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Patent Office Society
Published monthly by the Patent Office Society Office of Publication 3928 New Hampshire Ave., Washington, D. C. Subscription $2.50 a year
Single copy 25 cents Max W. Tucker, Editor-in-Chiet. A. H. Winkelstein, Case editor M. 0. Price, Periodical abstracter. Wm. I. Wyman
G. P. Tucker
W. B. Johnson
C. C. Pidgeon
3319 Stuyvesant Place, Washington, D. C. N. E. Eccleston, Circulation. Entered as second class matter, september 17, 1918, at the post otħce
at Washington. D. C., under the act of March 3, 1879.
Publication of signed articles in this journal is not to be understood as an adoption by the Patent Office Society of the views expressed therein. The editors are glad to have pertinent articles submitted,
New suggestions as to Patent Office Practice are always interesting to consider. Several appear in the present issue of the Journal in which the points of view of the inside and outside of the Office are both represented. One offers a solution for an examiner's troubles in following renumbered claims in a much amended case. The others have to do with the simplification of interference practice, always a laudable aim. Consideration of these suggestions is recommended.
An unusually large number of resignations from the Examining Corps is noted in the pages of this number of the Journal. The Journal wishes all possible success to these men in their new occupations but cannot lose sight of the fact emphasized by these separations from the service that the business of training examiners until they become valuable only to lose them is a discouraging one. That resignations occur and doubtless will continue to occur is to be expected but when the stream becomes large, the added expense to the patent system in time spent for training purposes becomes more evident.
Carl F. Kraft newly appointed Primary Examiner of Div. 38 was born in Baraboo, Wisconsin in 1892. He obtained his high school education in Spokane, Washington and then entered the Washington State College, later attending George Washington University and Columbia University. In these institutions his studies were directed especially along lines of chemistry and electricity. He entered the Patent Office in 1913 with the rank of Fourth Assistant Examiner and was assigned to Div. 41. After about eight months he was transferred to Div. 38 where he has been employed continuously up to the present except in 1918 when he enlisted in the Chemical Warfare Service of the Army. He was appointed primary examiner of Division 38 on July 1, 1926.
F. A. RICHMOND.
Mr. Richmond is a native of Illinois and a citizen of California from which state he was appointed to the Examining Corps of the Patent Office in August 1914. Fiom the time of his appointment until May 1922 he was in Div. 12 where he examined applications for patent in planetary gearing and rose to the grade of Second Assistant. He was then transferred to the Trade Marks Division as First Assistant Examiner, serving in that capacity until July 1, 1926 when he succeeded Mr. Mead as Examiner.
Prior to entering the Patent Office, Mr. Richmond was engaged in high school work as teacher and principal. Jle is a graduate of Stanford University and of Georgetown University Law School and is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia.
RENUMBERING OF CLAIMS.
A suggestion from a Primary Examiner.
Improvements in methods in handling applications and amendments thereto are very much to be desired. Proposed change in the interest of accuracy, of speed, or of a saving in energy, mental or physical will receive serious attention largely only to the extent that they point the way to simplification of existing practices. With this purpose in view, the proposal is made that no claim should be renumbered on account of cancellation of others until the case is otherwise ready for issue. That is, to say, that a claim once given a numeral, should be designated by, and retain, such numeral in the whole proceeding leading up to either its allowance or cancellation.
By the present way of entering amendments in patent applications, the record may and does become quite involved. To trace out and study the full history of an allowed or patented claim, its evolution by amendments, its reshaping into different phraseology due to one or, may be, several rejections or objections, may be anything but a simple task. Where as if very common numerous amendments have been made much, if not all, such involvement results from the fact that with every cancellation or interpolation of the claim, the remaining claims must be renumbered and all made to run consecutively. Thus anyone allowed claim may have had as many different numerals, as many' aliases, as amendments in the case. For the Examiner or his clerk, or for any one else investigating the scope and limitations of a claim. the task becomes doubly extended and tedious because of the recurring change of numerals. In every amendment as also in every office action, a claim may be known by a different designation. For example, say the case was filed with 18 claims; by the first amendment, original claim 9 may be changed to 5; by the second to 11; then say to 25 by the third; and finally by a fourth amendment to 8. This complication is intensified by the character of amendments. At present any number of new claims may be inserted at any point or points in the series, necessitating corresponding renumbering of the following claims
If however during the prosecution and amendment of the application no claims are given different designating numerals, the original claims, except those cancelled, will all retain their original numbers. Any new c'aims presented would then be numbered consecutively with the lasí one previously entered. The point is that a claim once entered and given its proper numeral will retain such numeral during the entire prosecution of the case. The expression “Claim 5”, for example then will always refer to and identify only one distinct claiming clause. All reference, in the record, to “claim 5' could mean only one and the same claim. It could not, as it may now, refer to as many different claims as amendments have been made.
Ohjertion may be rạised that by this method claims of a desired scope could not be entered at the desired point in the series. In other words, claims could not be interpolated, but could only be added after those previously entered. There seems to be no merit in having a claim appear at a particular point in a series. A broad claim at the end of the series affords as much protection as if it were first, or in any intermediate position. Neither could a new claim substituted for an old one retain the position of the old one, such new claim would take its place at the end of the series and receive its own numeral.
If in a case thus prosecuted to allowance the allowed claims are not numbered consecutively, these could very readily be so numbered by an appropriate Examiner's Amendment, such amendment, the last in the record, would then show at a single glance the identity of any particular claim. Suppose “Claim 5” in the body of the record has, by the Examiner's amendment been made claim ? and this claim 2 is to be investigated. The Examiner's amendment serving as a key will show that this claim 2, during its prosecution was always "claim 5” and the investigator at once can direct his attention to the amendments, objections, rejections, and remarks as to “Claim 5". The record history of a claim would thus be very greatly simplified. This undoubtedly would be of great assistance to those interested in the investigation and litigation of patented claims. It would also however result in considerable saving of time and effort in the entry of amendments within the office and remove a most fertile source of errors.
A SUGGESTION FOR THE DETERMINATION OF
PRIORITY OF INVENTION.
Attention has frequently been called to the advantages of the European system under which priority of invention is determined by the filing date of the application. The objection to this system which seems to be cited