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practically attainable, and B. afterwards takes out a patent for the same result, but fully explains the means to be employed to attain it, the patent of B. is sustainable (a). As the object of such specifications is that the public, after a time, shall have the benefit of the discovery, the specification must be sufficient to enable others to make the invention (6). The meaning of the specification is for the Court, the words The interpre
tation of speof art having been interpreted by the jury (C). The words of a cification Tests specification are to be construed according to their ordinary and
and words of proper meaning, unless there be something in the context which art with the
jury. may be explained by evidence to show that a different construction ought to be made (d).
WHO IS ENTITLED TO A PATENT.
The patent can only be obtained by the first and true in- The first and ventor, but originality of invention is not destroyed by previous glimpses of the same thing (e). Nor is it defeated if the prior inventor or discoverer has never used it or made it known. No person can obtain a patent for an invention which has been communicated to him by another within the realm, though a patent may be granted to a British subject in his own name for an invention communicated to him by a foreigner, the subject of a state in amity with this country (f). In case of simul- Case of simultaneous inventors, the party first obtaining the patent is the in inventor in law (g). The patentee may assign the patent, or give an exclusive licence to use it ; but a right of this nature is a matter of public record, and is created by deed, and can only be assigned by deed (h). Any inventor of any improvement in instruments or munitions The benefit of
an invention (a) Betts v. Menzies, 31 L. J. Q. B. Webst. Pat. Cas. 690. 233.
(f) Beard v. Egerton, 3 C. B. 97. (6) M‘Farlane v. Price, i Stark. (g) Forsyth v. Riviere, Web. Pat. 199.
Cas. 97 ; Galloway v. Bleaden, Ibid. (c) Neilson v. Harford, 8 M. & W. 529. 806 ; Hills v. Evans, 31 L. J. Ch. 457. (h) Lincoln's College Case, 3 Coke,
(d) Elliott v. Turner, 2 C. B. 446. 630. (e) Househill Comp. v. Neilson,
• may be assigned to the War Department.
of war, may, for valuable consideration, or without, assign to the Secretary of State for the War Department, on behalf of Her Majesty, all the benefit of the invention, and all letters patent obtained, or to be obtained, for the same (a).
HOW TO OBTAIN A PATENT.
Petition to be presented.
The patent law of 1852, now in force, describes the present method for obtaining a patent. Persons applying for letters patent for an invention must present a petition for the same(),
(a) 22 Vict. c. 13.
(6) Forms. No. PETITION. To the Queen's most Excellent
Majesty. The humble petition of [here insert name and address of Petitioner) for, &c.,
Showeth, That your petitioner is in possession of an invention for the title of the invention), which invention he believes will be of great public utility ; that he is the true and first inventor thereof; and that the same is not in use by any other person or persons, to the best of his knowledge and belief.
Your petitioner therefore humbly prays, That your Majesty will be pleased to grant unto him, his executors, administrators, and assigns, your royal letters patent for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Channel Islands, and Isle of Man, [Colonies to be mentioned, if any,] for the term of fourteen years, pursuant to the statute in that case made and pro vided.
And your petitioner will ever pray, &c.
of great public utility ; that I am the true and first inventor thereof; and that the same is not in use by any other person or persons, to the best of my knowledge and belief; where a complete Specification is to be filed with the Petition and Declaration, insert these words :-“and that the instrument in writing under my hand and seal, hereunto annexed, particularly describes and ascertains the nature of the said invention and the manner in which the same is to be performed ;'') and I make this declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of an Act made and passed in the Session of Parliament held in the fifth and sixth years of the reign of His late Majesty King William the Fourth, intituled “ An Act to repeal an Act of the present Session of Parliament, intituled 'An Act for the more effectual abolition of oaths and affirmations taken and made in various departments of the state, and to substitute declarations in lieu thereof, and for the more entire suppression of voluntary and extrajudicial oaths and affidavits,' and to make other provisions for the abolition of unnecessary oaths.”
A.D. before me,
A Master in Chancery, or Justice of the Peace.
in the county of
do solemnly and sincerely declare, That I am in possession of an invention for, &c. (the title as in Petition), which invention I believe will be
accompanying it with a declaration (a) that the invention will be of public utility, and that the same is not in use by any other person, with a statement in writing, called the provisional specification, describing the nature of the invention. The ap- The proviplication is then referred by the commissioners of patents to one fication'to be
sional speci. of the law officers, to whom also the provisional specifications referred
a law ofare submitted, and he may call to his aid such.scientific or ficer, who,
if satisfied, other persons as he may think fit, making the applicant may give a pay to such persons such remuneration as the law officers
his allowance, shall appoint. If such law officer is satisfied that the pro- which shall
be filed. visional specification describes the nature of the invention, he allows the same, and gives a certificate of his allowance, and such certificate is filed in the office of the commissioners, and thereupon the invention therein referred to may, during the term of six months from the date of the application for letters patent for the said invention, be used and published without prejudice to any letters patent to be granted for the same ; and such protection from the consequences of use and publication is hereinafter referred to as provisional protection : Provided always, that in case the title of the invention or the provisional specification be too large or insufficient, it shall be lawful for the law officer to whom the same is referred to allow or require the same to be amended (b).
The applicant for letters patent for an invention, instead Inventor may of leaving with the petition and declaration a provisional i specification as aforesaid, may, if he thinks fit, file with the said visional spe
cification, a petition and declaration an instrument in writing under his complete hand and seal (hereinafter called a complete specification), par- such deposit
specification, ticularly describing and ascertaining the nature of the said
to confer for
a limited time invention, and in what manner the same is to be performed, the like rights
patent. (a) No. PROVISIONAL SPECIFIC
(To be indorsed on the Petition.)
Her Majesty is pleased to refer this nature of the said invention for [insert
to consider what title as in Petition,] to be as follows:
may be properly done therein. (here insert description.) Dated this day of
Clerk of the Commissioners. A.D. (To be signed by Applicant or his A gent.)
(b) 15 & 16 Vict. c. 83, s. 8.
which complete specification shall be mentioned in such declaration ; and the day of the delivery of every such petition, declaration, and complete specification shall be recorded at the office of the commissioners, and indorsed on such petition, declaration, and specification, and a certificate thereof given to such applicant or his agent; and thereupon, subject and without prejudice to the provisions hereinafter contained, the invention shall be protected under this Act for the term of six months from the date of the application, and the applicant shall have during such term of six months the like powers, rights, and privileges as might have been conferred upon him by letters patent for such invention issued under this Act, and duly sealed as of the day of the date of such application; and during the continuance of such powers, rights, and privileges under this provision, such invention may be used and published without prejudice to any letters patent to be granted for the same; and where letters patent are granted in respect of such invention, then in lieu of a condition for making void such letters patent in case such invention be not described and ascertained by a subsequent specification, such letters patent shall be conditioned to become void if such complete specification, filed as aforesaid, does not particularly describe and ascertain the nature of the said invention, and in what manner the same is to be performed: and a copy of every such complete specification shall be open to the inspection of the public, as hereinafter provided, from the time of depositing the same, subject to such regulation as the commissioners may make (a).
In case of any application for letters patent for any invention, and the obtaining upon such application of provisional protection for such invention, or of protection for the same by reason of the deposit of a complete specification as aforesaid, in fraud of the true and first inventor, any letters patent granted to the true and first inventor of such invention shall not be invalidated by reason of such application or of such provisional or other protection as aforesaid, or of any use or publication of the invention subsequent to such application, and before the expiration of the term of such provisional or other protection (6).
Where any invention is provisionally protected under this Act, or protected by reason of the deposit of such complete specifica(a) 15 & 16 Vict. c. 83, s. 9.
(6) Ibid. s. 10.
Letters patent granted to the first inventor not to be invali. dated by protection obtained in fraud of the first inventor.
Commissioners to cause protections
tion as aforesaid, the commissioners shall cause such provisional to be adver
tised. protection or such other protection as aforesaid to be advertised in such manner as they may see fit (a).
Grant of Letters Patent. The applicant for letters patent, so soon as he may think fit, Application
for letters after the invention shall have been provisionally protected under patent to be this Act, or where a complete specification has been deposited
and also opwith his petition and declaration, then so soon as he may think positions to
the same. fit after such deposit, may give notice at the office of the commissioners of his intention of proceeding with his application for letters patent for the said invention, and thereupon the said commissioners shall cause his said application to be advertised in such manner as they may see fit; and any persons baving an interest in opposing the grant of letters patent for the said invention shall be at liberty to leave particulars in writing of their objections to the said application at such place and within such time and sụbject to such regulations as the commissioners may direct (6). So soon as the time for the delivery of such objections shall Specification
and objechave expired, the provisional specification or complete specifi- tions to be cation (as the case may be), and particulars of objection (if any), 1 shall be referred to the law officer to whom the application has been referred (c). It shall be lawful for the law officer to whom any application Power to law
officer to for such letters patent is referred, if he see fit, by certificate on under his hand, to order by or to whom the costs of any hear- to
costs shall ing or inquiry upon any objection, or otherwise in relation to be paid. the grant of such letters patent, or in relation to the provisional (or other) protection acquired by the applicant under this Act, shall be paid, and in what manner and by whom such costs are to be ascertained ; and if any costs so ordered to be paid be not paid within four days after the amount thereof shall be so ascertained, it shall be lawful for such law officer to make an order for the payment of the same ; and every such order may be made a rule of one of Her Majesty's superior courts at Westminster or Dublin, and may be recorded in the books of
(c) Ibid. s. 13.
(a) 15 & 16 Vict. c. 83, s. 11. (b) Ibid. s. 12.