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TO PERSONS HAVING BUSINESS TO TRANSACT AT THE
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
SEC. 1. OF THE FORMS PRESCRIBED BY LAW, AND THE RULES ADOPTED BY THE OFFICE.
The following forms and rules are founded, the first upon positive law, and the second upon the constructive power the Commissioner has to issue such orders as will secure impartial justice to applicants and facilitate the transaction of business.
The laws now in force relative to patents are those approved July 4, 1836; March 3, 1837; March 3, 1839; August 29, 1842; May 27, 1848; March 3, 1849; and March 3, 1851.
The forms resting upon these are fixed, and cannot, of course, be varied without the intervention of Congress; but rules, having their origin in the Commissioner, can be revised or modified at his discretion.
SEC. II. FOR WHAT PATENTS MAY BE GRANTED.
By the act of 1836, section 6, patents were granted for any new and useful art, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement on any art, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, not known or used by others before the applicant's discovery or invention thereof, and not, at the time of his application for a patent, in public use, or on sale, with his consent or allowance as the inventor or discoverer; but, by the act of 3d March, 1839, no patent is held to be invalid by reason of the purchase, sale, or use [of the invention] prior to the application for a patent, except on proof of abandonment of such invention to the public, or that such purchase, sale, or public use has been for more than two years prior to such application for a patent.
By the 3d section of the act of 1842, patents are also granted for new and original designs:
1. For a manufacture, whether of metal or other material.
2. For the printing of woollen, silk, cotton, or other fabrics.
3. For busts, statues, or bas reliefs, or composition in alto or basso relievo. 4. For any impression or ornament (whether complete in itself, or) to be placed on any article of manufacture in marble or other material.
5. For any new and original pattern, or print, or picture, to be either worked into or worked on, or printed or painted, or cast or otherwise fixed on, any article of manufacture.
6. For any new shape or configuration of any article of manufacture. All such designs not being previously known or used by others.
SEC. III. TO WHOM PATENTS MAY BE GRANTED.
Patents are granted to citizens of the United States; to aliens who shall have been resident in the United States one year next preceding, and shall have made oath of their intention to become citizens thereof; to one or more assignees of entire patent rights; to administrators and executors, and to foreign inventors or discoverers, but the law makes no provision for granting to the latter patents for new and original designs.
In case of the decease of an inventor, before he has obtained a patent for his invention, "the right of applying for and obtaining such patent shall devolve on the administrator or executor of such person in trust for the heirs at law of the deceased, if he shall have died intestate; but if otherwise, then in trust for his devisees, in as full and ample manner, and under the same conditions, limitations, and restrictions, as the same was held, or might have been claimed or enjoyed, by such person in his or her lifetime; and, when application for a patent shall be made by such legal representatives, the oath or affirmation shall be so varied as to be applicable to them.”
Joint inventors are entitled to a joint patent; but neither can claim one separately.
SEC. IV. OF APPLICATIONS FOR PATENTS,
Of the propriety of making an application for a patent, the inventor or his agent must be the sole judge. The Patent Office is open, the records and models may be consulted during office hours, and the applicant can personally, or by attorney, satisfy himself of the expediency of filing his papers.
Further than the facilities thus afforded, the office can yield no assistance until the case is regularly before it in manner prescribed by law.
By the act of July 4, 1836, entitled "An act to promote the useful arts, and to repeal all acts and parts of acts heretofore made for that purpose,' a principle entirely new was engrafted upon the system under which patents had been previously granted.
Under the provisions of this act it was made the duty of the Commissioner of Patents, on the receipt of any application for a patent, to institute "an examination of the alleged new invention or discovery," with a view to determine whether the same had been before "invented or discovered by any other person in this country," or "patented or described in any printed publication in this or any foreign country." Thus was the grant of patents in future restricted to such "inventions or discoveries" as were new, in the most absolute