or hotel, we can not see what other fair advantages are to be gained by this system. The truth is that the people of Canada want to get hold of all the valuable inventions made by others and use them without compensation. This is neither fair nor honest.
This article was originally published with the title "The Canadian Patent System" in Scientific American 21, 14, 213 (October 1869)