In case of the death of the inventor, the patent may be applied
for by, and will issue to, his legal representatives.
Joint inventors are entitled to a joint patent ; but neither can
claim one separately.
What will prevent the granting of a Patent.
Although an applicant may have actually made an invention, a
patent therefor will not be granted him if the whole or any part of
what he claims as new has been patented, or described in any print-
ed publication in this or any foreign country, or been before invented
or discovered in this country, nor if he has once abandoned his in
FORM OF PETITION. 559
vention to the public, nor if it has been for more than two years
in public use or on sale ; but the mere fact of prior use, invention,
or discovery abroad, will not prevent the issue of the patent, unless
the invention has been there patented, or described in some printed
Merely conceiving the idea of an improvement or machine is not
such an " invention " or " discovery " as is above contemplated.
The invention must have been reduced to a practical form, either
by the construction of the machine itself or of a model thereof, or at
least by making a full drawing of it, or in some other manner equal-
ly descriptive of its exact character, so that a mechanic would be
enabled, from the description given, to construct a model thereof,
before it will prevent a subsequent inventor from obtaining a patent.
Mode of proceeding to obtain a Patent.
All applications must be completed for examination within two
years after the filing of the petition ; and in default, all such will be
regarded as abandoned, unless it be satisfactorily proved to the office
that such delay was unavoidable. The application must be made by
the actual inventor, if alive, even if the patent is to issue to an
assignee ; but, where the inventor is dead, the application and oath
may be made by the executor or administrator. The application
must be in writing, in the English language, signed by the appli-
cant, and addressed to the Commissioner of Patents, Washington,
D.C. The following is a suitable form, which may serve as a use-
ful guide, but must be varied according to circumstances:
Form of Petition.
To THE COMMISSIONER OF PATENTS :
"Y our petitioner prays that a patent may be granted to him for the invention set
forth in the annexed specification.
560 THE LAW OP PATENTS.
SPE CIFIC ATION.
The applicant must set forth in his specification the precise inven-
tion for which he claims a patent.
In all applications for mere improvements, the specification must
distinguish between what is admitted to be old and what is described
and claimed to be the improvement ; so that the office and the public
may understand exactly for what the patent is granted.
Two or more distinct and separate inventions may not be claimed
in one application ; but where several inventions have a necessary
and dependent connection with each other, so that all co-operate in
attaining the end which is sought, they may be so claimed. If moro
than one invention is claimed in a single application, and they are
found to be such that a single patent may not be issued to cover the
whole, the inventor must divide the application into separate appli-
cations, or confine the claim to whichever invention he may elect.
The specification must be signed by the inventor (or by his execu-
tor or administrator, if the inventor be dead). It should describe
the sections of the drawings (where there are drawings), and refer
by letters and figures to the different parts. The following may be
taken as a specimen of the proper form of a specification to -accom-
pany the petition :
Form of a Specification to accompany the Petition,
TO ALL WIIOM IT MAY CONCERN' :
Be it known that I, of in the County of
in the State of Lave invented a new and
improved mode of preventing steam-boilers from bursting ; and I do hereby declare
that the following is a full and exact description thereof, reference being had to
the accompanying drawings, and to the letters of reference marked thereon.
The nature of my invention consists in providing the upper part of a steam-
boiler with an aperture in addition to that for the safety-valve, which aperture is
to be closed by a plug or disk of alloy, which will fuse at any given degree of heat,
and permit the steam to escape, should the safety-valve fail to perform its functions.
To enable others skilled in the art to make and use my invention, I will proceed
to describe its construction and operation. I construct my steam-boiler in any of
FORM OF SPECIFICATION. 561
the known forms, and apply thereto gauge-cocks, a safety-valve, and the other
appendages of such boilers ; but, in order to obviate the danger arising from the
adhesion of the safety-valve, and from other causes, I make a second opening in
the top of the boiler, similar to that made for the safety-valve, as shown at A, in the
accompanying drawing ; and in this opening I insert a plug or disk of fusible alloy,
securing it in its place by a metal ring and screws, or otherwise. In general, I
compose this fusible metal of a mixture of lead, tin, and bismuth, in such propor-
tions as will insure its melting at a given temperature, which must be that to which
it is intended to limit the steam; it will, of course, vary with the pressure the boiler
is intended to sustain.
I surround the opening containing the fusible alloy by a tube, B, intended to
conduct off any steam which may be discharged therefrom. When the tempera-
ture of the steam in such a boiler rises to its assigned limit, the fusible alloy will
melt and allow the steam to escape freely, thereby securing it from all danger of
What I cl;iim as my invention, and desire to secure by letters patent, is the
application to steam-boilers of a fusible alloy which will melt at a given tempera-
ture and allow the steam to escape, as herein described, using for that purpose the
aforesaid metallic compound, or any other substantially the same, and which will
produce the intended effect.
When the application is for a machine, the specification should
begin thus :
Be it known that I, (name of inventor) in the County of
and State of * have invented a new and useful machine for
[stating the use and title of the machine ; and, if the application is for an improve-
ment, it should read thus : a new and useful improvement on a or on the machine,
&c.] and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact descrip-
tion of the construction and operation of the same, reference being had to the
annexed drawings, making a part of this specification, in which Figure 1 is a per-
spective view ; Figure 2 a longitudinal elevation ; Figure 3 a transverse section, &c.
(thus describing all the sections of the drawings, and then referring to the parts by
letters. Then follows the description of the construction and operation of the
machine, and lastly the claim, which should express the nature and character of
the invention, and identify the parts claimed separately or in combination. If the
specification is for an improvement, the original invention should be disclaimed,
and the claim confined to the improvement).
The specification must be signed by the inventor, and attested by
562 THE LAW OF PATENTS.
The applicant must make oath or affirmation, to be substantially
as follows :
Form of Oath.
CITY (OK TOWN) OF COUXTT OF *l
STATE OF y
On this day of 186 , before me, the subscriber
a personally appeared the within named
and made solemn oath (or affirmation) that he verily believes himself to be the
original and first inventor of the mode herein described for preventing steam-
boilers from bursting, and that he does not know or believe the same was ever
before known or used ; and that he is a citizen of the United States [or citizen of
other country, as the case may be].
(Signature.) Justice of the Peace.
Citizens of the British Provinces should state specifically the
provinces of which they are citizens, and not merely that they are
subjects of the crown of Great Britain. The oath may be taken
befbre any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The oath
may be taken in a foreign country before any minister plenipoten-
tiary, charge* d'affaires, consul, or commercial agent, holding com-
mission under the government of the United States, or before any
notary public of the country in which the oath is taken, being at-
tested in all cases by the proper official seal of such notary. Appli-
cants for patents, upon paying the final fee, should notify the office
how many copies of the specifications they desire to have furnished
The applicant for a patent is required by law to furnish a draw-
ing, or drawings, where the nature of the case admits of them. They
should be neatly and artistically executed, in fast colors, generally
in perspective, and with such detached sectional and plain views as
to clearly show what the invention is, its construction and operation.
Each part must be distinguished by the same number or letter
wherever it appears in the several drawings. The name of the
THE MODEL. 563
invention should be written at the top, the shortest side being con-
sidered as such. Each sheet should be fifteen inches from top to
bottom, and ten inches across, that being the size of the patent ; or
it may be twenty inches across, so as to be folded. One of the
drawings should be on thick drawing-paper, sufficiently stiff to sup-
port itself in the portfolios of the office, for which it is intended.
Tracings upon cloth pasted on thick paper are not admitted. This
must be signed by the applicant, and attested by two witnesses, and
must be sent with the specification. The other duplicate need not
be forwarded until the patent is ordered to issue, to which it is to
be attached. It must have, for that purpose, a margin of one inch
on the right hand, and should be on tracing-muslin, which will bear
folding and transportation, and not on paper.
The above are the rules imposed by the office, being found neces-
sary for the convenient transaction of their business. And appli-
cants are advised to employ competent artists to make the drawings,
as they will be returned if not executed in conformity with these
rules. Thick drawings should never be folded for transmission.
A model is required in every case where the nature of the inven-
tion admits of such illustration. It must be neatly and substantially
made of durable material, and not more than one foot in length or
in height. If made of pine or other soft wood, it should be painted,
stained, or varnished. Models filed as exhibits, in interference and
other cases, may be returned to the applicant, at the discretion of
A working model is always desirable, in order to enable the office
fully and readily to understand the precise operation of the machine.
The name of the inventor, and also of the assignee (if assigned),
and also the title of the invention, must be affixed upon it in- a per
When the invention is a composition of matter, a specimen of
each of the ingredients and of the composition must accompany the
application, and the name of the inventor and of the assignee (if
there be one) must be permanently affixed thereto.
564 THE LAW OF PATENTS.
When a work of design can bo sufficiently represented by a draw-
ing, in the judgment of the commissioner, a model will not be re-
quired by him.
y photographs are used by the applicant for the illustration of
works of design, they should be pasted upon thick drawing-paper,
or thin Bristol-board, of the size prescribed for drawings ; but, in
every case where this mode of illustration is employed by an appli-
cant, he will do well to deposit in the office the glass or other
" negative " from which the photograph is printed, so that exact
official copies may be made therefrom when desirable.
COMPIJETION OF THE APPLICATION.
No application is examined, nor is the case placed upon the files
for examination, until the fee is paid, the model or specimen depos-
ited, and the specification, with the petition, oath, and drawings
(when required), filed. It is desirable that every thing necessary to
make the application complete should be deposited in the office at
the same time.
Of the Examination.
All cases in the Patent Office are arranged in classes, which aie
taken up for examination in regular rotation ; those in the same
class being examined and disposed of, as far as practicable, in the
order in which the respective applications are completed. When,
however, the invention is deemed of peculiar importance to some
branch of the public service, and when, for that reason, the head of
some department of the government specially requests immediate
action, the case will be taken up out of its order. These, with appli-
cations for re-issue, and for inventions for which a foreign patent
has been issued, are the only exceptions to the rule above stated in
relation to the order of examination.
When an application has been once rejected, either in whole or in
part, and the applicant desires a second examination, either with or
without amendment, he will be entitled to it with as little delay as
may be practicable, so that he may be in condition to appeal, if
desirable, without loss of time. When an application has been
finally decided, the office will retain the original papers, furnishing
the applicant copies if he desires them at the usual expense.
When a patent is granted, it will be transmitted to the patentee, or
to his agent, having a full power of attorney authorizing him to
The office cannot stay the regular proceedings on applications for
letters-patent in consequence of protests founded upon mere exparte
statements ; but, where affidavits of disinterested persons are received,
they will be considered and allowed such weight as they may seem
Although an application be rejected, no money paid thereon, nor
for a design, nor for a re-issue, can be withdrawn from the patent
office by the applicant.
Revenue stamps must be attached as follows :
First, A stamp of the value of fifty cents is required upon each
power of attorney authorizing an attorney or agent to transact busi-
ness with this office relative to an application for a patent, re-issue,
Second, No assignment directing a patent to issue to an assignee
will be recognized by this office, nor will any assignment be recorded,
unless stamps shall bo affixed of the value of five cents for every
sheet or piece of paper upon which the same shall be written.
Third, The person using or affixing the stamp must cancel the
same, by writing thereupon the initials of his name and the date.
After an application for a patent has been twice rejected by the
examiner having it in charge, it may, at the option of the applicant,
be brought before the board of cxauiiners-in-chief, on payment of a
fee often dollars.
For this purpose, a petition in writing must be filed, signed by the
party or his authorized agent or attorney.
566 THE LAW OF PATENTS.
Form of Appeal to the Examiner s-in- Chief*
To THE COMMISSIONER OF PATENTS.
SIR, I hereby appeal to the examiners-in-chief from the decision of the prin-
cipal examiner in the matter of my application for a patent for an improvement in
(here state the subject of the invention) rejected a second time on
The examiners-in-chief will consider the case as it was when last
passed upon by the primary examiner, merely revising his decisions
so far as they were adverse to the applicant.
All cases which have been acted on by- the board of examiners-in-
chief may be brought before the commissioner in person, upon a
written request to that effect, and upon the payment of the fee of
twenty dollars required by law. A decision deliberately made and
approved by one commissioner will not be disturbed by his successor.
The only remaining remedy will be by appeal in those cases allowed
by law to the judges of the Supreme Court of the District of Colum-
The mode of appeal from the decision of the office to the judges
of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia is by giving
written notice thereof to the commissioner, filing in the patent
office, within thirty days after notice of the decision, reasons of ap-
peal, and paying to him the sum of twenty-five dollars. Printed
forms of notice of appeal, of the reasons of appeal, and of the pe-
tition, will be forwarded from the patent office to any one wishing to
make an appeal, on his request. The following rules were adopted
by the Supreme Court in appeals from the decisions of the Com-
missioner of Patents, and they are given here as they may be useful
guides to the applicant or his counsel.
The party desiring to appeal from the decision of the Commis-
sioner of Patents must give written notice thereof to the com-
missioner, accompanied with his petition to the Supreme Court of
the District of Columbia to grant him a hearing, and file the reasons
of appeal, and pay the fee of twenty-five dollars.
The appellant, previous to any action on, and preparatory to the
hearing of any appeal, must comply with the requisites of the law
in the patent office, and his petition must state concisely
1. The application for the patent ;
2. Its nature, and, if a case of interference,
3. The residence of the party interested ;
4. The commissioner's refusal ;
5. The prayer of appeal ;
6. NoticeHhereof to the commissioner ;
7. The filing of the reasons of appeal in the patent office ; and,
8. The payment into the office of the sum required by law.
To every petition must be annexed a certificate of the proper
officer that the requisitions of the law have been complied with, or
an affidavit of the truth of the facts stated in the petition.
No notice to the commissioner will be issued until such certificate
or affidavit be made or produced.
The appeal will be tried upon the evidence which was in the case
and produced before the commissioner.
The appellant must file his argument, in writing, within five days
after the commissioner shall send in his report, and the papers,
models, and drawings or specimens, or within five days after the day
of hearing, which argument must state the facts and law relied on,
together with the authorities in support of the same.
In contested cases the appellee shall file his argument, in writing,
within ten days after the appellant shall have filed his argument.
At the hearing, oral arguments may be made, not to occupy more than
one hour for each counsel engaged, and not more than two counsel
in each case will in any case be heard, and in no case will oral argu-
ment be heard unless the opposite party shall have reasonable notice
thereof, through the mail or otherwise, from the party desiring to
be heard orally ; or where oral arguments are ordered by the court,
the appellant shall give the notice.
The court, having fully heard the appeal, shall return all the
papers to the commissioner, with a certificate of its proceedings and
decisions, which shall be entered of record in the patent office,
and such decision, so certified, shall govern the further proceedings
of the commissioner in such case.
568 THE LAW OF ?ATENTS.
When each of two or more persons claims to be the first in-
ventor of the same thing, an " interference " is declared between
them, and a trial is had before the examiner. Nor does the fact
tbat one of the parties has already obtained a patent prevent such
an interference ; for, although the commissioner has uo power to
cancel a patent already issued, he may, if he finds that another per-
son was the prior inventor, give him also a patent, and thus place
them on an equal footing before the courts and the public. If an
applicant for a re-issue embraces in his amended specification any
new or additional description of his invention, or enlarges his claim,
or makes a new one, and thereby includes therein any thing which
has been claimed in any patent granted subsequent to the date of
his original application, as the invention of another person, an inter-
ference will be declared between the application and any unexpircd
patent, or pending application, in which the same thing is claimed ;
but not where such pending application for re-issue claims only what
was granted in the original patent.
When an application is found to conflict with a caveat, the cav-
eator is allowed a period of three months within which to present an
application, when an interference may be declared. In cases of in-
terference, patentees have the same remedies by appeal as applicants
in pending applications. In contested cases, whether of interfer-
ence or of extension, parties may have access to the testimony on
file, prior to the hearing, in presence of the officer in charge ; or,
when practicable, copies may be obtained by them at the usual
In cases of interference, the party who first made oath to the inven-
tion will be decided the first inventor in the absence of all proof to
the contrary. A time will be assigned in which the other party shall
complete his direct testimony, and a further time in which the
adverse party shall complete the testimony on his side ; and a still
further time in which the first party shall close his rebutting testi-
mony, but shall take no other. If there are more than two parties,
the times for taking testimony shall bo so arranged that each shall
have a like opportunity in his turn, each being held to go forward
and prove his case against those who made oath to their' applications
before him. If either party wishes the time for taking his testimony,
or for the hearing, postponed, he must make application for such
postponement, and must show sufficient reason for it by affidavit
filed before the time previously appointed has elapsed, if practicable ;
and must also furnish his opponent with copies of his affidavits, and
witli seasonable notice of the time of hearing his application.
When an interference has been declared, and a new application
claiming the invention in controversy comes into the office before
the final determination of such interference, the new application
will be included in the case, and the proper means will be taken to
allow all the parties a fair hearing. The testimony taken by the
original parties will be retained in the case, provided that due
opportunity can be given the new applicant to cross examine the
witnesses. If, however, on the original interference, an appeal has
been taken to the examiners in chief, before the new application is
filed, such new application will be suspended until the decision in
the original case, after which a new interference may be declared
with the successful party. After an interference has been declared,
another interference will not be declared upon a new application
filed by either party unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the
office that such party has new testimony which he could not have
procured in time for the hearing, and which might change the
When an application is adjudged to interfere with a part only of
another pending application, the interfering parties will be permitted
to see or obtain copies of so much only of the specifications as refers
to the interfering claims. And either party may, if he so elect,
withdraw from his application the claims adjudged not to interfere,
and file a new application therefor. In such case, the new applica-
tion will be examined without reference to the interference from
which it was withdrawn.
A re-issue is granted to the original patentee, his heirs, or the
assignees of the entire interest, when, by reason of an insufficient or
defective specification, the original patent is invalid, provided the
570 THE LAW OP PATENTS.
error has arisen from inadvertence, accident, or mistake, without
any fraudulent or deceptive intention. The petition for a re-issue
must show that all parties owning any undivided or territorial
interest in the patent (irrespective of licenses) concur in the surren-
der. And a certified statement of the title of the party surrender-
ing must be filed with the application. "Whatever is really embraced
in the original invention, and so described or shown that it might