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Seventh. That an ante-room has become indispensably necessary. Eighth. That it is a matter well understood that the force of this office must be yearly increasing, and that the foregoing considerations are based upon the present force and the expected increase of records, but not upon an increased number of clerks.
We therefore believe that the whole of the basement of the present building and the wing are necessary for a proper distribution of the rejected models and for workshops; that the whole of the upper halls, both of the building and wing, are at present required for patented models, and will probably be filled to overflowing in the course of three years. And we also believe that the whole of the first floor of the present building and the wing will not more than suffice for the wants of the Commissioner, examiners, machinist, draughtsman, and clerks, when it is considered that the library and draughtman's room are daily narrowing in effective space, and that it would be useless to move them into apartments which, in the course of less than three years, would be quite as contracted as those which are now daily hindering the effective action of this office.
If a different arrangement from that herein intimated be adopted, it will merely vary the distribution of offices, models, and records, but will not alter, in the least, the absolute amount of space that is needed. All of which is respectfully submitted:
CHAS. G. PAGE,
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE, February 4, 1851.
In reply to your letter of January 31st, I have the honor to state that, with a view of ascertaining the sentiments of the principal officers of this bureau respecting the information called for by the resolution of the Senate of the 28th ultimo, viz: "What additional room, if any, is required for the proper accommodation of the Patent Office," &c., &c., I asked for their opinions, and thought it the safest course to submit them for your consideration in place of my own.
My personal opinion, now required, was, after an examination, expressed in the Report of 1849, page 512. Though the business of the office has increased since the date of that report I still think that, were
the upper floor and its cases restored to the office for the reception of its models, and the space now occupied by the models converted into rooms, there would be sufficient for the immediate wants of the office.
If the museum is to remain where it is, then, certainly, the whole of the upper floor of the new wing will be required for the models now in the office; but that would be an inconvenient arrangement, since by it the models would be far distant from the rooms of the officers requiring them. It would be better to assign the new wing entirely to this office, or remove the museum into it. Under any circumstances the models, if they are to be properly disposed of and arranged for exhibition, as the law requires they should be, must be placed on the upper floor on account of light. When the west wing is completed, it is doubtful if there would be sufficient light to examine the objects in the cases were they to remain on the present or first floor. They are partially obscured now, and would then be much more so.
In conclusion, I have no hesitation in saying that, in view of the rapidly increasing business of the office, the present building will, in my opinion, be found wholly insufficient for the purposes of this bureau in three or four years, if not sooner. The papers accompanying your letter
are herewith returned.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, THOS. EWBANK.
Hon. ALEX. H. H. STUART,
The number of models at present in the office is nearly 20,000. The yearly accumulation exceeds 2,000; so that in ten years, the number cannot be estimated at less than 50,000, since the annual increase for the last four years has been between two and three hundred.
If the largest and best portion of the original building is still to be occupied with the collection of the Exploring Expedition, and if a noiety only of the new wing be accorded to this office, I submit that the $211,000 withdrawn from the Patent fund, and expended on the wing, be returned; since, after the payment of that sum. the office will have no more room than what is admitted belonged to it before.
Were the Patent fund held sacred for the direct encouragement of science and art, and the interest expended in premiums for inventions and discoveries of national importance, (as suggested in the report of 1849,) it would be a fruitful and enduring source of honor and of bene fits to the Union. I believe it of more importance to the country to preserve that fund intact, and to expend the interest as suggested, than to have a stately structure in which to transact the business of the office.
3. Increase of clerical force.-With the exception of two, authorized by the act of 1848,, there have been no permanent clerks added to this office since its reorganization in 1836; while the duties of those employed have increased more than three fold during that period. They are, consequently, over-tasked, and inadequately paid. I would, therefore, respectfully and most earnestly ask Congress to authorize the employment of four additional permanent clerks, at salaries of $1,200, to be assigned to such service as may be deemed necessary by the Commissioner for the despatch of the public business. Some of the duties for which these clerks are designed are now performed by persons employed
under the act of 1837. They are not qualified officers, but necessarily admitted to the secret archives, and other business requiring care and responsibility. These places, it is believed, should be filled by permanent clerks, sworn and qualified as such.
As examples of the necessity of permanent aid and increased compensation to certain branches of business, the duties of some of the officers whose desks are over-tasked are here referred to, by extracts taken from a report made by the Commissioner to the Secretary of the Interior, in September last, in obedience to a resolution of the Senate of the 7th of March, 1851, in relation to the classification of clerks, and "apportioning their salaries according to their services," with slight alterations, in which he recommended
First. That the salary of the CHIEF CLERK of this bureau be increased to two thousand dollars per annum. This increase would only place the chief clerk of the Patent Office on an equality with those of other bureaus who receive a reasonable compensation, and who are exempt from the necessity of giving bonds, with surety, for faithful performance of duty, required by the chief clerk of this office.
Besides his heavy clerical and administrative duties, the entire business of the office passes through his hands, receiving its appropriate direction to the different branches. The duties thus devolving and accumulating upon him, rendered the services of an assistant necessary. This aid, supplied under the act of 1837, authorizing the employment of temporary clerks, is intended, also, to relieve other desks, and the clerk. ship should be made permanent.
Second. That the salary of the DRAUGHTSMAN, which is now twelve hundred, be raised to fifteen hundred dollars.
He has charge of the secret archives of the office; the drawings patented and rejected; pending files and evidence in cases of interference; receives applications from the chief clerk, entering them in books kept for that purpose, before they are distributed to the examiners; examines all drawings attached to patents before they go out of the office, and all copies of drawings made for courts or other purposes, besides attending to a large amount of miscellaneous business. It was found impossible, before the increase of the examining corps, for this officer to give his personal attention to these multifarious duties. Accordingly, an assistant was assigned to him under the act of 1837, whom I recommend to be made a permanent clerk.
Third. The MACHINIST. The duty of the machinist is to receive, classify, and arrange the models, to exhibit to inventors such classes as may be in the line of their discoveries; furnish the examiners with such as may be required in their examinations; keep records of those patented, suspended and rejected, and to conduct the correspondence relating to models, generally. The number of these interesting proofs of the inventive genius of the country has doubled within a few years, and now amounts to about 20,000. It has long been impossible for one person to meet the demands of this department. An assistant was necessarily appointed some years ago, and paid out of the contingent fund; and as the duties of the assistant are equally responsible with those of the machinist he having a knowledge of models of pending applications and others belonging to the secret archives-he ought to be a sworn officer, and his place a permanent clerkship.
Fourth. That the salary of the ACCOUNTING or DISBURSING CLERK be increased to $1,500 per annum, and he be required to give bonds.
He has charge of the records of the office-the patented and withdrawn files; and is required to give information in relation thereto when ever called upon. He is also the accounting and disbursing clerk, and conducts the correspondence in relation to withdrawals; the discharge of which duties involves a heavy responsibility, and requires a person of not only reputable talents, but also of rigid integrity. Seventy or eighty thousand dollars passes through his hands annually, and yet for a salary of $1,200 he assumes all the responsibility of such a trust.
Fifth. That the salary of the ASSIGNMENT CLERK, who now receives $1,000, be increased to $1,200. When this salary was authorized, the amount was, in a measure, commensurate with the duties performed; but, owing to several changes in the business and personnel of the office, many very important matters have been transferred from other desks to his, making it a very responsible and laborious position. He is charged with the preparation of all certificates for copies of records, files, &c., conducts the correspondence respecting copies, transfers of patent rights, and miscellaneous inquiries, and receives and accounts for the fees paid for copies and for recording deeds. In miscellaneous correspondence, which pertains to his desk, questions often arise involving preliminary legal points, requiring a competent knowledge of the patent law, as well as a thorough acquaintance with the practice of the office.
4. Librarian.-The library is an indispensable element in transacting the business of the office; and it is essential that it keep pace with the advancement of science and the arts, abroad as well as at home. As its importance and contents daily increase, it is desirable that a salary be attached to the librarianship commensurate with the services required; one sufficient to engage a person whose habits, education, and tastes, fit him for the position Besides cataloguing, collating, and indexing the books, he might keep a digest of patents as they are issued, and post up materials for and aid the Commissioner in the preparation of the annual report. He should understand the German and French languages. I would recommend that the salary be made permanent, and not less than $1,200.
5. Patent laws.-It is believed that a registry law might be beneficially substituted for the law relating to designs. It would be more comprehensive, and better calculated to secure the objects sought, than the law at present in force.
I would recommend that in all cases where a patent is granted, upon proof that the applicant invented it prior to the issue of a patent granted before the application, or prior to a publication of the same invention made before said application, or prior to the use of the same by others before the filing of said application, said patent shall take the date of the earliest patent, the earliest publication, or the earliest use of said invention.
I would also recommend that, for the purpose of diminishing litigation, a system of cumulative damages and cumulative costs be authorized, depending upon the number of times a patent has been affirmed or invalidated before a court of competent jurisdiction. It is believed that such a system will, to a great extent, prevent calling the validity of patents in question for mere purposes of vexation, and will also check
the bringing of suits upon invalid patents for the purpose of procuring unjust tribute through fear of litigation. No plan has occurred to me which I consider so well calculated to check unnecessary and vexatious litigation under patents.
6. Judge of appeals.-The infirm health of the venerable chief justice of the District of Columbia, renders it necessary for Congress to make early provision for giving appellate jurisdiction over the decisions of the office.
In submitting the following letter from the chief justice, I feel it my duty again to call the attention of Congress to the total inadequacy of the compensation allowed by the act of 1837 for the services therein prescribed.
My immediate predecessor, in the report of 1847, uses the following language in reference to this officer: "From that time (March 3, 1837) down to the present, many appeals have been taken from the decisions of the Commissioner and decided by the chief justice, who has sustained his decisions by able and elaborate opinions, involving important principles of patent law." These opinions were published by Congress; they constitute the most valuable body of decisions on our present patent laws; are respected as authority in all our courts; and evince the high integrity, profound learning, and great industry of their author.
For these labors his only pecuniary compensation was $100 per annum; whereas single cases have occurred wherein a larger sum would have been inadequate. I respectfully suggest that an additional sum be allowed Judge Cranch out of the patent fund, as an acknowledgment of the important services he has rendered to this office.
Letter of Judge Cranch.
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 15, 1851.
DEAR SIR: I am unable, by reason of great age, sickness, and infirmity, to discharge the duties imposed upon me by the patent laws of the United States.
I have, therefore, petitioned Congress to repeal such parts of those laws as require me to hear and determine appeals from the decisions of the Commissioner of Patents.
My memorial is, I believe, referred by the Senate to the Committee on the Judiciary.
I suppose some substitute will be required for the provisions which may be repealed.
With great respect, I am, dear sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. THOMAS EWBANK,
Commissioner of Patents.
7. Analytical and descriptive Index of Inventions.-Respecting this great desideratum, I beg to refer to my Report for 1849, page 516; to repeat the recommendations and to urge the appropriation therein named, for the commencement of such a compilation. Its importance, utility and necessity are becoming more and more apparent. No state paper and no mere human volume can ever surpass it in immediate and endur