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Mr. KASTENMEIER. Thank you, Mr. McKie. Mr. Fuchs, do you have another question?
Mr. Fuchs. May I, Mr. Chairman? Mr. McKie, it has been suggested to the subcommittee that the patent section would favor overruling the decisions of the Supreme Court in Brenner v. Manson and that of the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals in in re Jolly concerning the disclosure of utility, with the result that chemical compounds would be considered useful per se, and I wonder if you would discuss that.
Mr. McKiE. If I might defer to Mr. Schuyler I would prefer to because his activity is the one in which this point came up during the section meeting and I am sure you are referring to the debate during the meeting in Washington in April.
Mr. ScHUYLER. An effort has been made and will come up in which the section would put into the law a different rule of utility as applied to chemical compounds in particular and relax somewhat the strictness of the present decisions you mentioned because inventions sometimes have utility only as research tools to lead to others because an invention to satisfy the present rule as I understand it—this is what I obtained from chemists; I am not a chemist—as I understand it, you first invent the compound, then, to satisfy the requirement of the Manson decision, you must make another invention which is a process using that compound. So in order to obtain a patent in that area the inventor must make successively two inventions rather than just one and to satisfy that one hardship it will be I think our recommendation to relax the rule of utility in the chemical compound area.
Mr. Fuchs. Under that would a compound be patentable even though it had no known beneficial use?
Mr. SCHUYLER. Yes; I think that our proposal would be that a new chemical compound need not disclose utility at the time the application is filed. The feeling is that this absence, if it turns out to have no utility, the patent will be valueless, too.
Mr. Fuchs. Thank you.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Mr. McKie and Mr. Schuyler, the subcommittee appreciates your appearance here today.
Mr. McKiE. It is our pleasure, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. This concludes the hearing this morning and the Chair would like to announce that on next Thursday, June 1, at 10 o`clock in this room, we will resume. The Honorable Claude Pepper of Florida, and the Honorable Robert Giaimo of Connecticut, and Mr. Anthony DeLio of New Haven, Conn., will be witnesses. Until that time the subcommittee stands adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 11:55 a.m., the subcommittee recessed to reconvene at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 1, 1967.)
GENERAL REVISION OF THE PATENT LAWS
THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 1967
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 2226, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Robert W. Kastenmeier, acting chairman, presiding.
Present: Representatives Kastenmeier, Edwards, Poff, Hutchinson, and Roth.
Also present: Herbert Fuchs, counsel.
Mr. ŘASTENMEIER. The subcommittee will come to order for further hearings on H.R. 5924, the Patent Reform Act of 1967.
The committee is very pleased to have as its first witness this morning our colleague, the Honorable Claude D. Pepper of Florida, who has, himself, introduced a bill, H.R. 6043, on the subject of patent law revision.
STATEMENT OF HON. CLAUDE D. PEPPER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA; ACCOMPANIED BY WILLIAM ARTHUR ROBERTS, LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT Mr. PEPPER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
Appearing here before your distinguished committee on this subject of patents brings back to my mind a number of interesting years that I spent as chairman of the Patents Committee of the other body. I didn't profess to know a lot about it, but I heard a lot about it from many able people. I think a bill was passed through the Congress making some improvements in the patent laws during that period.
To some people, the connection between the State of Florida and the U.S. patent system might seem somewhat remote. Florida is seen by some as the land of sunshine, vacations, and retirement. It is all of that. It is true that more than one-third of the State's economy is based on tourism. But it is equally true that about one-third of our economy comes from manufacturing. In fact, Miami is considered part of the Gold Coast and has more industry than any other part of the State. In fact, during the past 10 years, manufacturing in Florida has grown more than 400 percent-far above the national growth rate.
The growth in manufacturing industries is reflected in the continuing increase in the number of patents issued to individuals and companies in Florida. From 1963 through 1966 the number of patents rose in this fashion :573, 643,769, and 851 for last year.
Obviously, Florida industry is heavily involved in research and development. Research and development generates inventions. And inventions, if they are to be brought to fruition, require a healthy climate for technological innovation and good patent system. It is the incentives of the patent system which encourage individuals and companies to invest the time, the money, and the effort to bring about useful change in our lives.
It was for these reasons that I introduced H.R. 6043, a companion bill to the bill introduced by the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee, his bill being H.R. 5924, entitled the Patent Reform Act of 1967, a bill designed to modernize the patent system to enable it to meet the need and challenges of today and tomorrow. As you know, the patent laws on the books today have not undergone fundamental change in more than a century. They have served us well in the past, but we must make sure they will continue to serve us we!l in the future.
The Patent Reform Act of 1967 is based upon the recommendations of a Special Commission on the Patent System appointed by President Johnson in 1965. The Commission was given a mandate to (1) determine how well the present system meets our needs and national goals, (2) devise any possible improvement, and (3) recommend changes to strengthen the patent system. The Commission was widely representative of both public and private interests.
There are a great many changes proposed in the draft legislation before this subcommittee. Without attempting to analyze all of these changes one by one, let me briefly summarize the objectives of my bill.
First, we want to raise the quality and reliability of V.S. patents. Second, we want to reduce the time and expense of obtaining and litigating patents. This is most important to the small businessman and the independent inventor. Third, we want to speed up the public disclosure of new technology contained in patents. Finally, we wish to harmonize our own system with the practices of other nations, with the long-range goal of an international patent system. Under such a system, a single application could lead to patent protection in many countries. This would greatly benefit American business in the global markets of today.
I therefore, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, strongly urge enactment of the Patent Reform Act of 1967, on behalf of inventors, businessmen, and the entire Nation.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. I thank the gentleman from Florida for his concise and lucid statement in behalf of his bill. It is appropriate that the committee should be reminded of your own distinguished work in the other body in the same field.
Mr. PEPPER. It is a very interesting field.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. It is well known, too, that you have an interest in international affairs, and I note that you have pointed out that the President's Commission indicated that one of the goals of revision would be to harmonize our own system with the practices of other nations. Would it be your hope that we might have a universal patent system in some future generation?
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Chairman, I would answer unequivocally yes. If you look back over the span of human history, you see many frustrations and many defeats, but when you see it in perspective, you see
how far the human race has come toward integrating into systems of wide range and scope.
You take this country of our own here. At one time, of course, it was inhabited by a native citizenry scattered sparsely over this great continent. Then came this settlement in one part of the country and another under diverse laws and flags and allegiances, and finally we liave lived into the fortunate day when all of this great continent is today under one government, one constitution, the protection of one law, and we have basically generally the same fundamental concepts of life.
That has all come about as a part of the evolution of history.
You take a place like the Soviet Union with all of its inadequacies that we hope some day will be overcome, and you will find I imagine at one time all the various peoples and all the tribes and all the developing nations and all the dictators, and so on, that at one time occupied that vast area from Europe to the Pacific Ocean. Well, it has many bad aspects about it, but at the same time it has, as a part of the evolution of human beings into systems, come to be one government, one country, basically one nation, and you see that evolutionary process going on in various geographical areas of the world when you look across the face of the earth and find in the western hemisphere the growing unity among nations of diverse background and a semblance of some sort of common objectives and common authority like OAS and you find other organizations.
With all of its grievous imperfections, the United Nations is a place where 100 or more nations' representatives gather together at least, and we do have a world court, not yet very effective, but the U.S. Supreme Court wasn't very effective in the first few decades after its establishment.
We do have one, and I think it is inevitable in the pressure of need and demand that eventually, unless it is foolish enough to blow itself apart and destroy itself, it is inevitable that the world will gravitate cioser together and the systems will mesh a little more closely, and we will have a little more compatibility and share common obiectives for the good of all.
So that is not at all hopeless to contemplate that within a reasonable length of time we will begin by treaty now and later on by law to have an international patent system where a citizen of any country will simply file his application for a patent before some sort of international tribunal, and once it is granted, he will be protected in most, at least, of the countries of the world.
I think that is bound to come in the evolution of law and in the evolution of government.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. I appreciate the gentleman's important observations.
The gentleman from California.
Mr. EDWARDS. I have no questions, but I would like to thank our colleague from Florida very much for a most enlightening statement.
Mr. PEPPER. Thank you, very much.
Mr. POFF. First by way of apology I was delayed and it was unavoidable, and I am particularly sorry because it is always an enjoyable experience to hear the gentleman. He is quite articulate and