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Mr. LAwsoN. That is right. We could not sell any. We could not make any during the war, and during the depression there were very few hospitals built. So now we are going into an extreme the other way. Very shortly we are going into a stream where there are going to i. hospitals built all over the country. That is where we come in now manufacturing these products. And we are going out next year. That is really the sad part of it. Mr. LEwis. Yes, indeed. I can see your point. It is a question of, as Mr. Bryson has indicated, how we could give relief without really endangering the whole patent system by extending the patents. In talking about the system as a whole, and not your individual case, there may i. corporations formed to make this very item. They have gone to the Patent Office, perhaps, and have seen that there is something that they can manufacture. Mr. LAwson. That is true. Mr. LEwis. And they have even formed a corporation to do it, thinking that in a year this will be in the public domain and they can avail themselves of it, like anyone else. Somewhere you have to draw the line. Mr. LAwson. That is true. Mr. LEwis. And wherever you draw lines, it always results in unfairness to somebody. There is somebody who is always hurt, it seems to me, when you draw a line and say arbitrarily that the right extends this far and no further. There is always an unfairness to somebody, and it is a question of how far we can go. Mr. LAwson. Mr. Chairman, would it be an unfairness to the people that own the patents that are, we will say, wholly or largely manufacturers of nonferrous metals, which I do not think any manufacturer got all during this war for his own private use? They were all used in the war—bronze, brass, and aluminum. Those things were all taken up by the war. Mr. KEATING. We have one fellow here with rubber. He was in the same situation. He could not get rubber for his products. You would have to extend it to critical materials, probably. Mr. LAwson. That is true. Mr. LEwis. We could make it nonferrous critical materials. Mr. Lawson. I know when I was buying for the Treasury we had to get a priority through the War Production Board to get some materials out for lend-lease products. You see, by that token, there was no chance of my getting any. Mr. BRYson. Even the Government itself could not get a priority, for instance, to build this building that Lindsay Warren wanted to build for the General Accounting Office. They bought a whole block and excavated it, and really needed the building, and still need it, and could not get a priority from the Government to build the building. It was really tight. Mr. LEwis. That is right. Is there anything further that you care to say, Mr. Lawson? Mr. LAwson. I do not know of anything. Mr. KEATING. Do you have any written statement you would like to leave with us for the record, Mr. Lawson? Mr. LAwson. No. I will be glad to mail you one, if you like, and I will give you the numbers of all these patents, their expiration dates, and so on.

Mr. KEATING. I do not know that that is necessary. But most of the witnesses have filed a written statement setting forth their contentions in more detail than they have cared to do in their oral presentation, and then that is put in the record. Mr. LAwson. I had not prepared one. Mr. KEATING. It is not necessary. But I just wanted to tell you that you would have that opportunity, if you would like it. Mr. LAwson. That should be done right away? Mr. LEwis. Yes; that should be done at once, if you care to do it. Mr. LAwson. I do not believe I care to do it. Mr. LEwis. In view of the fact that we have no further witnesses, the subcommittee will stand adjourned. (Thereupon at 10:30 a.m., the subcommittee adjourned.)

APPENDIX

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,

Washington 25, June 10, 1947. Hon. EARL C. MICHENER, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This letter is in further answer to your request dated March 31, 1947, for the views of the Department on H. R. 1984, a bill to provide for the extension of patents whenever the use of the same has been prevented by war or other causes.

The Department opposes the extension of patents and therefore the enactment of the proposed bill for the following reasons:

(a) Extension of the 17-year monopoly agreed to and granted in exchange for the disclosure of inventions would result in profit for individuals at the expense and to the detriment of the public, which, as the source and protector of the grant to the inventor, has a right to expect that it shall be able, within a reasonable time, to enjoy the benefits of inventions which it has helped to make successful.

(b) Considerable industrial activity is based on the certainty of the term of the patent monopoly, and of the date of expiration of the patent. Hence the extension of the patent term will tend to upset existing contractual relationships based upon the patent monopoly.

In many instances the terms of licensing agreements are based upon an amortization of investment which is to some extent predicated upon the existing statutory term of patents. Moreover, it frequently happens that developments are undertaken and industries built up in anticipation of the expiration of a patent term when the teaching of the patent becomes freely available to everyone. Licenses, in the absence of contrary agreements, terminate with the expiration of the patent.

(c) The Congress has shown by its actions in the past that it is reluctant to enlarge upon the grants of patents. Patents originally were granted for a term of 14 years. In 1836 provision was made for a conditional extension of 7 years, which proved unsatisfactory and was abolished in 1861, when the present 17-year term was set. Numerous bills proposing special extensions of individual patents have been introduced, but Congress has approved only an insignificant number (normally involving special situations such as design patents covering patriotic society insignia). Under the 1928 patent extension law which was limited to patentees who were honorably discharged from the armed forces after World War I and who satisfied certain listed conditions, only nine requests for extensions were made and only six of these satisfied the conditions and resulted in actual extensions of patents.

(d) In addition to the above general objections to extension of the term of patents, the Department objects to the enactment of this particular bill because the conditions to be satisfied before extension parallel the conditions which were found unsatisfactory as the basis for the extension of patents prior to 1861 and led to the passage of the 1861 Patent Act. Under section 18, of the act of July 4, 1836 (5 Stat. 117) it was the duty of the Commissioner to review and extend the patent when satisfied that the owner of the patent “* without neglect or fault on his part, having failed to obtain from the use and sale of his invention, a reasonable remuneration for the time, ingenuity, and expense bestowed upon the same

Aside from the serious potentiality of major administrative difficulties which would be involved in requiring the Government to make the determinations "* * * that (the owner of the patent) has obtained and will obtain no benefit from such ownership during the lifetime of such patent and that the invention set forth therein is of great value *" (sec. 2 of the proposed bill), and the litigation which would result from the refusal of a petition for extension (see sec. 4 of the proposed bill), assuming that the number of peti

tions under such a law would be consequential, such an extension under such a law would constitute a singling out of a special type of property for gratuitous war insurance, a discriminatory procedure at best.

I have not secured the advice of the Bureau of the Budget as to the relationship of this bill or this report to the program of the President.

Sincerely yours,
WILLIAM C. FOSTER,
Acting Secretary of Commerce.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, Washington 25, D. C., June 11, 1947. Hon. EARL C. MICHENER, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : This letter is in further answer to your request dated March 31, 1947, for the views of the Department on H. R. 1107, a bill providing for the extension of the time limitations under which patents were issued in the case of persons who served in the military or naval forces of the United States during World War II. The Department opposes the extension of patents and, therefore, the enactment of the proposed bill for the following reasons: (a) Extension of the 17-year monopoly agreed to and granted in exchange for the disclosure of inventions would result in profit for individuals at the expense and to the detriment of the public, which, as the source and protector of the grant to the inventor, has a right to expect that it shall be able, within a reasonable time, to enjoy the benefits of inventions which it has helped to make successful. (b) Considerable industrial activity is based on the certainty of the term of the patent monopoly, and of the date of expiration of the patent. Hence the extension of the patent term will tend to upset existing contractual relationships based upon the patent monopoly. In many instances the terms of licensing agreements are based upon an amortization of investment which is to some extent predicated upon the existing statutory term of patents. Moreover, it frequently happens that developments are undertaken and industries built up in anticipation of the expiration of a patent term when the teaching of the patent becomes freely available to everyone. Licenses, in the absence of contrary agreements, terminate with the expiration of the patent. (c) The Congress has shown by its actions in the past that it is reluctant to enlarge upon the grants of patents. Patents originally were granted for a term of 14 years. In 1836 provision was made for a conditional extension of 7 years, which proved unsatisfactory and was abolished in 1861, when the present 17year term was set. Numerous bills proposing special extensions of individual patents have been introduced, but Congress has approved only an insignificant number (normally involving special situations such as design patents covering patriotic society insignia). (d) In addition to the above general objections to extension of the term of the patents, the Department objects to this particular bill because while special consideration should be given to servicemen who were deprived of their civilian opportunities during their time of service, this legislation would single out only those servicemen who owned patents and would confer benefits on them which are not available to other men who were drawn into the military service from civilian life with great loss to themselves that cannot be repaired by this proposed bill. Under the 1928 patent extension law which was limited to patentees who were honorably discharged from the armed forces after World War I and who satisfied certain listed conditions, only nine requests for extensions were made and only six of these satisfied the conditions and resulted in actual extensions of patents. Aside from the serious potentiality of major administrative difficulties which would be involved in requiring the Government to make the determinations recited in section 1 of the proposed bill (assuming that the number of applications under such a law would be consequential), and the litigation which would result from the refusal of a petition (see sec. 3 of the proposed bill), such an extension would constitute a singling out of a special type of property for gratuitous war insurance, a discriminatory procedure at best.

I have not secured the advice of the Bureau of the Budget as to the relationship of this bill or this report to the program of the President. Sincerely yours, WILLIAM C. FostER, Acting Secretary of Commerce.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, July 21, 1947. Hon. EARL C. MICHENER, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : This is in response to your request for the views of the Department relative to a bill (H.R. 1107) which would provide for the extension of the time limitations under which patents were issued in the case of persons who served in the military or naval forces of the United States during World War II. The bill would permit a person who served honorably in the armed forces between December 7, 1941, and September 2, 1945, to obtain an extension of any patent which was issued to him prior to September 2, 1945, and which was unexpired on that date, or any unexpired patent of which he is not the patentee, but under which he still retains rights, for a period of up to “twice or three times” the length of his military service between December 7, 1941, and the date of the enactment of the bill, exclusive of any reenlistment subsequent to September 2, 1945. Although the bill is somewhat similar to the act of May 31, 1928 (35 U. S. C. 40a–40d), which provided patent extension privileges to certain veterans of World War I, it differs from the latter in several respects. The act of May 31, 1928, unlike the instant bill, required the veteran to verify (1) that he was the inventor of the item for which the patent was granted ; (2) that he held rights under such patent between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, and on the date of the passage of the act (May 31, 1928); (3) that he, as the patentee, would benefit from the extension. "While the question of whether patent extensions should be granted to veterans is a matter of legislative policy concerning which the Department has no suggestion to make, it is unable to recommend the enactment of the bill under consideration because of what is believed to be loose construction and the fact that it goes beyond the extension of benefits to veterans. Section 1 (a) does not require a showing that the veteran, as the patentee, would benefit from the extension. Section 1 (b) would permit the extension of a patent even though the veteran is not the patentee and receives only a token benefit therefrom. Section 1 (f) provides for an extension for a term “equaling twice or three times the length” of the veteran's military Service. There is no apparent reason for the alternative lengths of extension, which would seem to introduce superfluity, if not confusion, into the measure. The Director of the Bureau of the Budget has advised that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours, Douglas W. McGREGOR, The Assistant to the Attorney General.

TUBE LIGHT ENGINEERING Co., New York, N. Y., April 1, 1947. Hon. EARL R. LEwis, Chairman, Subcommittee on Patents, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

DEAR MR. LEwis: The proposed bill, H. R. 1107, is indeed of vital interest to the many veterans who have served in the past war and who have been unable to take advantage of the rights of their patents.

The hardship was particularly noticeable to those veterans of older age who had patents for use in their own business and who had to give up their business or curtail its activities to a negligible amount in order to serve in the armed forces. This meant that veterans of this class who had patents actually had the time period allotted to them by the Patent Office, of 17 years, cut down to

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