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the Supreme Court. Another point: even if sanctions are imposed for not opposing the issuance of a patent, assuming a party-litigant has the art and the interest at the time set for protesting the issuance of the application, it is clear that the courts in the public interest will permit him to bring in his prior art.

5. It is time that the record of validity of the patents issued and litigated be emphasized in contradiction to those few who talk without statistical facts or who re repeating alleged statistics. As can be gleaned from the statements of some of the witnesses and from at least one written statement furnished to the subcommittee the patents held invalid over art already available to the Patent Office are only 25 percent of those litigated. As seen in the U.S. Patents Quarterly Reports, in the period 1968 through 1972 the courts considered 880 patents. The number of patents issued during that period is of the order of 75-80,000 per year. (75,000 X 5 = 375,000 patents—Surely 880 is a very small percentage.) To scale up from these few obviously selected patents is not warranted. Obviously, only a patent which already is of doubtful validity is taken to court. The reasons for doubt are 1. there is a disagreement between patent lawyers on opposing sides as to the teachings of the art available to the Patent Office, 2. there is new art which the defendant's lawyer believes will invalidate the patent, 3. in a small number of cases, there is some other issue on which both sides think they can win, and 4. the judgments of reasonable men can and do differ.

Former Commissioner of Patents Edward J. Brenner testifying, aptly remarked to the Chairman conducting the recent hearings that even the Supreme Court decisions, oftentimes, are 54 or otherwise split. Yet the matter of human judgment is ever present, even in patent matters. Of the 25 percent of the litigated patents held invalid, in cases in which the art available to the court was also before the Patent Office, there are the patents on which judgments of the court and those of the Patent Office examiner or the Board of Patent Appeals in the Patent Office or of the court which may have in effect granted the patent, are simply different. This can be quickly agreed when the split decision of the courts on obviousness of invention are consid. ered.

No system will be devised which can avoid imprecision or lack of sameness in the exercise of human judgment so that of the “25 percent” patents litigated there are unavoidably some invalid patents.

So let's look to the positive results of the United States patent incentive system and tread lightly before we make drastic changes in it.

6. It can be said with assurance that the provisions of S. 1321 designed to avoid fraud or unclean hands are far too burdensome on the Patent Office and on the applicants and, therefore, on the country relative to the good such provisions may accomplish. It is thought the Administration bill may, in part, be evidence of over-reaction to insufficiently warranted criticisms.

There are laws on the books to deal with fraud or unclean hands. Witness the patents which are held invalid for the very small number of humans who intentionally seek to obtain a patent improperly. In the 880 patents above mentioned, only 66 had allegations of fraud or unclean hands. The courts held fraud or unclean hands in only 17 cases! I.e., only 1.94 percent of the 880 pat. ents considered. Though provisions of S. 1321 may appear well founded, the use to which adversary proceedings, or public counsel, as defined, can be put, practically, cannot be expected to have a substantial effect on validity. Why burden the Patent Office, the applicants and our country with the great cost of lesser invention and lesser disclosure at a time when our country needs innovation so badly?

7. The allegation was voiced that examiners are allowing cases due to pres. sure of the disposal system. This allegedly results in invalid patents. It is implied that the examiners of the Patent Office are so lacking in good faith, intellectual honesty and professionalism that they would allow a case just to make disposals. It was stated in effect, that the rate of disposal had increased because of the allowance of more invalid patents. No mention was made that during the period in question the staff of the Patent Office, which has had at much earlier times a turnover of about 20 percent* each year, had been stabi. lized by better working quarters, better status, better pay and increased

• Now of the order of about 6-10 percent.

responsibilities! The examiners as a group are now more skilled not only in the patent law and practice thereunder but in the art which they can and do search more rapidly. So knowledge and experience do count; the small increase in the rate of “disposals" surely can be traced to such better staff in the Patent Office!

Abandoned cases and counted as “disposals." An Examiner's Answer on Appeal also is counted as a “disposal" (but not for the reduction in office inventories). Thus, about one third of the "average" examiner's disposals are not allowances.

That the "young examiner studying law" can be importuned to allow an unpatentable case should be documented with actual case histories. In my long and wide experience in a great many sections of the Patent Office, the young examiner has been most difficult to convince and has ordinarily held to an unnecessary, higher standard of invention than the more experienced ones who have become more sure that they are correctly deciding the issue. The relatirely inexperienced exaniner is, ordinarily, less impressed by the invention when he sees it after viewing the art. He applies more "hindsight" at this time of his career than he will later!

I have worked in patent prosecution since I was twelve years old. Today I am almost 59. I have been intimately associated with or have directly presented, prosecuted, supervised and trouble-shot hundreds of cases. I do not recall a single application-and I dare to say readily none can be found-in which the Examiner allowed the case without a real basis other than "a quota system." It is just as easy to send the applicant a final action or to appeal as not to do so. And the affirmances or reversals on appeal tell the story about quality. In my view, many cases which have patentable merit are abandoned simply because lack of funds and manpower available to the inventor precludes appealing all cases. I agree with the Patent Office Society spokesman that the U.S. Patent examiner will not allow simply because of a disposal system quota.

All human endeavor is measured and we all do or should work toward reasonably established goals.

An interesting fact, which I seek to underscore, is that my experience in supervising and training patent lawyers clearly makes evident that the persons producing the higher number of cases and disposals almost always are those who do the higher quality work. I have observed this to be true for over 25 years of record keeping! Of course, all quota systems should be equitable in assigning points of credit for quality as well as for quantity. I believe, from rather close association with the Patent Office and a good number of the members of the staff, as well as intimate knowledge of persons who are high quality producers there, that they are usually the high quantity producers.

Suffice to say, when the Chief Counsel asked a witness for evidence of the increase in the "hordes” of invalid patents being issued, the witness had none to offer! I will not dwell on the clearly unfounded allegations of the witness save to point out that those who have presented statistics have given their evidence which can be checked readily. I know that the Subcommittee of our great Judiciary Committee will not act on unfounded “testimony.” It will ascertain the facts.

8. Generally there is a great deal of “shop talk" or "gab" in the profession of patenting. Much of it is repeated on a hearsay basis. People who are otherwise learned and careful use poorly chosen words and phrases, quite loosely, to describe what they think is a fact--without really knowing it. Incomplete presentations must be viewed critically.

Although there is always room for improvement, when a thorough analrsis is given it is at once evident that the vast majority of U.S. patents are validly issued and, importantly, that the progress of the useful arts is now well promoted by the system. More especially this is so when the total picture is viewed :

(A) The Patent Office terminates the prosecution of only 70 percent of applications filed by issuing a patent.

(B) Allowing even for differences in judgment or opinion of reasonable persons, the Patent Office Board of Appeals affirms on the order of 75 percent of the examiner's actions rejecting claims. This is a high percentage, encouraging the examiners to reject claims. And the Courts affirm on the order of 70 percent of cases appealed from the Board of Appeals. Again, a high percentage encouraging a good standard of patentability.

It would seem then that the case is made that a few squeaky wheels (eases which are notorious because of some fact or personality) do not signify that the lubricants supplied the millions of wheels in the world are unsatisfactory. Likewise, the entire operation of the system cannot be seen by scaling up from that very small minority that are notorious cases. The possibility for multiplication of gross errors is too great! Even on scale-up, however, the positive value of the system—which has truly served the country as we know-is still evident!

This letter would be grossly incomplete if it did not urge that the remedy for the “problems" lies primarily in supplying the art to the examiner and in heavily punishing the few who are intentionally dishonest.

S. 1321 proposes a much greater burden be placed upon the public in its dealings with its government than in any other public dealings simply because, admittedly, there will always be dishonest persons amongst us.

9. The great majority of the chemical or chemistry-related inventions now sought to be patented are of non-reverse engineerable nature. This means that such inventions can be guarded as secrets if obtaining a patent is fraught with too much difficulty or if an application can result in public disclosure without obtaining a satisfactory patent. If kept secret, the “hordes" of scientists, chemists and engineers cannot know of them. These people will not be able to apply their talents to improving such inventions or to inventively designing around them. These remarks apply not only to the esoteric "chemical" inventions, but also to such inventions in electronics based upon esoteric treatment of materials, such as transistors, filaments, tubes, alloys, getters, and the like. Even in mechanical contrivances, there are assembly or adjustment “tricks of the trade" which may be held secret.

Accordingly, the publication of abandoned applications for patent should not be permitted except in special situations substantially as now provided in Sertion 122. This matter is now on appeal in the Fourth Circuit from a decision of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia in a civil suit. Several associations, companies and persons presented information and arguments in the trial in support of the Patent Office which sought to prevail under the constitutionality of the Section. Section 122 should not be changed without careful consideration.

Under every circumstance the applicant or his assignee should have the full right to abandon his application prior to publication and maintain confidential his information disclosed in it, even after allowance of claims, if he is not satisfied that the system is securing to him his right to his invention or discovery as provided in the Constitution. See Congressional intent in Freedom of Information Act relating to receipt by government of information in confidence. Guaranteed this right, inventors will continue to come forth to seek patents.

10. A witness was asked by the chairman at the hearing why the business community does not sound off about the unsatisfactory nature of the product of the Patent Office. His response, which is not worthy of repetition, is in the record. The question made an erroneous assumption that business generally does not approve of the product of the Patent Office. Those organizations and persons who cite pertinent art to the Office and who prosecute vigorously on all issues, as can be documented from the files of issued patents at the Patent Office, will disagree that they are dissatisfied with the product. Their dissatisfactions are not of the general kind intimated by the chairman at the hearing.

Generally business wants to plan on a sound basis. It cannot go ahead on invalid patents and does not do so intentionally. Again, the broad picture must be viewed.

In closing this letter I am not to be understood to deny that much improvement in our Patent Incentive System is possible. However, the record should show the relative unbalance of the testimony with regard to points made in this letter.

S. 643 as distinguished from the "committee print" was a good bill. The Administration and the proposed bar bills have made additional changes which upon careful examinaion may be found to add improvement. S. 6-3 is more in tune with the reality of the administrative and functional operations of the Patent Incentive System, including the Patent Office, the licensing of patents and the judicial reviews of the patents and licensing arrangements involving patents.

There is attached to this letter an addendum noting a number of points relating to provisions of S. 1321, not noticed for hearing. Several statements,

presented at the hearings, made reference to such provisions of the bill as requiring study and hearings. Some alluded to a few points in this connection. No statement was addressed to the manifold provisions which are a departure from any bills earlier considered and from the present law. These comments and addendum are simply submitted so that the record will show that the bill, in my view, require additional study and hearings and not by way of being comprehensive or the result of final study of each provision of the bill. Indeed, the comments, prepared early in May, are not intended as final, but as notes with a view to initial preparation for hearings on the manifold principal new provisions of the bill. It is hoped that further study and hearings will be permitted before the subcommittee adopts provisions a good number of which are now viewed by me to be most likely disincentive in character.

I ask that this letter and its addendum be printed in full in the record as my personal reaction to the bill, statements and hearings of September 1963.

Thank you kindly.
Respectfully submited.

PAUL L. GOMORY. P.S. The Administration bill, just in hand, in which certain key provisions have been read, will, it clearly appears, require considerable comment, upon further study!

WASHINGTON, D.C. P.S. To my letter of September 27, 1973, I am attachig my reasons for having patent licensing provisions as reprinted in the May 1972 ACTION. Please print this as part of my letter.





The time for action is now. I urge that the separate action be supported by all interested parties for at least the following important reasons.

1. Consumerism.-the consumer will benefit because the exchange of technological information taking place under increased licensing, as herein discussed, will permit to be produced by American industry better and lower priced products. This will lead to more competition.

2. Fight Against Inflation.--the production of better and lower priced products will aid in the fight against inflation since these products will compete for the increased flow of dollars.

3. More Jobs.—more jobs will be created because there will be more inventions and/or products to be produced or to operate.

4. More Pay To Labor.---because the new improved technology will reduce other production costs, more will be left with which to pay labor increased wages.

5. Increased Competition Here At Home Among Domestic Organizations.the increased spread of technology, even in field of use licensing, will in each field produce new and better products at lower prices and thus will increase competition in each field of licensing.

6. Competition Here At Home Against Imports From Abroad.—this is siinilar to 5 above.

7. Competition Abroad By U.S. Organizations.—this again is similar to 5 above.

8. Environmental Improvement and Control.-Clearly, items 1-7 will considerably aid the technological leap forward required to improve and protect our environment.

9. Cities Problems.—by no means least, there are the cities problems. There is the decay, crime, drugs and added problems.

We cannot expand the fund of technology quickly enough to deal with the listed problems-for example, to develop antidrug drugs. Yet, there must be incentive to the patent holder to license various fields of use and in each field to those who would most quickly and most effectively develop the invention in the respective fields.

The continued inroads causing attrition of the "incentive” of the U.S. Patent Incentive System by lessening the value of patents, which are being made by those opposing the kind of legislation here favored, are detrimental to the solutions of the problems outlined above. When asked the question at the May, 1971, hearings, the Department of Justice spokesman could not point to any decision which would be overruled by the then discussed version of the Scott Amendments. Hearings May 13, Part 2, page 648, paragraph 2.



The following are preliminary comments. Reference to the present Patent Code, other bills or drafts should not be taken to mean that there has been made a word for word, line for line comparison at any time of anything which has been included herein.


In line 4, the word “privilege" is not the word "patent". It is not a “privi. lege” which is to be granted. The word “right" appears in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. The patent secures this right under law.


The establishment of the Patent Office as an independent agency will increase its exposure to the public and, generally, if properly operated, can be a tremendous influence for good of our country!


In line 30, after the word "promulgate” the words-not inconsistent with law- -would not have to be implied. The words are in the present Code.

At (d), line 14, page 3, the establishment of a Public Counsel will in effect establish within the Patent Office a second Patent Office and a second examining staff! The Patent Office operation will be hampered probably more than it will be helped. The budget of the Patent Office will have to be considerably enlarged.

Page 4, lines 7 et seg, the Public Counsel may be viewed by professional patent examiners and others in the Patent Office as constituting a "big brother.” Supervisors now exist in the Patent Office. There is a Law Solicitor's office. After all, quality still depends upon persons—we have those persons now. There is a very real possibility that the Patent Office will be mired down in-fighting with itself.

At (d), page 3, line 34, apparently the Public Counsel will determine what is "important, new, or developing areas of technology.” This could easily be applied to all technology since all technology can always be said to be developing. What a bureaucracy! It takes years to develop and to prove out which are the important cases-important in whose judgment?

In line 38, page 3, my copy reads in the margin "... another Commissioner of Patents !" Two standards of validity-two presumptions !


Page 6, line 12, though the decision, which has been appealed, may change the Senator's mind or the minds of others on this point, the fact is that this Section provides for indexing abandoned applications. See also Section 122, page 26, of the Bill.

SECTION 8 At (f), lines 33–38, it is not a proper function of the Patent Office to disseminate information except by way of patents and trademarks and perhaps closely related matters. There is now an Office of Technical Services, a Library of Congress and a great many other government organizations disseminating "... public technological and other public information ..."


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At (b), page 8, lines 28–29, the quality of United States patents .. gives rise to the possiblity that the Council may study validity of specific patents and possibly all patents. This should be carefully considered.

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