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tain other cases, an interference will be declared to exist between such parties, and an issue will be made up between them to determine who is the prior inventor (31). Such issue is determined by a judicial proceeding before an examiner of interferences in the Patent Office, similar in most respects to other judicial proceedings. Testimony is taken by deposition, and the cause submitted to the Patent Office by correspondence.
In the case of co-pending applications, a patent is issued in due course to the applicant to whom priority is awarded in the interference proceeding; in the case of an applicant and a prior patent, if priority is awarded to the patentee, the second application is denied, but if it is awarded to the applicant, a second patent for the same invention is issued to him (32). The Commissioner has no power to cancel the first patent, but it is open to defeat at any time that its validity may be afterwards contested in the courts, by showing the fact of such interference proceeding and the award of priority to another inventor.
§ 35. Appeals and other remedies. Appeal lies from a final adverse decision of a primary examiner, or of an examiner of interferences, in nearly all cases, to the board of examiners-in-chief, and thence successively to the Commissioner, and to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (32). And whenever a patent or application is refused, either by the Commissioner of Patents, or by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upon appeal from the Commissioner, the applicant
(31) U. S. R. S., Sec. 4904, Rule 93.
may have remedy by bill in equity (33) in any United States Court having or acquiring jurisdiction of the parties (34); and from a decision on such a bill by one of the Circuit Courts of the United States, adverse to the complainant, after an unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from the rejection of an application by the Commissioner of Patents, an appeal lies to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the bill is filed; or for the District of Columbia if the bill has been filed in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. The Circuit Courts of Appeals are the highest tribunals to which such cases may be brought (35).
§ 36. Allowance. If on examination by the primary examiner, or by decision by one of the appellate tribunals above noted, it appears that an applicant is justly entitled to a patent, there is sent him a notice to such effect, calling for the payment of the final fee of twenty dollars within six months from the date of such notice, and upon payment of such fee, the patent issues in due course.
§ 37. Form of patent. Every patent contains a short title of the invention or discovery, indicating its nature and object, and a grant to the patentee, and his assigns, for the term of seventeen years, of the exclusive right to make, use and vend the invention or discovery throughout the United States and the territories thereof (36).
The duration of a design patent may be for the term of three and a half, seven or fourteen years.
(34) Walker on Pats., $ 134.
A copy of the specification and drawings is annexed to the patent and forms a part thereof (37).
§ 38. Extensions, reissues and repeals. Patents cannot be extended except by an act of Congress (38).
Whenever a patent is found to be inoperative or invalid by reason of the patentee claiming as his invention or discovery, more than he had a right to claim as new, provided the error has arisen through inadvertence, accident or mistake, and without any fraudulent or deceptive intention, the patentee, or his legal representatives, or the assignees of the entire interest, may surrender the patent and obtain a reissue of the same (39). An application for a reissue is presented to the Patent office in much the same manner as an original application,
A patent may be repealed by a bill in equity brought by the United States, on the ground of fraud or mistake in its issuance; or it may be declared void in a suit in equity brought by the owner of an interfering patent (39a).
§ 39. Caveats. A caveat is a notice given to the Patent Office of the caveator's claim as an inventor, in order to prevent the grant of a patent to another person for the same alleged invention upon an application filed during the life of the caveat, without notice to the caveator. Any person who has made a new invention and desires further time to mature the same, may, on payment of a fee of ten
(37) Printed copies of these may be obtained from the Patent Office for five cents apiece.
(38) U. S. R. S., Sec. 4924.
dollars, file a caveat (40), setting forth the object and distinguishing characteristics of the invention, and praying protection of his right until he shall have matured his invention. Such caveats are filed in the confidential archives of the Patent Office, and preserved in secrecy, and are operative for a term of one year, but may be renewed for like periods upon payment of an additional fee of ten dollars in each case. A caveat comprises a specification, oath, and, when the nature of the case admits of it, a drawing, and, like an application for a patent, must be limited to a single invention or improvement. The same particularity of description is not required in a caveat as in an application for a patent; but the caveat must set forth the object of the invention and the distinguishing characteristics thereof, and it should be sufficiently precise to enable the office to judge whether there is a probable interference when a subsequent application is filed for a similar invention. The oath must set forth that the caveator believes himself to be the original and first inventor of the art, machine, or improvement set out in his caveat.
If at any time during the life of such caveat, or one of its renewals, another person should file an application for an invention which would in any manner interfere with the invention set out in the caveat, notice is given to the caveator and he is afforded an opportunity to file a complete application for a patent upon his invention. Such application is thereupon examined, and if his invention is found patentable, he is entitled to an interference with
(40) U. S. R. S., Sec. 4902.
the previous applicant, which interference is determined in favor of one or the other of such parties in the usual manner.
Otherwise than by giving the caveator the right to be notified in case of the filing of an application, and the opportunity to file an application and he heard on the question of priority as above noted, a caveat confers no rights, and affords no protection. In the majority of cases which are brought to the patent solicitor for an opinion as to the advisability of filing a caveat it is found upon examination that the invention is fully completed, and in such cases it is ordinarily considered the better practice not to file a caveat, but to file an application for a patent at once. If a caveat is filed in such a case, and an application is afterwards filed by another, resulting in notice to the caveator, an application by him, and an interference between the two parties, the caveator is met at the outset by his statement that at the date of the filing of his caveat he desired further time to mature his invention, whereas the applicant for a patent may show that on such a date his invention was complete. The caveator is therefore at a disadvantage, whereas, if his invention was in fact complete at the date that he filed his caveat, and he had filed an application instead, he would have had the advantage, over the second applicant, of having an earlier filing date.
§ 40. Secrecy in Patent Office. All caveats and pending applications are preserved in the Patent Office in secrecy. No information will be given, without authority, respecting the filing by any particular person of a caveat,