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Full text of "Investigation of concentration of economic power. Hearings before the Temporary National Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, Seventy-fifth Congress, third Session [-Seventy-sixth Congress, third Session] pursuant to Public Resolution no. 113 (Seventy-fifth Congress) authorizing and directing a select committee to make a full and complete study and investigation with respect to the concentration of economic power in, and financial control over, production of goods and services .."

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Northeastern University 

School of Law 








Public Resolution No. 113 

(Seventy-fifth Congress) 




JANUARY 16, 17, 18. 19, AND 20, 1939 

Printed for the use of the Temporary National Economic Committee ' 





(Created pursuant to Public Kcs. 113, 75th Cong.) 

JOSEPH C. O'MAHONE Y, Senator from Wyoming, 

HATTON W. SUMNERS, Representative from Texas, Vice Chairman 

THURMAN W. ARNOI-D, Assistant Attorney General 

•V/ENDELL BERGE, Special Assistant to the Attorney General 

Representing the Department of Justice 

WILLIAM E. BORAH, Senator from Idaho 


•JEROME N. FRANK, Commissioner 

Representing the Securities and Exchange Commission 


•EWIN L. DAVIS, Commissioner 

Representing the Federal Trade Commission 

WILLIAM H. KING, Senator from Utah 

ISADOR LUBIN, Commissioner of Labor Statistics 

•A. FORD HINRICHS, Chief Econorfist, Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Representing the Department of Labor 

•CHRISTIAN JOY PEOPLES, Director of Procurement 

Representing the Department of the Treasury 

RICHARD C. PATTERSON, Jr., Assistant Secretary 

Representing the Department of Commerce 

B. CARROLL REECE, Representative from Tennessee 

CLYDE WILLIAMS, Representative from Missouri 

LEON HENDERSON, Executive Secretary 




Testimony of — ?•«• 
Baekeland, George, vice president, The Bakelite Corporation, 

New York City 1 1077-1105 

Bush, Vannevar, president, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 

Washington, D. C 870-911 

Carlton, Clarence C, vice president, Motor Wheel Corporation, 

Lansing, Mich 1045-1070 

Coolidge, William D., director of research laboratory, General 

Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y 911-924 

Farnsworth, Philo T., vice president, Farnsworth Television, 

Inc., Philadelphia, Pa 98L-1006 

Flanders, Ralph E., president, Jones & Lamson, Springfield, Vt. 925-937 
Graham, John A., president, Motor Improvements, Inc., Newark, 

N. J 938-942,945-947 

Graham, Maurice H., inventor, Minneapolis, Minn 1070-1077 

Jewett, Frank B., president. Bell Telephone Laboratories, New 

York City 948-979 

Langner, LawTence, patent attorney, New York City 1007-1040 

Statement of — 

Coe, Conwav P., Commissioner of Patents, Department of Com- 
merce 838-867, 1 043- 1 044 

Patterson, Richard C, Assistant Secretarv, Department of Com- 
merce 836-838 

Examination of the patent laws and operation of industry under them.. 836 
Patent system bearing on every industry an integral part of govern- 

^ ment 839 

Monopoly of patent a benefit not in conflict with antitrust laws 840 

Industrial development under the patent system 841 

Rate of filing of patent applications 843 

Distribution of ownership of patents 845 

Procedure in examination of patent applications : 848 

Reform in patent procedure sought 853 

Purpose of patents the enlistment of capital and labor in new enter- 
prise - — 857 

Suggestions for correction of abuses in patent system 860 

Assignment of patents to corporations by emplcyees 865 

Introduction of new ideas into industry....:. 871 

Research 1 871 

The interference practice 880 

Patents necessary to attract capital to new enterprise. -- 881 

"Suppression of patents" 884 

Patent pools 887 

Tendency of compulsory licensing to discourage invention 890 

Recommendations of the Science Advisory Board on patent reform 892 

Bearing of patents on standard of living 894 

Need for scientific advisors in patent trials 896 

Value of patent system in reducing unemployment 897 

Need for single court of patent appeals , 900 

Lack of serious economic threat in foreign held patents 902 

Inventions and employment — 904 

Proposed single court of patent appeals 906 

Charge of suppression of patents often unfounded 908 

Foreign patents 9 JY 

History and description of General Electric Research Laboratory 911 

Value of scientific research 9^"- 




History of Jones & Lamson Tool Co 926 

Value of patent protection to industry 928 

More jobs created than displaced by patented devices 932 

Need for more easily accessible capital for small industries 934 

Formation of company to establish new industry 938 

Patent infringement litigation discloses evils in present patent system. 940 

Origin of United States patent system _ 960 

Organization and purpose of BeU laboratories 951 

Patents responsible for development of telephone 958 

Number of patents held by Bell System and their use . - . . 963 

Relationship between issuance of valid patents and proposed single 

court of patent appeals 969 

Distribution of title to Bell System patents 971 

Fundamental and subsequent development patents of Bell System — 971 

Opportunity for independent inventors 976 

Birth and development of Farnsworth television idea 982 

Application for patent covering basic idea of Farnsworth television. _ 990 

Impossibility of obtaining financial backing without patent system. __ 995 

Patents on useless inventions 997 

Alleged suppression of patents in television field 1000 

Radio Manufacturers Association Television Standards Committee.. 1002 

Comparison of provisions of foreign send United States patent systems. 1007 

U. S. patents held by foreigners and foreign patents held by Americans. 1043 

The Automotive Parts & Equipment Manufacturers Association 1045 

Role of patents in improvement of automobile parts 1049 

Patents incentive to production of new inventions. 1050 

Licensing of patents.., 1052 

Effect of abolitionof patent^syetem on competition 1057 

Patents not used to establish monopoly. .. 1058 

Effect of patent system in increasing employment. 1064 

Patent system responsible for development of automotive industry.. 1065 

An indep>endent inventor 1071 

Interest of industrial concerns in independent inventions 1073 

Inability of inventor to enlist capital without patent protection 1075 

Background of Bakelite Corporation's founder 1078 

Discovery of thermosetting plastics 1079 

Importance of Bakelite in automobile manufacture 1 080 

Use of Bakelite in 35 major industries 1081 

Bakelite patents 1082 

Necessity for patents in protecting research work 1 089 

Lack of incentive to invent without patent protection 1099 

Search for suppressed patent unsuccessful 1103 

Approval of proposed single court of patent appeals 11 04 

Schedule and summary of exhibits v 

Monday, January 16, 1939 : ._. 835 

Tuesday, January 17, 1939 869 

Wednesday, January 18, 1939 925 

Thursday, January 19, 1939 : 981 

Friday, January 20, 1939 1043 

Appendix ^ 1107 

Index .-^. I 


Number and summary of exhibits 

at page 

163. Diagram of the cotton gin, patented Mar. 14, 1794, by Eli 


164. Diagram of the reaper, patented June 21, 1834, by Cyrus H. 

McCormick !_._ 

165. Diagram of the telegraph, patented June 20, 1840, by 

Samuel F. B. Morse • '__ 

166. Desc. ption of vulcanized rubber, patented June 15, 1844, 

by Charles Goodyear 

167. Diagram of the steam power brake, patented Apr. 13, 1869, 

by George Westinghouse, Jr 

168. Description of improvement in treating and molding pyrox- 

yline, patented July 12, 1870, by John W. Hyatt, Jr., and 
Isaiah S. Hyatt 

169. Diagram of barbed wire fences, patented Nov. 24, 1874, by 

Joseph F. Glidden 

170. Diagram of the telephone, patented Mar. 7, 1876, by Alex- 

ander Graham Bell 

171. Diagram of apparatus for electric welding, patented Aug. 10, 

1886, by p:iihu Thomson 

172. Diagram of the electric motor, induction tvpe, patented 

May 1, 1888, by Nikola Telsa 

173. Diagram of tlie manufacture of aluminum, patented Apr. 2, 

1889, by Charles M. Hall 

174. Diagram of a machine for producing linotypes, type matrices, 

etc., patented Sept. 16, 1890, by Ottmar Mergenthaler 

175. Diagram of the photogravure printing plate, patented Apr. 

11, 1893 by Frederic E. Ives 

176. Diagram of an electrical furnace, patented May 19, 1896, by 

Edward G. Acheson 

177. Diagram of a glass-shaping machine, patented Aug. 2, 1904, 

by Michael ,1. Owens 

178. Diagram of a flying machine, patented May 22, 1906, by 

Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright 

179. Chart: Applications filed and patents granted, for years 

1836 to 1937, including designs and reissues 

180. Chart: Applications filed and patents granted, for years 

1921 to 1937, excluding designs and reissues 

181. Chart: Ratio of patents to population, for years 1840 to 1930- 

182. Chart: Ratio of patents to technological workers, for years 

1850 to 1930 

183. Chart: Percentage of patents issued to large corporations 

for vears 1921 to 1938, excluding designs and rei^^sues 

184. Chart': Number of patents issued to large corporations, for 

vears 1921 to 1937, excluding designs and rei.-sues 

185. Cliart: Patents issued to lat:ge corporations, for years 1921 

to 1937, with ratio of i^atents to total assets 

186. Chart: Number of distribution of patents as issued, for years 

1921 to 1937, to individuals, to foreign corporations, to 
small corporations, and to large corporations 

187. Chart: Percentage of distribution of patents as issued, for 

years 1921 to 1938, to individuals to foreign corporations, 
\o small corporations, and to large corporations 




















846 1127 




Number and somniary of exhibits 

188, Charts: Patents acquired by purchase by corporations dur- 
ing the period of January 1931 to June 1938 , 

Chart: Estimated unexpired patents owned by corporations, 
owning from 1 to 9000 patents each, large, foreign, and 
small — subsidiaries not included with parent corporations. 
Chart: Estimated unexpired patents owned by large, foreign, 
and small corporations owning less than 1 ,000 patents each 
Chart: Patents issued to large, small, and foreign corpora- 
tions for period of Jan. 1, 1931, to June 30, 1938 

Organization chart of the U. S. Patent Office 

Chart: Procedure in obtaining patents 

Chart: Examination procedure of patent application.* 

Patent 2,058,139, diagram on a reading lamp, showing what 
Patent Office does and does not allow an inventor to claim. 
196. Chart: Indicating the sequence and possible duration of 
events relating to an invention from its conception to the 

expiration of the patent 

Chart: Number of applications pending up to 5 years for 

years 1932 to 1938 

Chart: Patent monopoly permitted under present law, and 

as it would be under the proposed 20-year bill 

Chart: Patent monopoly on Steimer patent and divisions 
showing 44-year interval between filing and expiration of 
patent, and as it would be under the proposed 20-year bill. 
200. Chart: Patent interferences decided on evidence, for years 


Chart : Unusual interferences of patents 

Chart: Patents in litigation, by sections of country, shown 

on map of the United States 

Chart: A case history of the litigation on one patent 

Chart: Patent litigation for years 1934 to 1938 

Chart: Government fees in patent litigation 

205-A. Diagram of manner of buoying vessels, patented 1,849 by 
Abraham Lincoln. . 

206. Pamphlet: Report of the Committee of the Science Advisory 

Board, on the relation of the patent system to the stimula- 
tion of new; industries 

207. Photostatic copy of Letters Patent 

208. Genealogical chart of the Robbins and La'svTence shop 

209. Chart: 1924 to 1938 sales record of Motor Improvements, 
Inc., and relation to patent litigation 

Tabulation: Number of patents granted by the United States 
to residents of large foreign countries, 1930 to 1937 and 
supported by similar list of smaller foreign qountries 

Tabulation: Number and proportion of pateTUs granted by 
some foreign countries to citizens or residents of the 
United States 

Tabulation: Comparison of patents granted to residents of 
the United States by other countries with patents granted 
by the United States to residents of other countries 

213. Tabulation: Patents granted by various countries showing 

proportion granted to foreigners 1 

214. List: Parts of an automobile (excluding the body proper) 

and automobile equipment. _-. 

Unnumbered. Brief bibliography on short-term, minor or petty 

patents (Gebrauchsmuster) 

Letter, dated Jan. 24, 1939, from F. R. .lewett, vice prosident 
of .the American Telephone & Telegraph Co., to Hon. 
Joseph' C. O'Mahoney, chairman, Temporary National 
Economic Committee, submitting information relative 
to the long-life vacuum tube. Entered in the record on 
Feb. 8, 1939 













at page 


















United States Senate, 
Temporary National Economic Committee, 

Washington, D. C. 

The Temporary National Economic Committee met pursuant to 
adjournment on Friday, December 16, 1938, at 10:30 a. m. in the 
Caucus room of the Senate Office Building, Senator. Joseph C. 
O'Mahoney presiding. 

Present: Senators O'Mahoney (chairman) and Kin^; Representa- 
tive Williams; Messrs. Henderson, Ferguson, Lubm, Patterson, 
Davis, Peoples, and Thorp. 

Present also: Senator Homer T. Bone, of Washington, chairman of 
the Senate Patents Committee; Representative William I. Sirovich, of 
New York, chairman of the House Patents Committee. Counsel: 
Justin W. Macklin, First Assistant Commissioner of Patents; Henry 
Van Arsdale, Assistant Commissioner of Patents; Leslie Frazer, 
Assistant Commissioner of Patents; John A. Dienner, special counsel 
for committee; George Ramsey, of New York, assistant to Mr. 
Dienner; R. F. Whitehead, Solicitor for the Patent Office; and Grattan 
Kerans, Administrative Assistant to the Commissioner. 

The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. Vice 
Chairman Sumners is detained by reason of a caucus of some kind in 
the House of Representatives. 

The Chair will recognize Admiral Peoples, representing the Treasury 
Department upon the committee. 

Mr. Peoples. Members of the committee. It becomes my sad 
duty to announce the sudden and untimely death of Mr. Herman 
Oliphant, who was a member of this committee. He .was a man of 
the highest integrity, of unbounded energy and devotion to duty, and 
of unrivaled attainments in his chosen field. At the time of his 
death he played a truly indispensable part in carrying out the work 
of this Government and his passing causes irreparable loss to this 
committee and to the Nation. 

Perhaps because he rose from humble beginnings he never dis- 
associated himself and his ideas from the common people. Endowed 
with unusual vision and mental gifts of the very highest order, he 
devoted himself unstintingly to the public good without thought of 
personal gain or of the effect of his ceaseless labors upon his physical 

Here is a man of whom it can truly be said that he gave his life in 
the service of his country. 



It is with a sense of deep personal loss that I speak briefly of Mr. 
Oliphant's passing, for all those who worked with him had real ad- 
miration and real affection for him as a man, and I offer, Mr. Chair- 
man, the following resolution, and move its adoption by the committee: 

Be it resolved by the Temporary National Economic Committee in meeting as- 
s(Thbled, That the committee has learned with profound sorrow and deep regret 
of the announcement of the death of Mr. Herman Oliphant, a member of this 
committee, and that the committee deplores his untimely passing; and be it further 

Renolved, Tliat the record of these proceedings be prepared and transmitted 
to the family of our deceased member. 

Senator King. Mr, Chairman, I second the motion. 

The Chairman. You have heard the resolution. The motion is 
made and seconded that the resolution as presented by Admiral 
Peoples, alternate of Mr. Oliphant upon this committee, representing 
the Treasury Department, be adopted. All in favor will indicate 
by rising. 

It is unanimously adopted. 

The Chairman. The Chairman now takes the opportunity of wel- 
coming to membership upon this committee the Honorable Clyde 
Williams of the House of Representatives from the State of Missouri, 
who has been appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representa- 
tives to take the place made vacant by the resignation of Congressman 
Eicher, recently appointed to the Securities and Exchange Com- 

Congressman Williams, we are glad to have you with us, and we 
are sure that your presence is going to help us struggle along with 
this problem. 

Congressman Williams. Thank you. I am glad to be v/ith you. 

The Chairman. The committee has been called this affprnoon in 
pursuance of the decision reached at the last public hearing for the 
purpo^'^ of presenting additional testimony with respect to patents. 
This hearing is under the direction of the Department of Commerce. 
The Chair will recognize Secretary Patterson to open the hearing. 

examination of the patent laws and operation of industry 
under them 

Mr. Patterson. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: 
From Deceniber 5 to December 16, 1938, the Department of Justice 
presented evidence before this body concerning the patent experience 
of two major industries.^ At that time, according to the statement 
of the Department of Justice, interest was centered upon the question 
of "the relationship between patent practices and the free and open 
market which it is the purpose f the antitrust laws to maintain." 
This earlier hearing was "not concerned with the patent law as such 
or with the details of its administration." To be sure significant 
evidence was introduced with regard to certain practices in connec- 
tion with the administration of the patent law, but this was an inci- 
dental byproduct of the basic inquiry. 

The discussion of the patent laws is resumed today from a some- 
what different angle. We are concerned primarily with such ques- 
tions as: Wii at is a good patent law; does the present law fulfill its 
const' tutional purpose; and, m the light of our modern business 

' Soc Hearings, Part 11. 


structure, do any changes need to be made in its substantive or pro- 
cedural provisions witli a view to its improvement? 

The patent system has its basis in the Constitution. The Depart- 
ment of Commerce through the Patent Office is the administrative 
agency in the Government to which has been delegated responsibility 
for the proper issuance of patents. Our interest, however, goes far 
beyond mere matters of procedure. We believe in the importance of 
invention — that the "progress of science and useful arts" is one of, if 
not the most important dynamic element in our national economic 
advance. In the long run, new processes and new products offer our 
greatest hope for progressive rise in the standard of living and for 
increased opportunities of leisure time. We believe that an effective 
patent system is an important factor in fostering invention and further- 
more in bringing about the partnership of new ideas and speculative 
capital, which is so necessary to make the discovery bear fruit. 

While we thus unhesitatingly accept the basic concept of a patent 
system, we are greatly concerned with the problem of making it reach 
its maximum social value. We must prevent, as far as possible, 
abuses of any kind which may creep into its operation or which may 
be committed under the guise of the patent right. During recent 
years we have tried to deal with these situations by improving and 
strengthening the administrative process. However, we now believe 
that some of the difficulties can only be met by legislative action. 

The basic purpose of the system was declared in the Constitution: 

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited 
times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and 

In judging its operation and any proposed changes, these fundamental 
terms must be kept always in mind. 

Our purpose in this hearing is twofold. First, we wish to present to 
you the experience of the Patent Office, pointing out certain conditions 
and problems which have directly emerged from its operations. 
Second, we hope to picture for you certain aspects of the patent 
system at work. For this purpose we have arranged for several 
witnesses to appear, typical of successful, independent inventors who 
have controlled the manufacture of their products, independent in- 
ventors who have turned over the results of their invention to other 
enterprises for exploitation, and inventors who function in research 
groups attached to large corporations. We shall present several 
businessmen who have had significant experience with the patent 
system, and one or two other witnesses whose general knowledge and 
expei'ience in this subject should be helpful to the committee, 

Mav I emphasize that this is not a completed report. At certam 
points it will not even be a rounded or completely balance.; presen- 
tation of a given problem. We do feel that the evidence to be intro- 
duced is pertinent to any consideration of changes hi the patent law, 
some of V, hich will be suggested by the testimony of the Commissioner 
of patents. Perhaps the committee may feel that certain of the 
conditions or problems discussed should be subjected to further exam- 
ination and research. I can assure you that the Department of 
Commerce stands ready to pursue any problem as far as the com- 
mittee feels it to be important. 


The first witness whom I wish to introduce is Mr. Conway P. Coe, 
Commissioner of Patents since 1933. Commissioner Coe has a wide 
range of subject matter which he wishes to cover and I hope that it 
will be possible for him to present his evidence with a minimum of 
interruption at this session. I am sure that there will be points in 
his testimony on which the committee may wish to question him in 
some detail and that we will arrange for him to return to the stand at 
a later stage in the hearings for as prolonged a discussion of these 
matters as the committee may wish. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, 

The chairman desires at this point to make note of the presence 
here of the Honorable Homer Bone, senior Senator from the State 
of Washington, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee upon 
Patents. We feel very grateful that Senator Bone has seen fit to be 
present at the hearing this morning. 

Mr. Coe, are you ready to present your statement? 

Mr. Coe. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Will you be good enough to take the stand? May 
I say in advance of your beginning to the members of the committee 
that I understand Mr. Coe has a rather lengthy survey which he desires 
to enter if possible without interruption. I think it will be a good 
rule if this afternoon we refrain from interrupting the statement of 
the Commissioner b^- questions until he has concluded his prepared 
statement. If that is agreeable to the committee, Commissioner Coe 
mo}' proceed. 


Mr. Coe. In the last 5 years of my service as Commissioner of 
Patents I have devoted myself to a careful study of almost every 
aspect of our patent system. This I have done not merely for my 
own information but with the purpose of increasing the usefulness of 
the system to the American people. In the course of this long and 
serious study I have utilized every available source of information. 
I have had correspondence and conferences with many persons familiar 
with the system; with its critics as well as its champions. I have 
discussed it with inventors; with representatives of every class of 
industrial organizations; with little men and magnates of business; 
with patent lawyers and Federal judges; with officials of different 
executive departments of the Government, and with Members of 
Congress. My investigations Iiave extended even beyond our own 
shores. I have had the benefit of the knowledge, experience, and 
judgment of the officials of various foreign countries, including those 
of leading industrial nations such as England, Germany, France, 
Japan, Italy, Canada, and Belgium. I mention these facts onlv to 
indicate that my interest in the nature, operation, and efi"ect of' the 
patent system is neither recent nor casual. Let me not be under- 
stood as intimating that nothing more can be added to my knowledge, 
but rather as recognizing the many and difficult problems involved 
in any attempt at appraising the value of the patent system to our 
national economy. 

At the beginning of my statement I wish also to make so clear as to 
prevent misunderstanding, first, that I am not only willing but eager 
to nd our patent system of any and every abuse identified with it, and, 
secondly, that I shall welcome the adoption of any eff^'-^nal rome'^-' 


Indeed, I am prepared to propose specific improvements before this 
statement is completed. 

For nearly a century and a half the American patent system has 
had the esteem of our citizens. It has been regarded not merely as a 
lawful institution, but also as a benefactor to the Nation. I am 
confident that your committee appreciates the wholesome influence 
which our patent system has exerted on the economic and social life 
of the American people. I am quite certain that you wish to preserve 
all that is good while correcting whatever is evil. For I know that 
you could not regard as wholly wrong and vicious a system that has 
brought so many benefits to our people during our entire national 


Mr. CoE, It is hardly necessary to tell you that nearly every major 
industry in the United States and, for that matter, in the civilized 
world, owes its existence to inventions once protected by patents. 
However, it may be well to remind, if not to inform, you that American 
agriculture is indebted to the gin, the reaper, the tractor, and many 
other machines that facilitate larger production of the crops which 
our farmers must exchange for their own numerous needs. Com- 
munication depends on the telegraph, the telephone and the radio, 
aRd other inventions necessary to their successful operation. In the 
field of chemistry there are vulcanized rubber, celluloid, and bakelite 
as the expressions of immense investments of money and employ- 
ment of thousands of workers. Modem transportation, though an 
industry in itself, depends to some degree on scores of other industries 
based on patents. In short, every industry in America depends to 
some degree on others for its operation and all of them are beholden 
to patents. Every individual in the United States, young or old, 
rich or poor, is in some form from birth to death, a user and a bene- 
ficiary of patents. Indeed, it would be all but impossible for any 
of us to free ourselves from this daily dependence on patents, for our 
very escape beyond the confines of civilization would itself require 
the use of some patented invention. 

The American patent system was established at a time when 
mechanical inventions had already begun to affect not only the 
industrial conditions, but also the economic, social, and poUtical 
status of Europe and the new Nation just erected on this contnient. 
The significance of the inventions put to work in England and the 
States of the Confederation was realized by the American statesmen 
of that era. It is agreed that their recognition of the value of these 
new economic factors prompted them to write into the Constitution 
the provision of article I, section 8, empowering Congress "to promote 
the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times 
to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective 
writings and discoveries." This provision, by the way, is impressive 
not only because it is included in the Constitution as one of the 
major grants of power to Congress, but* equally because it Ibestows 
on patentees a complete monopoly, and therefore raises a question 
as to the constitutionaUty of an attempt to compel the owTier of a 
patent to share with others the title, use, and avail of his property. 



I do not presume to determine the point; but I must comtemplate 
it as an issue to be met here or hereafter. 

The autliors of our patent system, judging by the language of 
article I, section 8, held the exdusiveness of the rights vested in a 
patentee as a powerful aid to progress in arts and sciences. No 
American among his contemporaries or his successors has achieved a 
greater reputation as an opponent of monopoly than Thomas JefTerso]i. 
Yet he not merely sanctioned, he eloquently advocated the form of 
monopoly represented in patents. I cite his commentary on an early 
act of Congress, presumably that of 1790, in the administration of 
which he collaborated with Henry Knox, Secretary of War, and 
Edmund Randolph, Attorney General. 

An act of Congress authorizing the issue of patents for new diseoveries has 
given a spring to invention beyond my cor.ception. Being an instrument of 
granting the patents, I am acquainted with their discoveries. 

Please, Mr. Chairman, note how ancient is this criticism- 
Many of them, indeed, are trifling, but there arc .^ome of great consequence 
which have been proved of practice, and others which, if they stand in the same 
proof, will produce great effect. 

In the arts, and especially in the mechanical arts, many ingenious improve- 
ments are made in consequence of the patent-right giving excliinive use of them 
for 14 years. 

Certainly an inventor ought to be allowed a right to the benefit of his invention 
for some certain time. Nobody wishes more than I do that ingenuity should 
receive liberal encouragement. 

That is the end of the quotation from the Jefferson statement. 



Mr. CoE. It occurs to me that a great deal of misapprehension results 
from the failure to distinguish between tlie monopoly or privilege vested 
in a patentee and tiie sort of monopoly tiiat British sovereigns once con- 
ferred. It is only when we appieciate this distinction tiiat we can 
understand how JelTcrson could consistently advocate the monopoly 
of pn tents for inventions while condemning the traditional form of 

Americans generally detest monopoly in the true sense of the term 
because it makes possible the ruthless exercise of power. Indeed, the 
American Revolution was precipiiatcd by popular resentment of the 
monopoly on tea held by the East India (\). it would, therefore, 
have been exceedinuiy strange if, only :t lew yenrs Inter, the delegates 
sent lO the Constitutional Convention by Massachusetts and the 
other Colonies had been willing to sanction an equivalent form of 
hionopoly under the iww government they were creating. In the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a king or queen of England could 
rew\ard a favorite by granting him a monopoly on salt or some other 
necessary of life. This, bene ficiaiy of royal favor was not, of course, 
the discoverer of salt. That came ready-made from the hands of the 
Creator eons before the advent of man. W^liat the darling of his or 
her majesty received was the power to compel others to use salt solely 
of his supplying and only on ternis of his dictation. 

But a patent is no such monopoly. It is a reward for the invention 
or discovery of something new, something before unknown, something 
added to the sum total of human knowledge, utility, well-being; 


something which the inventor or discoverer, despising the hire of 
money or fame, might have withheld from his fellow men. By the 
monopoly that goes with a patent, then, the Government recompenses 
and, for a limited time, protects the inventor or discoverer who gives 
to the world the use and benefit of his invention or discovery. This 
is a kind and a degree of mutuality that negatives monopoly in the 
old or the current concept. Monopoly in the latter sense of the term 
gave to an individual or a group complete dominion of sometliing 
already existent. A patent awards monopoly to the producer of 
something original, something superadded to the. common store. So 
it is that two things bearing the same name need not be of the same 

It has been contended that there sometimes occurs a clash between 
the antitrust laws and the patent statutes. I might suggest that 
since the first antitrust legislation in 1890, the patent laws and the 
antitrust laws have coexisted without any irreconcilable conflicts 
between them. They have each of them at least one common objec- 
tive, namely, the retention by the public of a right once acquired by 
it. As a matter of fact, patents accomplish more than the retention 
of the acquired rights. Their influence is creative; they operate to 
multiply and expand acquisitions by the pubUc. 


Mr. CoE. Naturally, there will be differences of opinion as to the 
influence of the patent system upon our industrial development from 
the beginning of our Nation down to the present. There are some who 
will continue to assert that science would have progressed as steadily 
and that our industrial advancement would have been just as rapid 
without the patent laws. On the other hand, there are those who, with 
equal sincerity and far greater logic, insist that the industrial suprem- 
acy enjoyed by the United States today is attributable to the liber- 
ality of our patent laws. It must be admitted that inventions were 
few in the centuries between the first recordings of history and the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of our own era. I cannot dog- 
matically declare that civilized mankind's inventiveness and progress 
have come because of the institution of patents, but I can, and do, 
assert with emphatic positiveness that most of our indispensable in- 
ventions and much of our material progress have come since the 
establishment of patent systems. 

It is strange, but no less true, that citizens of other nations, perhaps 
because of their remoteness, can appraise our institutions better than 
we can. One of the foreign visitors attracted to the Centennial Ex- 
position held in Philadelphia in 1876 was a Mr. Bally, a Swiss manu- 
facturer. At that period Switzerland was a comparatively industrial 
nation, having world-wide recognition as a producer of watches and 
other manufactures but did not yet possess a patent system of any 
description. On his return to his own country, Mr. Bally addressed 
his fellow industrialists, presumably an early counterpart of our 
National Association of Manufacturers. In that address he extolled 
the American patent system and urged its emulation by the Swiss 
Government. He testified to what he described as "the zeal and 
activity of Americans" but recognized also the importance of their 
patent system as an aid to their industrial progress and a help to 


their successful competition with Europeans. He gave examples of 
the success of American rivalry with the older industrial countries of 
Europe, and said: 

I am satisfied from my knowledge that no people has made, in so short a time, 
BO many useful inventions as the American, and if today machinery apparently 
does all the work, it nevertheless, by no means, reduces the workman to a machine. 
He uses it as a machine, it is true, but he is always thinking about some improve- 
ment to introduce into it; and often his thoughts lead to fine inventions or useful 

Switzerland, with all its celebrity in the manufacture of watches, 
had experienced the effect of this American competition. Many 
Swiss makers of watches had been obliged to reduce their production 
or even cease manufacture. Then he declared: 

We must introduce the patent system. America has shown us how. May 
our sister republic serve as our model in this. 

The Swiss people responded to his appeal by establishing a patent 
system in 1888. 

Among the patents granted prior to 1877 were some covering inven- 
tions that have put mankind under lasting obligation to their authors. 
Their influence and benefits are still among our heritages. Because 
these classic patents serve to remind us of our indebtedness not only 
to the inventors who received them but to the system which encour- 
aged them, and because they afford a text for certain statistical 
studies that have been made for the benefit of your committee, I 
shall now present drawings and descriptions of some of these basic 

On the right-hand side of each chart we have listed some facts 
about the industries which have developed from the basic inventions. 
In some cases the inventors first sold them to manufacturing corpora- 
tions, and in other instances to service activities. The data represent 
estimates based on available statistics, but since the ramifications of 
most of the inventions are inextricably woven into the whole industrial 
fabric, a segregation of the economic magnitude of any one is extremely 
difficult to set forth. 

I shall not discuss these charts in detail, individually, as I think 
they are self-explanatory and, Mr. Chairman, I would like to intro- 
duce them as a group and to refer specifically to only two of these 
charts, namely, the patent to Bell and the Goodyear patent. 

(The charts referred to were marked "Exhibits Nos. 163 to 178" 
and are included in the appendix on pp. 1107-1122.) 

Mr. CoE. I refer to the Bell patent for two reasons, first of all to 
call your attention to the extreme simplicity and crudeness of it. 

The Chairman. To what chart are you refprring now? 

Mr. CoE. To the chart ^ illustrating the Bell patent, and I refer to 
that specifically in order to call your attention to the crude character 
and simplicity of a so-called basic invention and to show you the 
many refinements that are necessary to convert a basic invention into 
a commercial enterprise. 

The second thing about the Bell chart I wish to mention is its 
extreme simplicity and almost triviality. If the Patent Office at that 
time had adopted that high standard of invention which excludes all 
things trivial, it would probably have refused the patent to Bell, since 
in its basic characteristics it is hardly more than a toy which would 
fail to amuse a very young child. 

' "Exhibit No. 170," appendix, p. "1114. 


On the occasion of the centennial of the patent system in 1891, its 
effects and benefits were made the subject of an address. by Carroll 
T. Wright, the first United States Commissioner of Labor. Mr. 
Wright was a competent witness. Before entering the Federal service 
he had been commissioner of labor of Massachusetts. He had given 
many years to observation and study of our industrial economy. He 
was old enough to have seen the rise of some of our chief industries 
from inventions. One such case was the vulcanization of rubber by 
Goodyear, to whose patent I have just referred, which is shown in the 
next chart. ^ 

After that Commissioner Wright declared: 

The inventions of Goodyear, whereby rubber gum could be so treated as to 
be made into articles of wearing apparel have resulted in the establishment of 
great industries as new creations. We need not in this place consider the great 
benefite through the use of water-proof clothing. The mere fact that great 
industries have arisen where none existed before is sufficient for our purpose. 

How much more would Commissioner Wright have been amazed 
could he have looked but 15 years into the future and beheld the 
vast importance of the rubber industry, representing as it did a 
tremendous investment of capital and a source of employment for 
many thousands. He would have been doubly amazed had he been 
able to witness that industry today. 

Doubtless some of the ancient civilizations, such as those of Egypt, 
Assyria, and China, produced many useful inventions, capable of 
higher development and wider adaptation, but these were lost to 
them and remain unknown to us precisely because these people had 
no arrangement or practice such as we have in our patent system for 
perpetuating, improving, and supplementing the discoveries of each 
succeeding generation, thereby assuring the growth and synthesis of 
the arts, sciences, and mechanics. Our system has preserved the 
earliest of the inventions made by our own people and those of other 
lands; it has kept what is old that this might inspire the new; it 
has established a treasury on which the world may make drafts for 
what remains useful long after it has ceased to be novel. In other 
words our Patent Office is a sort of a national suggestion box to w^hich 
inventors and manufacturers have recourse when they are seeking 
ideas capable of solving their particular problems. And it is daily 
serving this very purpose. Some hundreds of inventors, represen- 
tatives of industry, and scientists resort to its records every day. 

The Chairman. Will you pardon me for interrupting to make note 
of the presence here of Congressman Sirovich who is chairman of 
the House Committee on Patents and who has just arrived to listen 
to your discussion? I would like to have the records show that we 
have present now the chairman of the Committee on Patents of both 
the Senate and the House. 


Mr. CoE. The mere statement that the United States has granted 
more than 2,000,000 patents prompts not merely curiosity but even 
concern as to their incidence on our national economy. We are 
moved to ask many questions respecting them. What manner of 
men are our inventors? Are they relatively more or less numerous 

» "Exhibit No. 166," appendix, p. 1110. 


now than formerly? What becomes of their inventions; that is, 
where is lodged the ownership of these? Is control of the majority 
of patents acquired by our great corporations? Have foreign in- 
terests become possessed of large numbers of patents essential to 
American industry? 

The facts for which these inquiries call are graphically presented 
in several charts I have caused to be prepared. 

The next shows the number of applications filed and the patents 
issued from 1836 to 1937. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 179" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1123.) 

Mr. CoE. The chart also indicates the time of certain events which 
affect the fihng of applications, such as the Civil War, the Spanish- 
American War, the World War, the recent depression, and the fee 
increase in the Patent Office. 

You see that this chart indicates that in 1929 the all-time peak of 
94,738 applications of all descriptions were filed. "Exhibit No. 179" in- 
cludes apphcations on designs and reissues. This was necessary 
because in the early records of our Patent Office there was no separa- 
tion or division between the several types of applications. 

This chart is an enlargement of the latter part of exhibit No. 179 
and is limited only to apphcations and patents on mechanical in- 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 180" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1123.) 

Mr. CoE. This chart indicates that in 1937 we received 65,000 
apphcations and issued 37,700 patents. 

The next chart is a diagram showing the number of applications 
filed and the patents issued for each 10,000 resid0nts of the United 
States for each of the census years 1840 to 1930. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 181" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1124.) 

Mr. CoE. As you will see, in the ratio of applications to general 
population, there has been a decline since about 1920 as well as in 
the number of patents issued, but you might well a^k — you might 
well state or conclude that since in comparatively recent years we 
have turned out more graduates from our engineering schools and 
colleges perhaps our inventions are coming from that source more 
now than formerly. 

. The next exhibit is similar to "Exhibit No. 181", but shows the ratio 
of applications filed and patents issued fof each 100 technological 
workers, and the same result is shown on this chart, namely, that there, 
has been a decline in the number of inventions per technological* 
worker since about 1870, and that in 1930 we were issuing about three 
patents for each technological worker. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 182" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1124.) 

Dr. LuBiN. May I ask how you define a technological worker? 
Just whom are you referring to? * 

Mr. CoE. We have included in that all— I think I have the statis- 
tics here — all designers, draftsmen, professional inventors, electricians, 
engineers (civil, mechanical, and electrical), surveyors, chemists, 
metallurgists; all workers engaged in mechanical pursuits, such as 
machine operators, foremen, repairmen, plumbers, contractors, 
masons— not including general office workers. 


These two charts generally indicate, therefore, that as a Nation 
whether you consider it from the standpoint of our entire population 
or from our technological workers, we are not increasing in our inven- 
tiveness per capita. 

The next few charts will indicate the distribution of unexpired 
patents, beginning with the year 1921, 


Mr. CoE. Here is a graph of the percentage of patents issued to 
large corporations as compared with all patents issued during the last 
17 3'ears. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 183" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1125). 

Mr. CoE. The defijiition of a large corporation, as used in this 
chart, is one having total assets of ^1)50,000,000 or over. The patents 
of subsidiaries are included. This chart indicates that as of 1938 
we were issuing — that is not the total ownership — but the Patent 
Office issued 17.2 percent of all patents to corporations having assets 
of over $50,000,000, w^hereas 82.8 percent were issued to individuals, 
small corporations and foreign corporations. 

This next exhibit is similar to "Exhibit No. 183," except that the dis- 
tribution of patents is expressed in terms of numbers instead of in 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 184" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1125.) 

Mr. CoE. The next chart shows the ratio of patents to the total 
assets of the large corporation. 

(The chart referred to wj.s marked "Exhibit No. 185" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1126.) 

Mr. Cqe. The chart expresses the number of patents issued per 
billions of dollars of total assets, therefore, taking only the last black 
line in 1937 we were issuing 16 patents to large corporations per each 
billion dollars total assets. 

The Chairman. Will you state that again, Mr. Commissioner, 

Mr. CoE. Yes. In 1937 we issued patents — we issued 16 patents 
to large corporations per each billion dollars total assets of that 

The Chairman. This then is a subdivision of the 17.2" percent? 

Mr. CoE. Percentage compared with the total relation of patents 
to their total assets. 

Dr. Lubin. Do you have that broken down at all later on? 

Mr. CoE. Yes, we have — not exactly in this relatioi^-. but more 

Dr. Lubin. .What I am trying to get at is this: The A. & P. stores 
would probably be among the $50,000,000 and over corporations. 
You wouldn't expect them to have any patents. Consequently, if 
you add them to this group and give a figure of patents issued per 
billion dollars of total assets, I don't know if it would mean much, 
would it? 

Mr. CoE. Of course we have included in this only the patent taking 
corporations, not the service corporations. 

124491— 30— pt. 3— -2 


Dr. LuBiN. I mean A & P may have just one patent or two in all 
their history; they don't need them; we don't expect them to take 
out patents. 

Mr. CoE. If they took out patents they are in; if they didn't, if it is 
purely a service corporation, they would not be. 

Dr. LuBiN. So the figure per billion dollars' worth of assets wouldn't 
be as much. 

Mr. CoE. Not as much as some of the others. 

Here is a chart showing the allocation of patents to large corpora- 
tions, small corporations, foreign corporations, and individuals. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 186" and is 
included in the appendix on p. 1126.) 

Mr. CoE. A previous chart contained this blue section which shows 
patents issued to large corporations having more than $50,000,000. 
The yellow portion of the chart indicates the proportion of patents 
that have been issued by the Patent Office to small corporations, that 
is corporations having anything less than $50,000,000 assets. The 
red part indicates the patents issued to foreign corporations, and the 
white part above it, to mdividuals. 

The next chart is identical with "Exhibit No. 186" except that the 
distribution of patents among the groups is in terms of percentages. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 187" and is 
included in the appendix on p. 1127.) 

Mr. CoE. Large corporations, 17.2 percent; small corporations, 
34.5 percent; foreign corporations, 5.4 percent; and to individuals 
42.9 percent. 

I indicated that the previous charts were limited to the number of 
patents issued to these various groups, and you might well ask, "Well, 
how would those proportions be changed if you included those ac- 
quired by purchase, and, therefore, the total ownership?" This chart 
is an answer to that: Patents issued to individuals and subsequently 
acquired by purchase by corporations during the period January 1931 
to June 1938, that is determined by actual count. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 188" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1127.) 

Mr. CoE. The total patents issued during that period was 334,970. 
The large corporations had issued to them 48,427 of that total, whereas 
the^ acquired by purchase during that period, 1,124. Small corpo- 
rations had issued to them 117,101, and they acquired by purchase 
7,448. Foreign corporations had issued to them 15,403 of the total, 
and they acquired by purchase during that period 976. While this 
chart would give you the exact distribution of patents according to 
complete ownership, taken out by issue or by purchase, you will see 
that the "Exhibits Nos. 186 and 187" would not have their course 
materially affected if they were changed to include the total purchased. 

The Chairman. Mr. Commissioner, would it be proper to state at 
this point that while corporations may receive patents they may not 
apply for them? 

Mr. CoE. Yes, sir; that is entirely right. Under the American 
patent law and practice, the application must be filed by the individual, 
and the ownership can only be acquired by a corporation by transfer 
of title from the inventor. 

The Chairman. So the significance of "Exhibit No. 188" is that cor- 
DOrations acquire by far the largest percentage of their patents while 
they are in the application stage. 


Mr. CoE. Yes, sir. 

Before I discuss these next charts, I want to caution against the 
deduction of broad conclusions from the data given on them. They 
are intended only to be generahzations ; they are not to be taken as 
representing the relative importance of the several categories of large, 
small, and individual. For example, those charts that we just saw 
did not show the allocation of so-called key or basic patents. They 
did not indicate the relative number of patents exploited by the 
respective groups. Third, included among the patents owned by 
individuals in this upper group, 42 percent, are many that are ex- 
ploited by corporations in which the owners occupy high positions in 
the companies and simply permit the corporations to exploit their 
own patents. Fourth, in the individual groups are many patents 
which are owned by individuals but which are exploited by corpora- 
tions under various Ucense agreements and contracts. I therefore 
simply want to warn that while the charts do convey certain informa- 
tion as to distribution of patents in the various groups, you cannot 
predicate too broad conclusions on them. 

Here is a tabulation showing the number of patent-holding cor- 
porations in each of the classes, large, foreign, and small, grouped by 
their estimated holdings on June 30, 1938. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 189" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1128.) 

Mr. CoE. In this chart and the subsequent series of charts the hold- 
ings of the subsidiaries are not combined with those of the parent 
corporations. You will see that there is one corporation in the 
group having between eight and nine thousand patents, of the large 
corporations ; there is one having between five and six, one between 
four and five, two between three and four thousand, three between 
two and three thousand, and seven between one and two thousand, 
and 435 of the large corporations that is those having total assets of 
more than $50,000,000, have less thar one thousand patents. In that 
group we also find one foreign corporation having between two and 
three thousand patents, two having between one and two thousand. 
Of the so-called smaller corporations under $50,000,000, total assets, 
there are four having between one and two thousand patents, and the 
vast majority of them having less than one thousand patents. 

The next chart is really a break-do wa of this last line of "Exhibit 
No. 189" including the corporations owning 1,000 patents or less. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 190" and is m- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1128.) 

Mr. CoE. I will not go down through this Ust of ownership because 
I think the tabulations are self-explanatory, but I will call your 
attention to the fact that 338 of the so-called large corporations have 
less than 100 patents; that of the total foreign corporations, 3,233 
foreign corporations, 3,213 have less than 100 patents; that of the 
small corporations, 17,195 of a total of 17,567 have less than 100 

This chart indicates the number of corporations of each class own- 
ing a very small number of patents. , , 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 191" and is m- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1 129.) 

Mr. CoE. It tabulates those taking out an average of not more 
than one patent a year. This chart was prepared by an actual count. 



Of the large corporations, 181 averaged no more than 1 patent a 
year. Of the small corporations, 14,855 averaged no more than 1 
patent a vear; that is 85 percent of the total of small corporations 
averaged less than 1 patent a year, and 40 percent of the total of large 
corporations averaged less than 1 patent a year. Of the foreign 
corporations, 92 percent have taken out in the last Di years less than 
1 patent a year. 

On the Patent Office is imposed the duty of making the initial 
decision whether a patent shall issue for any new and useful art, 
machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and 
useful improvement. 

Some notion of the organization and procedure involved in the 
determination of patentability will be afforded by the next set of 
charts and the explanations I shall offer. 

This chart does not require any discussion. It is inserted in the 
record merely to indicate the general organization of the United 
States Patent Office. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 192" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1129.) 


Mr. CoE. Here we have an outline of the procedure in obtaining 
patents, showing the appellate procedure froni 65 examining divisions 
which make the initial decision as to patentability. From an adverse 
decision there is an appeal to a Board of Appeals of three judges. If 
the decision of that Board is not satisfactory to an applicant, he inay, 
as he elects, go either to the Court of Customs^ and Patent Appeals 
to have the decision reviewed, or he can go under R. S. 4915 and file 
a suit against the Commissioner of Patents in the district court, and 
from that court appeal to the Court of Appeals. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 193" and is 
included in the appendix on p. 1130.) 

Mr. CoE. This chart is a diagram illustrating the procedure of an 
examining division of the Patent Office examining the application 
and searching the prior art preliminary to the initial decision as to the 
granting of a patent. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 194" and is 
included in the appendix on p. 1130.) 

Mr. CoE. Let us assume, for example, that an application is filed in 
the Patent Office on an electric light in which the applicant describes 
in the claim chandelier, bowl support, and reflecting bulb of the 
character shown at the left. That application would be assigned to 
one of these 65 division^. Division 30, which has the subject of illumina- 
tion. In that division there are a primary examiner and nine assistant 
examiners, and to each of the assistant examiners are assigned certain 
of the subclasses in the illumination art. So that to search this inven- 
tion, the application would first go into Division 30 in the general class 
of illumination. 

The examiner would search the light support, chandelier, and 
electrical subclasses, 78, 76, and 52. He would come down to sub- 
class 128 which contained a shade or bowl support, because obviously 
this invention has support for the bowl. So far he hasn't found 
whether there is anything new or any novelty in the frosted bulb tip, 



and that isn't in his division because that is not under the general 
subject of illumination. He has to go into the class of electric lamps, 
so he continues his search into Division 54 and class 176 which has 
many different subclasses, and he finally finds himself in a subclass 
that is incandescent lamps with reflectors or refractors, and there he 
would find whether this frosted tip was new or old. 

Here is a graphic illustration of the prosecution steps leading to the 
granting of a patent. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 195" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1131.) 

Mr. CoE. An inventor lias invented this lamp you see in the upper 
left-hand comer. He goes into the Patent Office, as all inventors do, 
claiming much more than he is entitled to. In this case he claims 
that he should have a patent on these elements: socket, bulb, reflector, 
reflector close to the tip of bulb; and a shade. The examiner makes 
a search on that, in the process I have indicated in "Exhibit No. 194", 
and he finds a prior patent that has those elements, namely, a socket, 
a bulb, a reflector, a reflector close to the tip, and a shade (e). So he 
refuses to grant the patent on the ground that the invention does not 
disclose any novelty, whereupon the applicant amends his case for the 
first time to include a spaced screen (f) which he had originally shown 
but had not yet claimed because that was a little more specific than 
the protection he wanted to get when he started. 

So he amends his case and comes back to the Patent Office and asks 
for reconsideration in that amended form. The examiner repeats 
the search I have indicated. He finds that there is no such shade, 
and he grants the patent then, including in addition to the five 
elements originally claimed, also the spaced screen (f), and that he 
did not make a mistake in granting that patent is indicated by the 
fact that the patent was in suit and has been held valid by the courts. 

Senator King. May I interrupt. He didn't get a patent for the 
socket, bulb, or reflector? 

Mr. CoE. No; he did not. In other words, what he got his patent 
on was all of these in combination, including that, so this was entirely 
free to the prior art to be used. [Referring to figure in lower left- 
hand corner of "Exhibit No. 195".] In other words, he wanted to get 
a patent that would permit him to stop the use of this [referring to 
figure in lower right-hand corner of exhibit No. 195], but that was old 
and the Patent Office does not permit to be removed from the public 
domain something held by it, an illustration of my point that the 
patent system operates to retain in the hands of the public rights 
once acquired by it. 

Here is a chart indicating the sequence and possible duration of 
events relating to an invention from conception of the invention to 
the expiration of the patent, and the extension or duration of the 
application stage by continuing applications. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 196" and is 
included in the appendix on p. 1132.) 

Mr. CoE. Each of these blocks in the upper chart indicates a period 
of 1 year. The conception takes place at this point. A year after 
conception the inventor has reduced the invention to practice, that 
is taken it out of his mind and put it into some form, not a commer- 
cially usable form, but he has demonstrated by making a machine 
that it can be reduced to practice. 



Now it takes him a year, we will say, from that time of his first 
reduction to practice in the development of the commercial form, 
to where it can be actually put on the market and sold and be of some 
benefit to the public. The present statutes then give him 2 full 
years in which to publicly use the invention before the application is 
filed, and so we have here 4 years that have now elapsed before the 
application is even brought into the Patent Office. 

The next 3 years are taken up in the prosecution of the application. 
Three years have been generally regarded as a rather liberal period for 
the prosecution of most patent applications. The prosecution having 
been concluded and the patent issued at this point, then the patent 
life runs for 17 years and expires at the right-hand end of the chart. 

I just mention at this point that there you see what is a reasonable, 
orderly procedure, nothing exciting about it, it is a very common 
occurrence, but there has been a lapse of 24 years between conception 
and the expiration of the patent monopoly, and I want to emphasize 
that point here because in the minds of many men, including myself, 
from the standpoint of the public this is the most important date in 
the patent grant, namely the expiration date, because that is the time 
when the pubUc is invited in to partake of the feast, and up to that 
time the public has been excluded. 

Now the lower half of this chart indicates what may happen to this 
3-year reasonable prosecution period arising out of what is known as 
the filing of divisional applications. Instead of filing at this point 
in the upper chart (the left end of line) an application on one single 
invention, the appUcant now files an application covering four inven- 
tions grouped together in that application. The Patent Ofiice, since 
it refuses to grant a patent covering more than one invention, requires 
the apphcant to divide out of his original case all of the inventions 
except one. So he retains in the one patent A, the one invention, and 
that patent issues at this point, but he has previously filed an applica- 
tion containing inventions B, C, and'D. The B patent issues 3 years 
from that point and he has an appUcation now on inventions C and D. 
I At this stage, 3 years later, the C patent issues and the divisional ap- 
plication on invention D is presented and 3 years later the patent on 
mvention D comes up. That indicates how in the normal procedure 
of the prosecution of each patent, 3 years having been consumed in 
each case, by the time D is issued a total of 12 years has elapsed; that 
is, the enlargement of this period from 3 years to 12, and when the D 
tJatent issues, with all the time it was in the Patent Ofiice it had the 
benefit of this original filing date. 

I am not exaggerating the point when I say that this 3 years is fre- 
quently exceeded in the prosecution of cases, as is indicated in the next 
chart which shows that at the present time there are 1,924 applications 
in the Patent Office more than 5 years old, there are 5,994 cases in 
the Patent Ofiice 3 to 5 years old, a total of about 8,000 cases today 
that are more than 3 years old. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 197" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1133.) 

Senator King. May I ask one question, please, in violation of the 
rulo? What objection can there be to granting four patents if they are 
germane or relate one to the other? If one perfects or rounds out the 
original, then you have B, C, D, and E all relating to A, connected 
with it and perfecting it. Why can't you consider the four applica- 
tions and giant four patents simultaneously? 


Mr. CoE. We do that, Senator, when these other inventions are 
species of the first invention, but I am speaking now of a case where 
they are separate and distinct inventions. 

Senator King. No relation to each other. 

Mr. CoE. They have to stand as separate inventions. They are 
not simply a species of the broad invention. 

The Chairman. The same question occurred to my mind, and I 
don't think it is yet answered. Assuming that appUcations A, B, C, 
and D, illustrated on "Exhibit No. 196" are all independent devices; is 
there any reason why you can't issue them contemporaneously to the 
same person? 

Mr. CoE. Senator, there are a great many technical and classifica- 
tion difficulties in the way of that. 

The Chairman. But the chart which you have presented to us 
would carry the inference that if an apphcant presented at one time 
applications for four different patents, he could get only one at a 
time, and according to your chart the issuance would be spaced over 
3-year periods. 

Mr. CoE. That is only when he comes in and files those inventions 
in a single application. You see, if he comes in separately, they would 
all issue probably about the same time. 

The Chairman. Assume that the applicant joins all four separate 
devices in one application, is there any reason why the Patent Office 
shouldn't divide them into four separate applications at one and the 
same time and have them handled contemporaneously and all issued 
at the end of, say, 3 years? 

Mr. CoE. There are many reasons why the Patent Office can't do 
that, Senator. For example, he may not be having claims on all his 
inventions in there and the Patent Office can't prepare his claims for 
him. All he has done is shown these various inventions at the time, 
and therefore he gets the benefit of the filing date. If it were easy 
for the Patent Office, assuming that it had congressional authority to 
break down this current application, that might be done, but the ap- 
plicant has to have the right of claiming his invention and defining 
the terms in which he asserts his inventorship. 

Senator King. Recurring again, with the permission of the chair- 
man, to the question which I raised, and which the chairman raised, 
may 1 invite your attention to "Exhibit No. 195". You alluded to that 
and mentioned the fact that an apphcation was made for B, though 
prior to that time the claim had been made for the socket, the bulb, 
the reflector, the reflector close to the tip of the bulb, the shad^e, and 
so forth. Suppose that a person came in and made an appUcation for 
all of those specific requirements or parts of a finished product, could 
you not treat that as one application and grant a patent? 

Mr. CoE. Yes. In other words, that is what was automatically 
done, Senator. He got his patent on all of those things, but we didn't 
consider one of those a distinctive invention. You can see how remote 
some inventions are. Take the automobile. In the same apphcation 
you could have a method of making a rubber tire, a battery, a horn, 
all wholly distinct and unrelated inventions that were scattered 
through the various arts and the various divisions in the Patent Office. 

Mr. Davis. Commissioner Coe, is it not a fact that a division of an 
application for patent is frequently required because the different 
features contained in the application are considered and handled by 
different divisions in your office? 


Mr. CoE. Yes, that is one of the criteria as to the classification of 
inventions, it is one of the tests we put as to whether or not they are 
separate inventions. That is, if in one division you have a nuniber 
of applications that have come in directed to one certain invention, 
that bi an indication that the inventors and the art regard that as a 
separate invention and it is not to be mixed up and confused with a 
lot of other divisions. 

Mr, Davis. Instead of directing a division of an application, do 
you ever have the chiefs of the different classification divisions act 
cooperatively in considering and deciding upon an application? 

Mr. CoE. I am not sure! understand your question, Judge, but let 
me say that this question of division of inventions is not an easy 
one to decide and the Patent Office is engaged in frequent disputes 
with an applicant as to whether or not there are two inventions or one, 
and we have a classification division that decides that question. 

Dr. LuBiN. Mr. Coe, may I ask a question? If I get your point, 
tht inventor, should he so desire, could file application for four inde- 
pendent inventions at the same time, four patents, and on that basis 
you could grant all four at the end of 2 years or as soon as you finished 
the search and found him entitled to it. 

Mr. Coe. Yes. 

Dr. LuBiN. But in order to prolong the life of that monqpoly, he 
dosen't ask for four separate patents, he asks for one patent which 
includes those four separate things. 

Mr. Coe. Yes; one patent on that, frequently knowing that the 
Patent Office cannot embrace all of that subject matter in one patent. 
That does have, the effect of postponing the date of issue, and, there- 
fore, its expiration. 

Doctor, I want to answer your question. I have a few more charts 
on this thing and maybe some of these questions will clarify them- 

The Chairman. I think, if I may be pardoned for violating the 
rule which I laid down myself, I understand your point now to be this, 
that an applicant may file with the Patent Office an application which 
actually contains four different devices, each one of which is patent- 
able. Because of your rule that only one subject will be covered in a 
patent, you say to the applicant, "We cannot issue you a patent for 
A, B, C, and D. Choose which one you will have." Thereupon, he 
makes a choice and he allows the other three to await some future 
time when he asks for the issuance of a patent upon one of the remain- 
ing three, and later on one of the remaining two, and later on on the 
last one. Is that it? 

Mr. Coe. Yes; but all the time, Senator, getting the effective date 
of those cases carried back. 

The Chairman. In other words, the patent monopoly can be ex- 
tended by the operation of this device which you have illustrated by 
these charts. 

Mr. Coe. The divisional and continuation practice is one, and I 
sh.'ill also refer to the interference practice as another. 

Senator King. However, upon the granting of a patent for A, if he 
luid four devices, the statute of limitations or the monopoly granted 
by the law would terminate at the end of 17 years. 

Mr. Coe. The patent on A would terminate; yes. 

Senator King. He couldn't prolong the fife of A by subsequently 
or simultaneously filing devices for B, C, and D? 


Mr. CoE. He doesn't prolono; the life of A unless he gets a case 
where a broad patent issues after a specific patent. 

Representative Reece. If I may divert further, when the applicant 
has filed an application which the Patent Office, upon consideration, 
decides embodies four patentable ideas rather than one, would it be 
feasible, do you think, to have the Patent Office vested with authority 
to decide that the application had been improperly filed, whereupon 
the applicant would have the right to file new applications embodying 
each of the separate patentable ideas, the date beginning to run on 
each one of them from the date of the new filing? 

. Mr. CoE. You mean you would'bave the efTective date of the divi-. 
sional applications from the filing of the divisional applications, and 
not carrying back to your original, prior case? Of course, that is 
what is done, and that is the effect of these divisional cases, that they 
get the benefit of the early filing date. 

The first part of your statement is exactly what the Patent Office 
does. They say "This is an improperly filed application, and you have 
to divide these out." If he agrees with us or we luive a final decision 
to that effect to force him to, he then files these divisional applications. 

This chart is next. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 198" and is included 
in the appendix on p. 1133.) 


Mr. CoE. The upper diagram of this chart is a tlieoretical situation; 
the lower diagram suggests a corrective for this situation, which I 
would like to discuss at a later moment. Similar to "Exhibit No. 196", 
it indicates the first filing of the four inventions in one application, 
the issuance of A patent and its expiration, the issuance of B patent, 
C and D, with D patent expiring out here, 44 years after the first 
presentation to the Patent Office. 

Then, to show that this theoretical explanation is not an impossible 
thing or something we have just imagined, it is illustrated in the upper 
section of this chart, based on an actual case in one of the patents, 
actually of a series of inventions originally filed. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 199" and is included 
in the appendix on p. 1134.) 

Mr. CoE. One patent will expire in 1954, 44 years after the date of. 
filing. While I have these charts, and because it will be the subject of 
later discussion, I might just ask you to let your eyes glance down to 
the lower half of the chart, which w ould indicate the effect of a so-called 
20-year proposal, which would require all of those patents to expire at 
the end of 20 years from the date of filing. 

Senator King. Wliy should not that be done if they relate to the 
same subject, what the lawyer would call "germane" to the major 
application? • , , 1 

Mr. CoE. There is no reason I know why this should not be done. 
Which do you mean— this 44-year expiration? The reason that 
shouldn't be done, in my judgment, is this, that 44 years is pTojcctiug 
the expiration of a patent into the future almost a half century, durmg 
which time the art has ordinarily progressed far beyond t&fe value of 
the patent and the pubHc gets a wholly worthless thing at the time of 
the expiration. 


Senator King. The point I made is, I do not quite understand the 
reason why, although you did explain it but I didn't quite get the 
point, when A was granted, if B, C, and D, were germane, and 1 use 
a phrase which you as a lawyer understand — connected with, or a part 
of or directly related to — it all should not expire contemporaneously. 

Mr. CoE. There is no reason at all. Senator, why they should not. 

Senator King. Why should they not be granted at the same time? 
Why should B, C, and D be held in vacuo during that period? 

Mr. CoE. We do just exactly what you are suggesting except where 
they are independent inventions, and in that case we haven't the 
authority to grant a patent covering more than one. 

The Chairman. Let me suggest, Mr. Commissioner, that you give 
a more detailed explanation of the diagram which appears on the 
upper part of "Exhibit No. 199". 1 think that explains rather clearly 
what you are endeavoring to develop. 

Senator King. Before you do that, if I may be pardoned, why should 
not the Commissioner, when he filied A, B, C, and D, examine to 
determine whether they are related, and if he determines that they 
are not, that B, C, and D are independent, relating to a different 
invention entirely, why should he not say, "I am going to treat, how- 
ever, the application of B, C, and D as of this date," and let the statute 
of limitations, if I may use that term, expire at the end of the 17 years? 

Mr. CoE. If I understand your question, Senator, that is exactly 
what we propose in this procedure. 

Senator King. That is satisfactory, but I got the idea that he might 
determine that B and C and D might be held there in suspense, so 
that ultimately they might not expire for 44 years. 

Mr. CoE. No, Senator. If he lets this first patent issue before he 
files the separate divisional applications then he couldn't get a patent, 
because it has been disposed of, but in each case he files the divisional 
application before the issuance, so he has a continuance of pendency 
of the subject matter before the Patent Office. 

Now, in the actual case that we have cited, on the top of "Exhibit 
No. 199", an application containing four distinct inventions was filed 
on February 12, 1910. A divisional application dividing the B appli- 
cation was filed in December 1924. The B patent issued in December 
1925, and expired at this point here. The A invention was prosecuted 
27 years, and issued on March 9, 1937. The C invention was issued 
in March 1928, and the D patent in January 1931. 

In this case it is true that there were many interferences and appeals 
that accounted for that 27-year prosecution.^ It was a perfectly 
normal procedure. I won't criticize it as something that shouldn't 
have happened, because it is the way the rules are made today. We 
do think that that is a condition which should be corrected. 

Dr. LuBiN. Mr. Coe, on the 20-year basis could those interferences 
and appeals still be in the picture? 

Mr. CoE. I am going a httle later to discuss the problem. I do 
not think the 20-year proposal can be applied fairly and equitably 
with our present ititerfonMico practice, and therefore^ there will have 
to be a concurrent reform of interferences to make way for the fair 
application of the 20-year proposal. 

The Chairman. Let me say to the members of the committee that 
the Secreta ry of Commerce has suggested to me that if we allow the 

' See review of history of Steimer patents, Hearings, Part II, pp. 438-440. 


Commissioner to take his own time, he will develop the answers to 
all of these questions. We will try to follow our own rule, Mr. 

Mr. CoE. Some of these points I am coming to, but I am not sure 
I will cover them all, Mr. Chairman. 

In that Steimer history, as a part of that 27-year prosecution, there 
were some interferences. Merely to give you a general idea as to the 
effect interferences have upon this subject of delay, we have prepared 
this chart. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 200" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1134.) 

Mr. CoE. This chart shows that in a total of 2,713 interferences 
which were decided on evidence in the period 1924 to 1933, the mini- 
mum duration of any of those interferences was 5 months, the maxi- 
mum was 10 years and 9 inonths, and the average was 2 years and 6 
months. I stated that this is a tabulation of interference cases de- 
cided on evidence. During that whole period there were a total of 
17,162 interferences, but other than the number indicated on the 
chart they went out on record judgments, concessions, motions and 
dissolutions and did not go to the testimony stage. 

The next chart is somewhat complicated and I do not intend to go 
into it in detail, but I do want to put it into the record so it will be 
available for future study. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 201" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1135.) 

Mr. CoE. The upper graph illustrates a long delayed interference, 
a prosecution during the interference of 10 years and 9 months. Of 
that time, 15.3 percent was taken up by the Patent Office; 30.5 per- 
cent was taken up by the parties; stipulations consumed 35.9 percent, 
and appeals to the court 18.3 percent. 

To Dr. Lubin I might suggest that if we had the 20-year bill, all 
that stipulation period would in the main fade out. 

The middle graph illustrates successive interferences on a single 
application, one case being involved in 123 interferences. The lower 
graph illustrates a complicated series of interferences between several 

Finally there comes the litigation of patents. When a patent 
issues to an inventor we purport to give him the right, the exclusive 
right, for a term of 17 years to prevent others from making, using, or 
selling the invention covered by it. But we say that with our tongue 
in our cheek, for we know better than he that by our present method 
of adjudicating patent rights he will find it exceedingly difficult to 
prevent the wrongful appropriation of his property and may be coni- 
pelled to stand helpless while he is despoiled. As you are aware, if 
the inventor undertakes 10 invoke the law for his protection he must 
file suit in a United States district court. If the decision of that 
court be objectionable to him or to the other party, the case must be 
taken to one of the 10 Circuit Courts of Appeals. This m itself is a 
heavy financial burden, but one which, perhaps most inventors could 
bear with their own means or the help of others. But having taken 
this appeal, what has he gained? Hardly more than a ruhng as to 
his rights in that particular circuit. He must then, at least theo- 
retically, go from one to another of all the other circuits, and if per- 
chance from these many litigations there come conflicting decisions. 


lie lias the privilege — if lie still lias the wherewithal — to carry his case 
to the United States Supreme Court. 

My conviction is that the poor inventor, and through him the 
public, sutlers injustice precisely for the reason and to the extent 
that the monopoly, the exclusive right, purportedly bestowed on 
him is not now fiilly safeguarded. \Vliat we need is not to decrease 
but to enhance the monopoly called a. patent. Genuine protection 
in that form would be the last surviving bulwark standing between 
the inventor and the onslaught of mighty corporations. 

A patent should function as a leveler whereby an individual or a 
company of small means may be enabled to hold his or its rights of 
property against the pressure of the strongest adversary. It should 
have a protective character hke that of a high-power ride in the 
hands of a puny man beset by a wildly charging bull elephant. Un- 
fortunately, the patent affords no such safeguards. The charts I 
shall now sliow to you reveal some of the complexities of our system 
of adjudicating patents. 

Here is a map of the United States. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 202" and is 
inchided in the appendix on p. 1136.) 

Mr. CoE. This map is divided hito judicial circuits, showing the 
number of patents in litigation before the district courts and courts 
of appeals hi each circuit for a 4-year period from 1935 to 1938. 
By reference to the upper right-hand corner, in the second circuit you 
will see during that period 1,386 patents were involved in the district 
courts, and within the circle of that circuit, 192 patents went to the 
court of appeals. 

In the tenth circuit, 115 patents were involved in litigation, and 
within the circle, 18 went to the court of appeals. 

The shaded portions of each of the blocks in each circuit, such as 
the upper shaded portion in the second circuit, indicated by a numeral 
"270" indicate the number of patents in each circuit which have 
been adjudicated in at least one other circuit. So, of all the patents 
indicated in that period, about 20 percent have been adjudicated in 
more than one circuit. 

Here is a case history of the litigation of one patent, showing seven 
suits filed in four different circuits, and a continuation of litigation 
after decisions of invalidity by two different courts of appeals. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 203" and is 
included in the appendix up. 1136.) 

Senator King. Could you saj^ delinitely that the same issues were 
raised in each case where the validity of the patent was challenged 
in more than one district? 

Mr. CoE. I can say tliat when the validity is challenged there can 
be only one issue, and that is whether it is a valid patent. 

Senator King.; I was wondering if there was any other issue involved. 

Mr. CoE. I will show you how generally the same result is obtained. 
In the first suit the patent was held valid and infringed, and defendant 
took a license. In the second suit the claims were held not infringed, 
and on appeal the claims were held invalid. There vou have a ruling 
of invalidity by this court of aj)peals and a ruling of validitv by the 
district court in the some circuit. Certiorari petition was filed and 
denied by the Supreme Court. 

In the third suit, a preliminary injunction was granted. Appeal 
was dismissed without prejudice on plaintiff's motion 


In the fourth suit, over in the second circuit, the patent was held 
vahd and mfnnged by the district court; was held invalid on appeal 
Certiorari was denied there h}- the Supreme Court. 

Suits 5 and 6 were filed in Ohio, dismissed at plaintifT's request; 
and suit 7, now out here in the tenth circuit, was filed and claims were 
held invalid at the trial. I defy anyone to tell the exact status of 
that patent in the United States today. 

The next chart breaks down numerically the number of suits filed 
and the number of patents involved in both the district and courts of 
appeal in the fiscal years indicated at the bottom of the chart. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 204" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1137.) 


Mr. CoE. It is not the principal purpose of the patent laws of our 
own country or of any nation to reward an individual. The purpose 
is much deeper and the efTect much wider than individual gain. It is 
the promotion of science and the advancement of the arts looking to 
the general welfare of the Nation that the patent laws hope to ac- 
complish. The iiidividual reward is only the lure to bring about this 
much broader objective. Every patent granted benefits society by 
adding to the sum total of human knowledge, but that is not enough, 
and that alone will not achieve the ukimate goal of the patent system. 
An inventor will not be rewarded and society will not be benefited 
until the invention passes into commercial channels. And it is just 
at this point that patent protection plays its most essential role, that 
of transforming the invention from the idea into a commercial enter- 
prise. Unfortunately, this step involves the expenditure of money, 
and a very pecuUar kind of money at that. It is not only necessary 
that capital be available but that speculative capital shall be available, 
capital that does not respond to risks and ventures unless there is 
promise of more than the ordinary Government-bond reward. Dr. 
Thorp, for example, has pointed out the risks of business and the 
hazardous character of both new and old enterprises. Capital knew 
this long before Dr. Thorp called it to our attention.^ It will know 
it until the end of time. As Dr. Thorp has indicated, there is nothing 
quite so risky as a new enterprise and yet it is in just such things that 
the capital that goes into the commercialization of new inventions 
must be invested. 

Speculative capital must be encouraged to fall in behind a new 
enterprise and this is true whether the enterprise is wholly new or 
represents merely an expansion of an established organization. Some 
testimony has been offered to this committee by representatives of 
large corporations that they would continue to invent, and invent, 
and invent, and research, research, and research whether or not they 
were rewarded by the patent grant, but, if you will investigate, I 
beheve you will find that whenever these large corporations, them- 
selves firmly estabhshed, undertake a new development, that develop- 
ment is likely to be founded upon patent protection. Whatever 
opinions have been expressed to this committee or may hereafter be 
expressed as to whether or not the inventor will continue to invent 

' Testimony of Dr. Willard Thorp is included in Hearings, Part I. 


without the patent system, I think I can present to you indisputable 
evidence that speculative capital will not back new inventions without 
the patent protection. And in the final analysis this is the crux and 
the most important thing in the whole patent question. 

About 8 years ago, the Patent Office started a practice of making 
applications for patent "special" as a means of inducing the invest- 
ment of capital and the employment of labor m the commercialization 
of an invention sought to be patented. In order that the application 
shall be accorded this special status and thus be expedited, the appli- 
cant is required to make oath as to his willingness and abihty to comply 
with three conditions. 

He must make oath that — 

First. He has sufficient available capital and facilities to manu- 
facture the invention in quantity. 

Second. That he will not undertake manufacture unless certain 
that the patent will issue. 

Third. That he obligates himself to manufacture the invention in 
quantity immediately upon the allowance of claims which will protect 
the invention. 

Under this practice we have during the period from July 1, 1933, to 
June 30, 1938, made 457 applications special. After the patents have 
been granted under these circumstances and to determine the good 
faith of the patentee, it is our practice to call upon him to report under 
oath at the end of 3 months from the grant of the patent as to the 
exact amount of capital that has been invested and the increased 
employment of men resulting. Recently we have caused an analysis 
to be made of these reports and I think you will find the results 
interesting. Remember that the figures which I shall cite are only 
for the first 3 months of the patent life. Obviously, if these reports 
were continued throughout the full term of the patents, that is 17 
years, the showing would be very much more impressive. 

I have prepared but will not now repeat a detailed tabulation of the 
statistics respecting these applications. I shall supply it to the stenog- 
rapher for inclusion in the record. In the meantime I shall give you 
only a summary. 

Here are the facts as to the 457 cases given special status: 


Money expended or men employed, or both 247 

Negative report ." 36 

No report 62 

Total 344 

Applications abandoned or forfeited 61 

Applications pending Aug. 25, 1938 52 

Total made special 457 

The reports filed indicate the following results: 

First 3 months period 






Simi invrstedorspent by reason of j)atents 

.$8. 998. 014 


4.57, S44 





Additional men employed 

Additional labor hours. .. 

Additnnal wapes paid 

.^q 453 


The 247 patents prompted a total new investment of $8,998,014, 
or an average of $36,429 per patent. They also conduced to the 
emplo3^ment of 14,413 additional persons, an average of 86 per patent. 
That was done during the first 3 months of the hfe of those patents. 

Mr. Leon Henderson, on his appearance before this committee,^ 
visioned what, to me, was a very dismal prospect for the future of our 
country. This noted economist testified that in 1929 the business 
ind X was 120. At the present the business index is 102. He went 
on to point out that, in order to attahi the same status of unemploy- 
ment we had in 1929 we should need to go about 140 in the index of 
production maintained by the Federal Reserve Board, because since 
1929 the number of those eligible for employment has increased by 
millions. Is this to be attained? I suppose' this is the fundamental 
question with which this committee is to concern itself and as to which 
there will be much difference of opinion. There are no new areas in 
this country available for expanding markets and for development by 
our people. It is my very firm conviction that among the most 
promising means of coping with the disturbing conditions described 
by Mr. Henderson are invention and science, the creation of new indus- 
tries, and the expansion of our manufacturing facilities. Therefore, 
those who believe, as I do, that by these means we shall progress 
and prosper, feel we should spare no effort in encouraging their future 

The patent system of the United States, more than any other in 
the world, offers hope, encouragement, opportunity and recompense 
to an individual or a company of small resources. It is as democratic 
as the Constitution which begot it. Most foreign patent systems 
impose discouraging burdens upon the individual. This striking con- 
trast between our patent system and others and a proof of the ad- 
vantage which is assured to the American inventor or company of 
limited means will be pictured in the chart you are now to see. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 205" and is 
included in the appendix on p. 1137.) 

Mr. CoE. The diagram in the upper left illustrates the total cost 
of Government fees for obtaining and retaining a patent throughout 
its entire life in the United States as compared to France, Great 
Britain, Italy, and Germany. You will observe that in the United 
States it costs an inventor $60 in Government fees to obtain and to 
maintain his patent rights, that is to keep his patent. Going to the 
other extreme, in Germany, to obtain and to maintain the patent 
rights for a period of 18 years it costs the individual inventor $1,965. 

The chart in the lower right illustrates the scale of the fees required 
in foreign countries to retain ownership of the patents. It starts 
with the German example in the third year and continues increasingly 
until the eighteenth year, $340 approximately. 

Remembering that very seldom can an invention be commerciahzed 
through one invention and that probably in most cases at least 10 
inventions are utilized, you can see that if a small company or an 
individual attempted to commercialize a product in the United States 
it would cost him $600, whereas in Germany it would be $20,000. 

' See Hearings, Part 1, p. 157, et seq. 



Mr. CoE. Mr. Chairman, I take it for granted tliat your committee 
is interested in learning whether in my studies of the patent system 
and observation of its performance I have detected any abuse?= or 
weaknesses requiring correction. My answer is in the afFirmative, and 
I shall briefly outline them to you and offer suggestions for their 

You will recall the difficulties faced by an inventor or patent 
owner in the enforcement of his patent rights as indicated in exhibits 
Nos. 202 to 204. ^Vith these problems and hardships in view, I 
recommend for your consideration as a major improvement in the 
patent laws the creation of a single court of patent appeals. 

Such a court, having jurisdiction of patent appeals coextensive 
with the United States and its territories, would operate to reduce 
the time and cost of litigating questions of ownership, validity, and 
infringement of patents and obviate conflict of decisions between 
appellate tribunals. It would, in my judgment, assure to patentees, 
industry and the users of patented inventions a remedy for some of 
the most serious evils in the present patent system. 

Exhibits Nos. 19G, 197, 198, and 199 have illustrated the abuses of 
the patent monopoly cliargeable to long delays in the prosecution of 
applications in the latent Office. Any procedure which permits a 
lapse of 44 years between the fding of an application and the expira- 
tion of the resultant patent cannot be tolerated. To correct the 
abuse of long pendency and to force the early beginning of the mo- 
nopoly and its correspondingly prompt expiration, I recommend the 
adoption of the so-called 20 -year proposal. This proposal does not 
increase the present period of the monopoly, which will remain, as 
now, 17 years. Its purpose is to fix a definite time, calculated from 
the date of filing, beyond which the monopoly or any of its ramifica- 
tions cannot continue. Regardless of ti?e length of time consumed 
in the prosecution of the application, the monopoly must end 20 
years after the date of filing. 

Three years has generally been regarded as a very liberal allowance 
of time for prosecuting a patent application. If a law such as that 
recommended were enacted, a patentee who diligently prosecuted his 
application and obtained his patent in 3 years would enjoy the full 
17-year monopoly. If, however, he delays the prosecution or attempts 
to keep his case in the Patent Office he will be positively penalized by 
the shortening of the monopoly. In other words, if he consumes 
5 years in the prosecution his monopoly will expire in 15 years after 
the grant of his patent. If he takes 10 years his monopoly will be 
reduced to 10 years. Had this limitation been effective at the time of 
filmg the Steimer application, to which reference is made in exhibit 
No. 199, the patent granted upon it would have expired 22 years 
earlier than it now will. 

It will, of course, be contended that in some cases an applicant will 
be penalized and have his monopoly reduced by reason of ill-advised 
actions of the Patent Office and because of delays for which he is in no 
wise responsible. Admitting this to be a possibility in some cases, 
I nevertheless feel that the permanent public interest is paramount 
to the occasional inconvenience of the individual. Accordingly, the 
20-year proposal prefers the public interest to the individual interest. 


Not all of the delays in the Patent Office are the fault of the appli- 
cant and indeed some cannot be avoided. This is especially true when 
his application becomes involved in an interference instituted for the 
purpose of deterr^ining priority between him and another applicant. 
There is no question that the interference procedure has been greatly 
abused and that in some instances it has been invoked for unworthy 
purposes, as, for example, to delay a competitor's application in the 
Patent Office. The 20-year proposal could not be applied equitabf 
and fairly along with the present interference practice. It is therefore 
evident that concurrently with the enactment of the 20-year propositi 
there must be a radical change in interference procedure. Wliile it is 
the unanimous opinion of the officials of the Patent Office and virtually 
the consensus of the patent bar and the public that the interference 
practice should be reformed, there are many and diverse views as to 
the best way to accomplish the purpose. Some, for example, would 
go to the extreme of abolishing interferences entirely and award the 
patent to the earliest applicant. This would be a harmful practice in 
my judgment, because it would result in a race of inventors to the 
Patent Office, bring in a flood of improperly prepared applications, 
and conduce to fraud. 

The Chairman. Mr. Commissioner, may I interrupt you? For the 
benefit of the public, which may read the report of your testimony, I 
suggest that you define here briefly what an interference is. It is a 
technical word, of course, the meaning of which is well understood to 
those who practice patent law, but may not be generally understood. 

Mr. CoE. An interference proceeding is a name given to a proceed- 
ing in the Patent Office which is instituted for the purpose of deter- 
mining as -between two or more inventors claiming the same invention, 
which of those contestants was in fact the first inventor.^ 

Senator Ki^g. Calling for an interpretation by the Patent Office. 

Mt. Coe. Yes, sir. The Patent Office is required, as between 
these rival claimants for a patent, to determine which one actually' 
made the invention first in point of time, and that man is awarded 
the patent. 

The Chairman. An interference may be filed only in the Patent 

Mr. Coe. An interference can be had^only in the Patent Office. 
It is a proceeding which the Patent Offica itself initiates. It is some- 
times sought when an applicant is aware of the fact that someone 
else is in the Patent Office with a similar appHcation, and he files an 
application and demands that it be put into interference with the 
other party, but on the Patent Office is the final, sole responsibility 
of declaring that interference. 

The Chairman. Do you wish us to understand that interferences 
are sometimes filed for the express purpose of delay? 

Mr. Coe. Yes, there is no question about that. 

After years of study, durmg which I have considered Uterally 
thousands of suggestions, the recommendations I am about to propose 
impress me as the most satisfactory, although I concede that this par^ 
ticular proposal, like many others, will provoke dissent. 

At the present time the first decision in an interference proceeding 
is rendered by a single interference examiner. From his decision an 
appeal may be taken to the Board of Appeals, and from that tribunal 

' See also "Exhibits Nos. 200 and 201," appendix, pp. 1134-1135. 
124491—39 — pt. 3 3 


to the district courts or the Court of Customs apd Patent Appeals^ 
as the applicant may elect. I urge that the interference procedure 
be terminated with a single decision of the Examiner of Interferences 
and that a patent be promptly granted on the basis of that decision. 
This would abolish all appeals to the Board of Appeals within the 
Patent Office. The prompt issuance of a patent will start the patent 
monopoly to run and enable the patentee to assess damages against 
his opponent during subsequent htigation if he should ultimately 
prevail in the courts. 

Since this single decision of the Patent Office would be final, it may 
be desirable to enlarge the tribunal so that a board of three examiners 
rather than a single examiner shall have power to decide these contests. 
From an adverse decision of the Interference Board appeals would 
be taken directly to a court which could in a single proceeding review 
the decision of the Interference Board and, if the facts justified, award 
the appellant the patent and also cancel the patent already issued on 
the basis of the Patent Office award. The suggested procedure would 
minimize the duration of an interference and make it possible to apply 
the 20-year proposal without unfairness or injustice. 

Renewal applications should be abolished. Under the present 
practice an applicant may prosecute his application to the point of 
allowance, fail to pay the final fee required by the law, and thereafter 
renew the application and resume prosecution. This procedure seems 
to be wholly unnecessary and I recommend its unconditional abolition. 
The historic warrant for the renewal procedure was the purpose of 
affording relief to an applicant who was unable to pay the final fee 
when this became due. But it is now used frequently by corporations 
which are quite able to pay the final fee but which resort to the pro- 
cedure as a device for continuing the prosecution of their cases. As a 
safeguard for an inventor who is financially unable to pay the final 
fee within the statutory period, I propose that the Commissioner of 
Patents, upon proper showing, have authority to receive payment of 
it at a later date. 

Under the present law an inventor may make public use of his 
invention for 2 years before filing his application. As a further step 
in accomplishing an earlier filing of the application looking to an 
earlier issuance of the patent, I propose that this public use period 
be reduced from 2 years to 1. 

The present law allows an applicant 2 years within which to copy 
claims from an issued patent for the purpose of assertuig the priority 
of his invention. As a parallel to the other steps which have been 
recommended to rid the patent procedure of this element of elapsed 
time, I propose that this period of 2 years also be reduced to 1. 

Finally, I recommend that the authority of the Commissioner of 
Patents be enlarged so that in certain circumstances he may require 
an applicant to respond to an office action withhi less than the normal 
statutory period of 6 months. This grant of authority is necessary 
to the curtailment of the period of pendency of applications. An 
application may have been prosecuted for 3 years, and all material 
issues resolved, except for the correction of a slight inaccuracy or the 
adjustment of a controversy about a minor point. Under such 
circumstances it is felt that the Commissioner of Patents should be 
authorized to require an applicant to respond within less than & 
months, and, if it should be felt that the exercise of the power should 
be restricted, a minimum of 30 days for response may be fixed. 


The program which I have outlined has had the deliberate and 
thorough consideration of the Patent Office Advisory Committee and 
has been formally recommended to the Secretary of Commerce. 
While I do not claim that these proposals are a panacea for all of the 
ills from which the patent system may be suffering, I do feel that they 
will remove the major abuses of Vhich I am aware and will render the 
operation of the system more effective for its intended purpose. 

Mr. Chairman, by way of valedictory let me say that our patent 
system has developed in our people a creative faculty that has served 
other ends than the evolvement of things purely mechanical. That 
faculty, I believe, has proved signally useful'in solving some of the 
great problems that have arisen in our task of preserving and per- 
petuating our democratic form of government. 

Naturally, among this vast number of more than 2,000,000 patents 
there are many covering inventions which either have wholly lacked 
utility or which for other reasons have failed to achieve commercial 
success. Nevertheless we shall err if we appraise patented inven- 
tions merely in terms of utility and success. Their commercial value 
and their celebrity are not their sole merit. They symbolize a spirit 
that enriches the world though it fails to recompense the inventor. 
That spirit is one of patience, resoluteness, sacrifice — suffering, too, 
if need be — in the pursuit of an ideal. Abraham Lincoln was one of 
those inventors who failed, if by that we are to understand that his 
invention brought him neither financial return nor great renown. 
But I like to think that his was the true inventor's spirit, which 
moved him to invent a boat designed to carry its burden, including 
human beings, safely over dangerous shoals. Only a few years later 
that spirit was to sustain him in guiding the ship of state through a 
tragic storm 

(Copy of the Lincoln patent referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 
205-A" and is included in the appendix on p. 1138.) 

Mr. CoE. In our estimate of our patent system, then, we cannot 
disregard its spirtual influence in our national life and destinies. 

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. 

The Chairman. Commissioner, we are very much indebted to you 
for your statement. May I, before you leave the stand, call your 
attention to "Exhibit No. 186." This chart, as I understand it, was 
prepared in order to show the number of patents over the period of 
years extending from 1921 to 1937, issued to large corporations 
which, as I understood your testimony, includes corporations having 
assets of $50,000,000 or more, to small corporations which includes 
all corporations with assets under $50,000,000, to foreign corpora-" 
tions and to individuals. It is obvious from the chart that by far 
the largest number of patents are issued to individuals. This chart 
takes no account, does it, of the utility of the patents which have 
been issued? 

Mr. CoE. No, sir. 

The Chairman. So that while it is true, as shown by one of the 
earlier charts,^ that 17.2 percent of all the patents are issued to cor- 
porations with assets of $50,000,000 or more, that does not at all 
indicate what proportion of the valuable and practical patents are 
held by these large corporations? 

Mr. CoE. No, Mr. Chairman. I want to indicate that it is dan- 
gerous to draw too broad conclusions from these charts. They are 

• "Exhibit No. 183", appendix, p. 1125. 


generalizations and they do not show the results you inquire about. 
They don't show the location of so-called key patents, for example. 

The Chairman. I was impressed by your testimony given a Uttle 
bit later after you had introduced these charts when you were discuss- 
ing the necessity of protecting the small inventor by giving him — and 
by the use of the word "small" I really meant the individual in- 
ventor — a more certain court of appeals, by reducing the number of 
courts through which he may be dragged in the prosecution of suit. 
I was impressed, I say, by your statement, as I recall it, that there 
should be a better bulwark to protect the individual from what you 
described as the large and ruthless corporation. On what experience 
of yours did you base that statement? 

Mr. CoE. Mr. Chairman, we expect to substantiate that statement 
by witnesses which we shall present the remaining part of the week to 
the committee. 

The Chairman. I see. You are prepared to proceed with another 
witness tomorrow? 

Mr. CoE. Yes, sir; we will start tomorrow to introduce the testimony 
of the various witnesses referred to by Secretary Patterson at the 
opening of the hearings today. 

The Chairman. Who will be the first witness to be called? 

Mr. CoE. Dr. Vannevar Bush, the president of the Carnegie 

The Chairman. It is my understanding that Mr. Dienner will con- 
duct the examination. 

Mr. CoE. He will conduct the examination. 

The Chairman. Do any members of the committee desire to ask 
any more questions? 

Senator King. I should like to ask one question. Is it not a fact 
that a large number of patents issued have no utihty 

Mr. CoE (interposing). That is a fact. 

Senator King. And several hundreds of thousands of those issued 
never have been put into any practical use? 

Mr. CoE. That is a fact, sir. 

Senator King. Your office does not have anything to do with the 
granting of copyrights and the work which is being done by the 

Mr. CoE. We do not administer the copyright law; we do administer 
one part of the copyright law which relates to prints and labels. 

Senator King. That is what I understood. Have you had any 
controversy growing out of your administration of that branch of the 

Mr. CoE. Nothing that I know of, Senator, except Miat in our own 
administration some people tbink it ought to be administered by the 
Library of Congress rather than the Patent Office. 

Senator King. I ask that question in view of the fact that repre- 
sentation has been made to me in favor of taking away from your 
organization and transferring to the Library the limited authority 
you have in administration of copyrights. 

Mr. CoE. There is a very interesting story back of that, Senator. 
Years ago the Library of Congress, the Copyright Division, seemed 
to have very lofty ideas about such matters. They didn't like to have 
in their office anything as practical and vulgar as a label for a tomato 
can, so they sent that all over to the Patent Office, and now there 
seems to be a change and they want to get that back. 



Representative Reece. I want to ask a question with reference to 
the custom of the assignment of patents into corporations. Is it 
customary when an employee of a large corporation conceives a patent- 
able idea— and under the law he, as an individual, of course, makes 
application for the patent — for the assignment to be made to the 
corporation before the patent is issued, so that your 17.2 percent, 
being the percentage of patents issued to large corporations, includes 
in the main the patents of employees of the corporations? ^ 

Mr. CoE. I should say in the main, sir, yes; but, of course, it also 
includes any application acquired by the corporation prior to the issu- 
ance of the patent. 

The Chairman. May I ask. Congressman Reece, what do you mean 
by patents of the employees? 

Representative Reece. Under the law, if an employee of a corpora- 
tion conceives a patent, a patented idea, he must make application 
as an individual. My question was if it was customary for him to 
make the assignment of the application to the corporation before the 
patent is issued, so that that group would be included in the 17.2 

The Chairman. Of course, every patent must be applied for by an 

Representative Reece. But it can be issued to a corporation. 

The Chairman. Yes. If a corporation is to receive it, the individ- 
ual who applies for it must assign it to the corporation and there is, 
as I understand it, a Book of Assignments maintained at the Patent 
Office for that purpose. 

Senator King. However, some assignments are made weeks or 
months or perhaps years after the patent is issued to the individual. 

The Chairman. Oh, yes. 

Mr. Coe. This chart ^ is partially in answer to your question because 
it shows the number that were issued where assignments were filed 
prior to the grant, and the rest show the assignments of patents that 
took place after the grant, that were acquired by purchase from an 
individual after the patent had been issued. 

As to all the rest in those groups, the patents were issued to the 
corporation before the grant of the patent. 

The Chairman. Are there any other questions? 

Dr. LuBiN. Mr. Coe, are there any data available which would 
show how large a percentage of these individuals were foreigners? ' 
In other words, you have foreign corporations but you don't have 
foreign individuals. 

Mr. CoE. I don't think we have any. I suppose it could be ascer- 

Dr. LuBiN. I raise the question merely because it might have some 
definite bearing as to how the patent law is a stimulant to invention. 
Knowing whether any large number of foreigners who would invent 
and patent under foreign laws came h©re to patent something they 
had invented and patented at home, would have a definite bearing 
on the problem. 

1 See "Exhibit No. 186", appendix, p. 1126. 

J See "Exhibit No. 188", appendix, p. 1127. , ^ , . . ». ,j w , • , rrv,^„ 

3 Mr. Coe subsequently submitted figures relating to the number of patents held by foreigners. They 

were entered in the record as "Exhibits Nos. 210, 211, 212, and 213" and appear ra the appendix on pp. 



There is a second question I would like to ask if I might. Let's 
assume that you could so increase the staff of the Patent Office so 
that you could cut your 3 years to 2 or to 1 as the normal length of 
time. If such a thiiig were possible through sufficient funds or staff, 
what happens to your 20-year change? Then you have automatically 
expanded the period of 17 years to 18 or 19, depending on the time 
you cut down in your office. 

Mr. CoE. No; you never change the life of the patent itself. If 
we ever reach that happy situation where we could get rid of the 
appHcations in 2 years, the 20-year proposal would still cause that 
patent to expire within 17 years of the grant. We are not proposing 
at all or contemplating the enlargement of the patent period under 
any circumstances. 

Dr. LuBiN. One final question which arises out of your question 
regarding the place of the large corporation dominating the field, 
particularly because of litigation and otherwise: Would it be possible 
for the record to recalculate your charts^ "Exhibits Nos. 183 to 191", 
just the statistical material, and instead of calling a corporation which 
has $50,000,000 worth of assets a big one, let's call a $5,000,000 cor- 
poration a big one and see what change it wo.uld have on your charts. 

Mr. CoE. I think that study could be undertaken. 

Dr. LuBiN. It might change the whole picture. 

Mr. CoE. It might. I still think you would find among that large 
group a great many patents that are exploited by very small corpora- 
tions. Frequently, for example, almost inevitably when an inventor 
begins to exploit his own invention, the first thing he does is to incor- 
porate, so that could be included in this group; "to small corpora- 
tions" in "Exhibit No. 186", of all the corporations below 50 million 
assets. ^ 

The CHAIRMAN. It wouldn't be a difficult task for you to prepare 
a chart embodying the material Dr. Lubin suggests, namely; the num- 
ber of patents held by corporations having assets of more than 
$5,000,000 and less than $50,000,000? 

Mr. CoE. It wouldn't be a difficult task. It would be a lengthy 
one, but we would be very glad to do it. 

The Chairman. How long would it take you to do it? 

Mr. CoE. I would rather not estimate, Senator, but we could start 
it right away if you would like to have that information. 

The Chairman. I think it would be illuminating. 

Dr. Lubin. If I might ask one final question arising from the answer 
Mr. Coe just gave, if the individual who has a patent and wants to 
exploit it usually incorporates, does that mean that these individual 
figures in the charts really mean nothing in the sense that most patents 
are exploited by corporations anyway? 

Mr. CoE. No ; I don't mean to indicate that, because still included 
in your individual group are a number of patents that are exploited 
by corporations by license agreements, but I should say in my judg- 
ment it would be a healthier condition, sir. This is my own personal 
opinion, now, and not statistics. The more patents in this group 
'To individuals" on "Exhibit No. 186" that pass down into here "To 
small corporations" on the same exhibit, the healthier the condition, 
because it indicates that the patent has passed into the hands of the 
medium that ordinarily indicates commercial activity. 

Tlie Chairman. In other words, what you are saying is that most 
'^f lHi^ inactive patents are in the group labeled "to mdividuals." 


Mr. CoE. I didn't say that. I said it was likely that that is the 

Senator King. Isn't it a fact that with nearly every patent that 
promises some utility, the patentees form a corporation because they 
can more readily carry on the business, more readily obtain capital, 
sell stock to their neighbors or friends, and have greater access to the 
capital market through the instrumentahty of a corporation than if 
they held the patents in their owti name. 

Sir. CoE. I think that is the preferred method of carrying on 

The Chairman. If there are no other questions, and if the witness 
doesn't care to add anything at this point, the committee will stand 
in recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning, and Mr. Dienner wUl 
proceed under the direction of the Commissioner. 

(Whereupon, at 4:25 p. m., a recess was taken until Tuesday, Janu- 
ary 17, 1939, at 10 a. m.) 



United States Senate, 
Temporary National Economic Committee, 

Washington, D. C. 

The Temporary National Economic Committee met, pursuant to 
adjournment yesterday, at 10:30 a. m., in the Caucus room of the 
Senate Office Building, Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney presiding. 

Present: Senators O'Mahoney (chairman) and King; Representa- 
tives Williams and Reece; Messrs. Henderson, Ferguson, Patterson, 
Frank, Peoples, and Thorp. 

Present also: Senator Homer T. Bone, of Washington, chairman 
of the Senate Patents Committee. Counsel: John A. Dienner, special 
counsel for committee; George Ramsey, of New York, assistant 
to Mr. Dienner; Leslie Frazer, Assistant Commissioner of Patents; 
Justin W. Macklin, First Assistant Commissioner of Patents and 
Henry Van Arsdale, Assistant Commissioner of Patents. 

The. Chairman. The committee will please come to order. 

Secretary Patterson, are your ready to proceed? 

Mr. Patterson. Yes. 

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, yesterday, Mr. 
Conway P. Coe, Commissioner of Patents, appeared before the com- 
mittee as a representative of the Department of Commerce to outline 
the history and operation of the patent system of the United States, 
concluding with recommendations designed to correct certain abuses 
with which his experience has acquainted him. 

Today, we are to leave the broad discussion to receive testimony 
from users of the system. This testimony will be developed by Mr. 
John A. Dienner, who will conduct the examination of the several 
witnesses. Mr. Dienner is now serving as a special assistant to the 
Department for the purpose of these hearings. He has been actively 
engaged in the practice of patent law for more than 25 years. Since 
July 1933 he has been a member of the Patent Office Advisory 
Committee, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, and has par- 
ticipated in all its deliberations and in its consideration of many 
phases of the patent system, both procedural and substantive. Mr. 
Dienner has been a deep student of the patent law and its operation 
in this country and abroad, and at present is the president of the 
American group of the International Association for the Protection 
of Industrial Property. Along with Commissioner Coe, he was sent 
hy the President to London in 1934 as a delegate to the London 
Conference for the Revision of the International Convention for the 
Protection of Industrial Property. He is a past president of the 
Chicago Putent Law Association. 



I acquaint the committee with these qualifications of Mr. Dienner 
in order that you may utiUze his talents to the fullest extent, and I 
am sure that he himself will be willing to assist you in clarifying the 
testimony of any of the witnesses at any point of the proceedings. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, 

Mr. Dienner, if you will be good enough to call your first witness, 
we will proceed. 

Mr. Dienner. Dr. Vannevar Bush. 

The Chairman. Dr. Bush, do you solemnly swear that the testi- 
mony you are about to give in these proceedings shall be the truth, 
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Dr. Bush. I do, sir. 


Mr. Dienner. Dr. Bush, will you please state your name and 

Dr. Bush. Vannevar Bush, president of the Carnegie Institution 
of Washington. 

Mr. Dienner. Dr. Bush, in approaching the problem of increasing 
industrial production, I think we might break the subject up into 
three or four general headings. We all agree that there is necessity 
for the production of new ideas and their introduction into industry. 
Now may we not break up our inquiry into the phases of how new 
ideas and with what concomitance they enter into industry; next, 
how industrial exploitation of new ideas is accomplished ; further, in 
respect to patented inventions, with which we mainly deal, the 
termination phase of the patents and the delivery of the monopoly 
to the public. Then we shall take up general questions in relation 
to the introduction of new ideas into industry, and finally we would 
like to have you give your recommendations as a man especially 
qualified by reason of your investigation of the question of the intro- 
duction of new ideas in industry through the patent system. 

With the brief outline of the headings under which we will proceed 
I would ask you, please, to state your qualifications as a witness to 
cover those points. 

Dr. Bush. I took my degree of doctor of engineering from Harvard 
and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1916, and after 
that time, for about 15 years, I was engaged in consulting practice for 
industry, except for the interruption of the war, at whicii time I was 
engaged in research on submarine detection for the United States 
Navy. After the war I became associated with the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology and combined academic teaching and research 
with the consultant practice. In my academic, work, I was first an 
assistant professor and later professor of electrical engineering, and 
finally became the dean of engineering of the Massachusetts Insti- 
tute of Technology and the vice president of that institution, at which 
time I relinquished my consulting practice and proceeded with that 
post for 6 years; and then became president of the Carnegie Institution 
of Washington. 

In the course of my consulting practice, I was instrumental, with 
others, in the founding of several new companies, based on inventions, 
which conxpanies have not made a great deal of money, but some of 



which have been successful in the sense that they have furnished 
employment through the depression. 

I was also chairman of the Committee of the Science Advisory 
Board which was requested by the Secretary of Commerce to report 
on the relationship of the patent system to the initiation of new 
industries in this country. I am also vice chairman of the National 
Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. 

Mr. DiENNER. Then we might summarize your qualifications 
briefly as a man who as a graduate engineer has done practical work, 
an educator, consultant, and inventor, a director of research, an 
author, businessman, and a pubUc servant. 

' Dr. Bush. I think I quahfy for all of those. I have about 20 
or 30 patents in my own name. 


Mr. DiENNER. Referring to the first phase of our subject, which 
relates to the question of how new ideas get into industry, let me ask 
you whether you consider that the patent system has any place in 
maintaining and promoting industrial progress in the United States. 

Dr. Bush. There is not the slightest question tha-t this country has 
a high standard of living as compared with other countries. That has 
been brought about for several reasons. First, this is a country of 
pioneers. The, frontiers have disappeared geographically as the fron- 
tiers of technology have advanced. Pioneering experience still re- 
mains to a certain extent. That pioneering spirit, that willingness to 
take a chance, has been very important in our industrial advance. 
The existence of the patent system has made that work possible in 
industry; it has implemented the ingenuity, the resourcefulness, and 
courage of our people, and it is in no small degree responsible for the 
present high standard of living in this country. 

Mr. DiENNER. Under modern conditions in industry, how do new 
ideas come forward? I mean by that, consider the individual, con- 
sider the corporation, or other forms under which enterprise is con- 
ducted. How do these ideas come forward? What produces them? 

Dr. Bush. There are two ways that are important. First, they 
result of t<»n times from the long program of research, careful and 
meticulous analysis of the situation by a group of men, through large 
industrial research laboratories or scientific institutions, and the like, 
which produce new knowledge out of which come new applications. 
In addition, there is the independent inventor, whose day is not past 
by any means, and who has a much wider scope of ideas and who often 
does produce out of thin air a striking new device or combination which 
is useful and which might be lost were it not for his keenness. 

Mr. DiENNER. Considering the past history of the introduction of 
new ideas into industry, do you consider that the lone individual has 
in the past been an important factor in introducing such an invention 
as might form a taproot of an industry? 

Dr. Bush. He has been and still is a very important factor. 


Mr. DiENNER. You- speak of research. Will you please explain so 
that we may understand the term and its implications what' is gen- 


erally understood among those who practice research, what that 
subject and what their activities ma}- be? 

Dr. Bush. Research, of course, is broadly the discovery of new 
knowledge by systematic examination, and it can be classified on one 
basis, into pure basic research, applied research, and research for 
control of a product. 

Mr. DiENNER. Do you consider that there is any fundamental 
difi'erence in method between scientific and industrial or applied 

Dr. Bush. Not a fundamental difference. 

Mr. DiENNER. What institutions in the United States are most 
active in carrying on scientific research? 

Dr. Bush. You mean by that, I suppose, basic and fundamental 

Mr. DiENNER. Yes. 

Dr. Bush. That is carried on primarily in our great institutions of 
learnhig, in our academic institutions, universities, and the like, and 
also to a very considerable extent in industry itself, for the great 
research laboratories in this countr}^ in industry carry on basic re- 
search as part of their activity. 

Mr. DiENNER. Is there any fundamental difference in industry 
itself as to scientific search for principles, or the apphcation of those 
principles in applied research? 

Dr. Bush. Tliere is considerable difference in the way in which it is 
controlled. In pure research, basic research, men are left compara- 
tively free to follow out their own ideas. In applied research they are 
of necessity guided hi the direction of interest of the company which 
employs- them. 

Mr. DiENNER. Now, what are the relations between research and the 
patent system, briefly? 

Dr. Bush. Research has two i)roducts; first, new scientific know- 
edge, new piinciples, with which the patent system has nothing to do. 
A new piinciple is not patentable. But research also results m new 
combinations, new devices, which are patentable. 

Mr, DiENNER. What are the limitations in research, if any, in re- 
gard to producing new ideas? Is there any likehhood that henceforth 
all new ideas will be brought out through the research laboratories? 

Dr. Bush. No, I am quite sure that that is not the case. In the 
first place, there is no limit to the new ideas that can be produced. 
We are not at the end of mdustrial advance, we are not at the end of 
scientific advance, by any means. New ideas are coming forward 
with as great frequency today as they ever have, and wliile a great 
research laboratory is a very important factor in this country in ad- 
vancing science and producing new industrial combniations, it cannot 
by any means fulfill the-entire need. The independent, the small 
group, the individual who grasps a situation, by reason of his detach- 
ment is oftentimes an exceedingly important factor in bringing to a 
head things that might otherwise not appear for a long time. 

Mr. DiENNER. In industrial research, particularly, how can that 
be supported financially? 

Dr. Bush. Industrial research is supported, of course, by industry, 
because it furthers the progress of that industiy and it can further "^it 
in two ways, by bringing out a better understanding of mdustry, by 
developing the scientific principles on which that industry is based, 


and also by bringing out new ideas wiiich can be patented, wliich can 
go into industry, which can produce a new profit. 

Mr. DiENNER. Do you consider that the patent system, even with 
the advent of research organizations, can retain its democratic 

Dr. Bush. The patent system is decidedly a democratic affair, for 
it offers the same opportunity to any individual of this country, no 
matter where he may be placed. He has the same status before the 
Patent Office. He appears there as an individual and from that 
standpoint it is an exceedingly democratic thing wliich, of course, I 
think is a very important aspect of it. I think there is no threat to 
that situation due to the existence of the great research laboratories. 

Mr. DiENNER. Considering a byproduct of research, and that is the 
question of new principles, how does the research laboratory serve the 
public in respect to new principles not covered by patents? 

Dr. Bush. This country is dependent, as is any country, in the 
great competition that there is in the world today, for the advance- 
ment of science within its borders 

The Chairman (interposing). Mr. Dienner, may I interrupt you? 
It might clarify matters if you were to indicate just what you and 
the '^^dtness mean by a research laboratory, from the point of view as 
to whether or not it is the institution of an individual or the institu- 
tion of a group of individuals. 

Dr. Bush. We have all types, Mr. Chairman. We have research 
laboratories such as those over which I am at present presiding, which 
are endowed institutions, a group of individuals brought together with 
special knowledge. 

The Chairman. Let me explain what I have in mind. You began 
your testimony with the statement that geograpliical frontiers have 
disappeared, but that the scientific frontiers are still with us. That 
is a very common statement which is being made on every hand these 
days, but attention is not always called to the fact that when we had 
a geographical frontier with us the individual, by liis own efforts and 
his own resources, could support himself on the land, but that with 
respect to the scientific frontier, the individual does not have that 
freedom, and I suspect that one of the questions before the committee, 
one of the questions before the whole country, is how, with the new 
frontier, the individual may protect himself. We have a system de- 
veloping of collective action, so that the individual now is one of a 
group, so it is important for us to know, in studying patent questions, 
whether or not this research of which you speak redounds to the bene- 
fit and liberation of the individual or of a collective group. 

Dr. Bush. And if we can make progress in that direction T will be 
very happy in having been of aid, for I, too, have wondered whether, 
as we have our recent trends today, the individual is disappearing. 
Personally I don't think he is. Certainly in pure science he is not. 
In pure f'cience today the individual can map his own path and make 
his own recognition as an individual. 

The Chairman. All the testimony which has been presented to tliis 
committee thus far with respect to research laboratories rather indi- 
cates that these are instrumentalities of large groups and that the 
individual inventor subordinates himself to the rule of the laboratory, 
and whatever he invents, whatever he discovers, he contributes to the 
group activity Of course, in return he is paid a compensation by 


way of salary or wages or what-not. But it is the phase of this study 
wliich 1 tliink we should all keep in mind all the time. 

Dr. Bush. And as I tried to bring out, that is one phase of the 
production of new ideas, a very new and I tliink beneficent phase, a 
group phase, but the individual phase has not disappeared and there 
still are in this country plenty of individuals with ideas which are im- 
portant wliich ought to go into industry for the benefit of the people 
of the country, produced not by group work but simply by reason of 
the fact that there are individuals who have that keenness of analysis, 
of grasp, which enables them to see long before anyone else in the 
population a trend and a need, and to put together a combination or 
device winch will satisfy it, and we need those people. They have 
been very important in the advance in the past and we need to facili- 
tate their action in the future. 

Mr. DiENNER. Does that approach an as-swer to your question? 

The Chairman. I don't know that either of you has specifically 
defined the particular research laboratory that you have in mind in 
your present questions, but I rather tliink we understand one another. 

Mr. DiENNER. It might clarify the situation to have the witness 
point out that any patent, after all, is taken out by an individual, 
whether the individual be in the research laboratory or be working 
individually. Nevertheless, any patented idea is essentially the idea 
of one man, or of several men working on the same concept. 

The Chairman. Yes; but testimony which was introduced yester- 
day by the Commissioner of Patents indicated that a very substantial 
number of patents now outstanding were issued to corporations and 
are held by corporations, and that a very large percentage of the 
patents which are held by individuals are the patents which are not 
active, and of course we all know that a very large proportion of the 
patents are not useful patents, they are trivial, and do not add a 
great deal to the sum total of human knowledge or industrial activity, 
-so that the picture which has been presented to us to date is of a 
patent system which is being used by the collective corporate system, 
and to my mind the big problem is to find how that system can be 
made to serve the better interests of the individual. 

For example, in the question of employment, we all realize that, 
while industrial development in the United States has been perfectly 
tremendous and marvelous, nevertheless it is accompanied by an 
appalling problem of unemployment, which again indicates that op- 
erating on the new frontiers we have not been able to do what the 
pioneers in the days of geographical frontiers could do; namely, find 
a way of supporting the individual properly. 

Senator King. It might be added — I will put it in an interrogative 
form — had it not been for the development of these patents and their 
utilization by corporations, might there be more unemployment? 

The Chairman. That is not the question. 

Dr. Bush. I might add a word to that. We want to be careful 
that we do not confuse research laboratories with large research 
laboratories. Now, I remember the research laboratory with which 
I was associated in the early days which produced, it happened, a 
new industry. It consisted of four of us, and we were a corporation; 
but it was essentially an individual effort for bringing into use some 
ideas. Now, every industrial affair was once small, and I think my 
own attention is particularly on the point that the Chairman has 


brought up, the need for facihtating the progress of these small things 
which may grow into large ones. 

Senator King. There are small research laboratories and, indeed, 
sornetimes an individual may have a laboratory of his own in which 
he is engaging in reasearch in some particular line of industry or 

Dr. Bush. The National Research Council, the Division of Engi- 
neering of which I am now chairman, produced a list of research 
laboratories in this country. There are about 1,500. The great 
bulk of them are made up of a few men, 10 gr so. 

Senator King. I recall that the vacuum tube was invented by a 
young chap in my State who silently worked, and without support 
of any character or kind developed the vacuum tube, which was 
really the beginning of the radio system as we now enjoy it. He had 
no help. He was an inventor all by himself and had his own research 
laboratory which perhaps cost $100. 

Mr. DiENNER. Senator King, we shall later have a witness from 
your State who will tell that story. 

Dr. Bush, in the employment of the research laboratory as a means 
for producing inventions, do you consider that it is likely to produce 
a more orderly or a more regular flow of inventions than that which 
might be generated and introduced into industry by individuals? 

Dr. Bush. Certainly, a great research laboratory devotes its 
primary efforts to a systematic development of a system or a group 
of products over which it has privilege. 

Mr. DiENNER. Then we should look forward, if the system of 
research grows in industry, to a more steady but perhaps not as spec- 
tacular growth, other things being equal. 

Dr. Bush. If the great research laboratory were the only means by 
which new ideas came into being, that would be the case. I hope 
that will never be so. 

Mr. DiENNER. Now turning to another form of research which 
has some bearing on the development of industry, will you tell us 
briefly about nonprofit organizations or organizations not for profit 
maintaining research and research laboratories? 

Dr. Bush. The great academic institutions of this country of 
necessity maintain a great deal of scientific and technical research, 
for the simple reason that the highest form of instruction, the highest 
form of teaching in its advanced stages can be given only in the presence 
of research. They necessarily extend the frontiers of knowledge at 
the same time that they are teaching, so that you will find all of the 
better academic institutions of this country doing research within 
their corridors. 

And then there are in addition organizations that are nonprofit 
organizations, endowed, formed for the simple purpose of advancing 
knowledge, such as the Carnegie Institution of Washington. 

Mr. DiENNER. I wish you would tell us briefly by reference to 
competition with foreign laboratories what the necessity is for us in 
maintaining our research here in the United States at a high pace. 

Dr. Bush. This is a world of competition. I think that if we are 
to hold our position in a competitive world, we need to be in the fore- 
front of science, we need to be in the forefront of its applications, and 
we can do so only by having the facilities for research, and more 



important of course the people for research, the young people who are 
trained and are able to work in that field. 

Mr. DiENNER. Do you know Jiow research is carried on, for in- 
stance, in Germany as compared with methods here? 

Dr. Bush. The primary methods are essentially the same. Of 
course the control is quite different. 

Mr. l3iENNER. In what respects? 

Dr. Bush. Research in the academic institutions and in industry 
in general to a considerable extent is controlled by or greatly influ- 
enced by government. 

Mr. DiENNER. In other words, we must compete more or less m a 
democratic fashion with research conducted in somewhat more a 
regimented fashion or controlled fashion. 

The Chairman. I wonder if Dr. Bush wouldn't develop that 
thought a little more clearly. You refer to the system in Europe as 
being controlled more or less by government. Now, that covers a 
lot of territory. 

Dr. Bush. In some places, of course, it is more and m some places 
it is less. I was in Russia about 11 years ago, and there every piece 
of research, every laboratory, every individual working in science or 
in its applications, is very definitely controlled by tiie needs of the 
central government and their interpretation to him. He is directed 
definitely in the hnes in which it is desired that he should function. 

The Chairman. Does that mean that he is restrained from making 
research that he would like to, or making discoveries which he desires 
to make, or does it mean merely that what he does is done primarily 
for the benefit of and at the direction of the Government? 

Dr. Bush. It means both. 

The Chairman. Of course that is a matter of extreme importance. 

Dr. Bush. Of course the Russians have produced great scientific 
things, and in recent years. In mathematics, for example, they have 
done excellent things, and some of their men in pure science are given 
the freedom to enable them to do such things, but the industrial 
research and the research generally is closely directed or closely 
oriented to certain lines and under very definite control. We do not 
have the independent man there as we have in this country. 

Mr, DiENNER. Dr. Bush, I wish you would give us a word on the 
importance of having research organizations available for emergency 
needs, such as for wartime purposes or in case of epidemic or the like. 

Dr. Bush. Those are two questions. In regard to the first, if we 
get into another major difficulty, one of the primary things that we 
would need is a group of trained and able individuals capable of 
advancing the means of warfare, and I regard it as highly essential, 
as a part of our national defense, that there be encouraged in this 
country research laboratories of all kinds, the training of research 
personnel to a high degree in order that they may be readily available 
if they are needed in an emergency. 

Senator King. That applies in the chemical field, I presume. 

Dr. DusH. I think it applies in every field. 

Senator King. The biological too? 

Dr. Bush. Biological, chemical, electrical fields. Of course, in the 
matter of public health a great deal may be said. We have come far 
in this country due to medical research, and the progress has not 
stopped by any means in that regard. We are not beyond the time 


of possible epidemics; we may again meet diflScult problems in this 
country in ej)idemics, and if we do our resistance to those will depend 
upon the skill and number of organizations and men in medical 
research and the allied practices. 

Mr. DiENNER. You have touched upon an interesting subject, 
namely, the medical research by scientific or highly scientific research. 
Could you tell us whether institutions which carry that subject on 
avail themselves of the patent system? 

Dr. Bush. Some of them do and some of them do not. Medical 
research today of course covers an enormous field. The impact of 
the physical sciences upon the biological has been very striking. 
We have, for example, such a thing as very high voltage machines for 
producing intense X-rays for cancer treatment, a striking problem in 
recent years. There are physics laboratories built up principally 
for the study of atomistics, with which there is a great deal of fascina- 
tion, but the final product is used directl}' in the treatment of cancer. 
So that when we say "medical research" we must include a great deal 
of research outside of the medical field. 

Mr. DiENNER. In medical research and particularly where tha 
product of such research may be dangerous if improperly admihis- 
tered, or habit-forming, or something like that, I understand the 
patent system is Used to control those things. What is your ex- 

Dr. Bush. My experience directly is this. I was chairman of the 
committee up at Massachusetts Institute of Technology which 
handled the patent affairs for that institution, and that institution, 
together with many other nonprofit organisations, does deal with the 
matter of patents, for several reasons, one of which you have men- 
tioned; the dangerous pharmaceutical covt mg into public use needs 
to be controlled for the benefit of the public, to guard the public 
against its improper use, its improper manufacture, and one very 
effective way of exercising that control is through the patent system. 
But there are many other reasons why in my opinion academic 
institutions do use the patent system. 

The Chairman. Who should exercise that control? 

Dr. Bush. I can recite the way it is done at Ihe Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, which I think is an excellent procedure. 
The committee of the faculty which has the handling of the a fair has 
no authority but simply makes recommendations. If an individual 
on the staff makes an invention, he is bound to tell the committee of 
it, and the committee then recommends to him how it should be 
handled in order to bring it properly into use for the public benefit 
and in a legitimate and reasonable manner. Their recommendations 
in. the 6 years that I sat in that committee were always followed. 

The Chairman. Were always followed? 

Dr. Bush. Were always followed. I know of no case in which a 
recommendation to a member of the staff was not followed by the 
individual. The recommendation very often takes this form. They 
recommend that he assign that patent to an organization which can 
handle the legal, the business aspects of it. One very effective organi- 
zation in that field is Research Corporation of New York, which is a 
nonprofit organization founded for that very purpose, and the indi- 
vidual then makes a contract with Research Corporation whereby 
Research Corporation takes over the patenting and commercialization 

124491— 39— pt. 3 4 


of the idea, pays the individual a part of the receipts, uses a part of the 
receipts for its own purposes, and donates in the form of a grant a 
portion of the receipts to the organization in wliich the man has his 
place. In that way, all of the profit, all of the net income except the 
amount paid to the individual himself becomes utiUzed for further 
scientific research, because both of the organizations involved are 
nonprofit organizations bound to utilize their funds for the benefit of 
the public. Research Corporation makes grants to scientific institu- 
tions, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, either in re- 
search or in education. 

The Chairman. And who in the Research Corporation has the 
authority to determine what the public interest is? 

Dr. Bush. The board of directors and the board of trustees of that 

The Chairman. How are they selected? 

Dr. Bush. It is a self-perpetuating organization formed in the same 
way that the board of trustees of an educational institution is usually 

The Chairman. So that the proper functioning of this board rests, 
of course, in the last analysis upon the good faith and the intelUgence 
of the members of the board who perpetuate themselves. 

Dr. Bush. That is right, sir, and if we did not have"at the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology great confidence in their intelligence 
and integrity in the public interest we would not recommend the 
individual going with them. They are a distinguished group and 
have shown great intelligence. 

Senator King. Are they selected from various institutions of 

Dr. Bush. No, sir; they are self-perpetuating; they select their own 
successors. Research Corporation is a queer organization, in a way. 
It is founded under the laws of New York but it owns all of its own 
stock, by reason of a special act of the New York Legislature. I told 
Mr. Elihu Root that one time, and he told me that perhaps I was 
dealing with a ghost, that this organization might have disappeared 
and might not hav" found it out. It is rather peculiar in its organiza- 
tion. By reason of the fact that it owns all of its own stock and of 
course is unable to pay a dividend, it becomes a nonprofit organization. 
It uses its entire income, net income, in accordance with its charter, 
for grants-in-aid to scientific research. 

Mr. Patterson. I think the committee has in mind what qualifica- 
tions are necessary for membership on that board. When a man 
resigns and a successor is elected, are there any particular qualifica- 

Dr. Bush. I don't know offhand whether there are any particular 
qualifications laid down or not. 

Mr. Patterson. Beyond the matter of intelligence and public 
interest, are there any? 

Dr. Bush. I don't know, sir. There may be in their by-laws, but 
I don't recall. 

Senator King. By and large would you say that the public has 
been benefited by the operations and activities of this organization 
to which you have just referred? 

Dr. Bush. I think it has been benefited very greatly indeed in 
many ways. 


Senator King. In what respect, briefly? 

Dr. Bush. Well, for one thing Cottrell's precipitation of particles 
was turned over to that organization for the benefit of the public. 
He was, at the time of liis invention, a Government employee, and 
while he rnight legally have used the result of his patent for his own 
ends, he did not feel that it was proper that he should thus proceed. 
He hence turned over Ids patent to Research Corporation, which 
has built up a considerable business about it, out of which it derives 
a very consideralale income. Those patents have been well developed, 
well commercialized. The decrease of smoke in our cities, the recov- 
ery of industrial wastes, prevention of poisoning in agricultural areas, 
have been largely improved by reason of Cottrell's work, and the net 
results and profits that have accrued from that have gone in the form 
of scientific grants to increase research for public benefit in all sorts 
of places. 

Senator King. Would you say that organization has, to a very 
large degree, without any qualifications, the confidence of inventors 
and of the public generally who are interested in inventions and in 
teclmological developments? 

Dr. Bush. It has a very liigh confidence, indeed, as I know. I am 
going to confer with the president of the Research Corporation next 
week with regard to matters handled for the Treasury Department on 
the subject of narcotics. 

The Chairman. Do these directors have the power to restrain the 
use of inventions? 

Dr. Bush. Certainly. 

The Chairman-. And have they ever exercised that power? 

Dr. Bush. Yes. 

The Chairman. In what respect have they exercised it? Can you 
give us some examples? 

Dr. Bush. They have restrained the use in the case of the precipi- 
tation of particles patents themselves, the Cottrell patents of which 
I have just spoken, and I think undoubtedly in other instances — 
I can't recall at the moment, but in that instance they have limited 
the manufacture of those instruments for precipitation. 

The Chairman. Describing the rule under which your staff at 
the M. I. T. operates, I understood you to say that each member of 
the staff is under obligation to contribute to the group whatever 
discovery or invention he makes. 

Dr. Bush. He is under no legal obligation whatever. 

The Chairman. Oh, no; no legal obligation. 

Dr. Bush. He is bound simply by public opinion, the thinking of 
his colleagues. 

The Chairman. And if he didn't do that he wouldn't be on the 
staff at all. 

Dr. Bush. Oh, yes, he would ; he would be on the staff indefinitely, 
but he would not be regarded by the group as one who was playing 
the game properly. It is the public opinion of his associates that 

The Chairman. Have you had any experience of any instance in 
which there was a conflict of opinion as to what should be done between 
the inventor and the group? 

Dr. Bush. No, sir. 


Senator King. Would you say that the activities of this organiza- 
tion and its plan of procedure make for monopolistic control of any 
industry or of any invention? 

Dr. Bush. No ; it is quite the contrary, sir. The policy as adopted 
by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recites many things, 
one of which is that the exclusive license should be used only when 
it is considered necessary in order to bring the device into use, and 
that the general policy should be one of general licensing. 

Senator King. And then a large corporation, or a small corporation, 
for that matter, or individuals who are engaged in industry avail 
themselves of some of the inventions or discoveries of this organization? 

Dr. Bush. Oh, yes. And the general procedure in most cases has 
been that the Research Corporation ficense all who are capable of 
handling the invention properly and reasonably. 

The Chairman. How large a staff does Research Corporation have? 

Dr. Bush. I don't really know. They have quite a bit of manu- 
facturing activity of their own and the staff there I don't know. 

The Chairman. Could you state approximately? 

Dr. Bush. Approximately in the headquarters office where they are 
handling the business and contractual affairs, and so forth, I should 
judge about 30 men. 

The Chairman. Who fixes the salary? 

Dr. Bush. The board of directors. 

Mr. Dienner. Dr. Bush, referring to the production or generation 
of ideas and introduction of them into industry, particularly in respect 
to the patent phase (I assume you are familiar with the operation of 
the Patent Office and the patent system in w^hat we call ex-parte 
prosecution, from your own experience), do you consider that in that 
phase of the system there is any bias or unfairness, either to the 
individual or to the corporation? 

Dr. Bush. In all of my contact with the Patent Office, sir, in 20 
years, I have never seen the case in which there was the slightest 
suspicion of unfairness. The Patent Office, in my opinion, handles 
the ex-parte procedure in a highly efficient manner and with the 
greatest fairness, holding the balance of justice. There may be dis- 
agreements with its action. Of course, many people may not agree 
with detail, but I think all comers are handled on the same basis. 

Mr. Dienner. So that we might say that in the application of that 
phase of the matter, that is in a securing of the patent, the Patent 
Office would not really feel any distinction as between inventions pro- 
duced by large corporations through research or otherwise or the lone 

Dr. Bush. I never in my experience have seen any indication of it. 

the interference practice 

Mr. Dienner. In regard to the interference practice, which we 
have briefly discussed yesterday, do you see any advantage of a large 
corporation over an individual or any class of persons having any 
particular advantage in connection with this. 

Dr. Bush. In our interference practice at present, which is unduly 
long and unduly complicated and sometimes unduly expensive, there 
is of course a distinct advantage to the organization which has large 
resources as compared to the individual. 


Mr. DiENNER. Turning now to the exploitation phase, that is 

Senator King (interposing). Before you do that, I suppose there 
are many instances, however, in which a person in good faith, an 
individual or a corporation or a group, feels that the apphcant for a 
patent is urging an invention or a discovery which one of the interferers 
claims to have been invented or discovered by liim or by his associates, 
so that it would be improper to say that there should be no interference 
because that might deny the opportunity to a person who had a prior 
discovery from protecting himself and preventing a patent's being 
issued to some person who is a junior in the discovery of the art. 

Dr. Bush. I thinTv, Senator, most of the interferences are in good 
faith. There are some that are introduced that are not, but most of 
them are in good faith; but an interference procedure is certainly 
necessary because, if the two individuals do make the same invention 
at nearly the same time, then the Patent Office has to find out which 
\vas the first. That is a necessary procedure. I suggest merely fol- 
lowing the proposal of the Commissioner yesterday, that the pro- 
cedure ought to be much simplified and shortened. 

Senator King. But you wouldn't deny the right of a person to file 
the interference? 

Dr. Bush. Not at all. I think it is a necessary thing that we find 
out, in the case of a disagreement, who was the first inventor. 

Mr. DiENNER. Senator King, we will come to that phase of the 
matter a little bit later in connection with some recommendations 
which the witness has made heretofore. 


Mr. Dienner. Referring to the exploitation of patented inven- 
tions in industry, can you tell us what the prime necessity for a 
patent is in the way of attraction of capital? Will you discuss that? 

Dr. Bush. Of course, before most inventions can be put into use, 
it is necessary to attract capital for their development and their intro- 
duction. There are some inventions that would go into use without 
that procedure, which would be automatically adopted without great 
cost, but in the case of most inventions, the expenditure of a consider- 
able amount of money is necessary before they can be introduced into 
industry. The patentee, therefore, if he be an individual, is bound to 
make arrangements for the expenditure of that money before he can 
derive any income from liis invention, either by licensing a com- 
pany on a royalty basis or by securing new capital and founding a new 
company for the exploitation of the device. 

Mr. DiENNER. Now, we have heard it said at times that a man will 
take out a patent in order to avoid having someone else take out a 
patent ; what would be the disadvantage in that? 

Dr. Bush. That has, I think, no sinister aspect, as 1 understand 
your question. Of course, when an individual makes an invention, if 
he does not apply for a patent, he may find that someone else does and 
be surprised to find that the thing which he invented is now controlled 
by someone else and that he, himself, is barred from its use. That, 
incidentally, is one reason why nonprofit organizations find it necessary 
or desirable to deal with the patent system. 


Mr. Frank. May I ask, ou*- of ignorance, if he were the earher 
inventor, wouldn't he be able to upset the patent if he could prove that 

Dr. Bush. If he was the earliest inventor and did nothing whatever, 
he would be regarded as having abandoned his patented rights. 

Mr. Frank. Wouldn't that mean abandonment of the right? 
I am asking out of ignorance. If I invent something and don't 
patent it, someone else who may independently arrive at the idea 
might get a patent, but he won't be able to keep me or anyone else 
from using that idea. 

Dr. Bush. Oh, yes, he would be able to keep you, yourself, from 
using the idea, even if it was originally your idea 

Mr. Frank. Even if I exploited it? 

Dr. Bush. He would if you took no action in the Patent OfRce. If 
you applied for a patent yourself, you and he would go into inter- 
ference in the Patent OfRce. If you did nothing, then he could obtain 
a patent that was valid. 

The Chairman. Has there ever been any suggestion to your knowl- 
edge that proof of prior invention should operate as a dedication to 
the public? 

Dr. Bush. I don't like the words "dedication to the public," Mr. 

The Chairman. Use your own phrase. 

Dr. Bush. Of course, a patent can be proved invalid if there was a 
description of it in the literature 2 years prior to the application and 
the patent then becomes invalid and the idea can be used by the 

The Chairman. So that in that case the situation would be just 
exactly as Com.missioner Frank described it. 

Dr. Bush. Yes. If the Commissioner will permit me So moment 
more on that, scientific men are very often faced by that difficulty 
/ind often do not understand it. They feel that they have discharged 
their full duty to the public if they have published the new thing which 
they have found. They have not discharged their lull duty because 
some other individual may come in and may ratent that device, 
and if he applies within 2 years of the publication he may obtain a 
perfectly valid patent and he may use it in a wp.y in which the original 
inventor would not approve at all. So that if one wishes to make an 
invention available to the public in the way that one desires, it is 
almost necessary— it is necessary — that h6"apply for a patent and 
utilize tie system set up for that very purpose. 

Mr. Frank. May it not be that puts such impediments in the way 
of development of ideas that the patent system to that extent is 

Dr. Bush. Sometimes it would work a bit of hardship, I am sure. 
That is, it forces companies to patent things which are not reallj^ 
of great moment, simply for fear that somebody else will patent. 
I think that is one of the secondary disabilities of the system but not 
nearly as important as some other disabilities tliiit I see. 

Senator King. Take a case of this character, and some information 
came to me upon which I am basing the suggestion. A discovered 
what he regarded as a useful contribution to the art. He didn't take 
out a patent and he didn't attempt to utilize it. He gave some 
publicity to the small area in which he Resided. B came along 2 or 


3 years afterward. Whether he heard of A's invention I was not ad- 
vised, but at any rate he took out a patent and he organized a cor- 
poration and obtained a considerable sum for the purpose of develop- 
ing it, and many persons bought stock and went into the corporation 
and they developed a very profitable undertaking. Suppose now 
that A, who failed to get a patent, should come along years afterward 
and claim that he was the patentee of that idea, of that invention, 
though he didn't take out a patent; if he could prevail then B, with all 
of the investment which has been made, and the stockholders in the 
corporation, would be out and would lose all of the capital which they 
had invested. 

. Dr. Bush. The law quite rightly says that A did not avail himself 
of the mechanism set up by law for the purpose of bringing inventions 
into use for the public benefit. 

The Chairman. Have you fully explained your disapproval of the 
phrase "dedication to the public"? 

Dr. Bush. No, sir, I will be very glad to. Many individuals think 
that if they abandon all of their rights under a patent they are taking 
the best way of dedicating it to the public. I think that is quite an 
erroneous point of view. 

The patent system was set up for the benefit of the public, not for 
the benefit of the individual inventor, and in order that devices might 
come into use for the public benefit. Now very often a device which 
is thrown open to the public so that anyone may make it, does not 
come into use at all. Many devices which require initial expenditure 
in order to bring them into use never attract that initial investment 
except from someone who expects to make a profit. In the absence 
of patent protection they do not come into use. Dedication to the 
public in the sense of general licensing with no royalty, therefore, 
often fails to produce the result that was desired. The utilization 
of the patent system in a proper way to insure that the device will 
come into use is the best form of dedication to the public. 

The Chairman. In other words, you are telhng us that the system 
which we have followed from the beginning here of having Govern- 
ment grant to the inventor a period in which he has the exclusive use 
of the device for the purposes of profit, if he so desires, is the best 
system of stimulating industrial progress and scientific progress. 

Dr. Bush. I think our history has proved that to be the case. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chairman, might I answer Commissioner 
Frank's question as to a public use of an invention being a protection 
against a later patentee? The courts carefully safeguard the interests 
of anj' genuine situation where a man has actually begun the use of a 
device before someone else invented it and he has adequate proof of it. 
Of course there is in many a case the difficulty of proof, and the 
courts would never allow a man to say "I thought of that before the 
other man invented it," and allow that to stand in the way of a genuine 
development, and I tliink I might ask the witness. Dr. Bush, do you 
see any bias or any unbalance of the system which unduly favors 
either the inventor, the patentee, the manufacturer, or the public in 
its administration of this question of rights between the public and 
the inventor? 

Dr. Bush. No, I tliink so far as the Patent Ofl&ce is concerned it is 
well administered indeed, except for the point which I have already 
brought out, and which was brought out by the Conmaissioner yester- 
day, that there is sometimes an undue and expensive delay. 


Mr. DiENNER. I meant more particularly whether there is any 
hardship or unfairness /is between a man who has once given some- 
thing to the public without' patent, freely opened it up, and then a 
later recapture, as it were, by a claimant. Do you know of any un- 
fairness or inequality? 

Dr. Bush. I have known of many cases where individuals were 
disgruntled, of course, but I think in general the system works ^yell, 
and in case of interferences it is well to bring out this point, that in a 
decision of an interference the Patent Office takes account of the 
original date of conception and of due dihgence on the partfol the 
two inventors, the date of reduction to practice and a number of other 
factors, before it makes its decision as to who took the necessary 
steps to bring this thing into use for the public benefit. 

Mr. DiENNER. In other words, the matter is carefully safeguarded 
by both the Patent Office in the interference phase and by the courts 
in the litigation phase. 

Dr. Bush. Safeguarded ver}- well, except for the items of expense 
and delay. 

Mr. DiENNER. We shall go into that a little later. 


Mr. DiENNER. Dr. Bush, we often hear complaint that there -are 
suppressed patents. What do you understand by the term and do 
jou know of any case of suppressed patents as you understand the 

Dr. Bush. The idea of suppressed patents may take several forms. 
One form that is fairly frequent is this: A company has two ways of 
accomplishing the-same thing. It has two patents, either one of which 
it might use in producing a device for a given purpose, and it may 
produce one of those and not produce the other. I do not personally 
regaird that that is a suppressed patent provided the pubhc need is met. 

Another form in which I have heard the term: The advent of 
inventions, the advent of industrial devices, is sometimes delayed 
because the company which controls the patent situation thereon 
does not produce the devices for the public use as rapidly as it might. 
That is again a matter which can't be settled in a moment, can't be 
dismissed in a word. Sometimes it is economically desirable that the 
obsolescence of equipment in the hands of the public be brought about 
dehberately and reasonably gradually, and not abruptly and suddenly, 
for sudden obsolescence would produce disruption, unemployment, 
and what not, so that I think oftentimes delays of that sort are 

Mr. FRA.NK. You think the judgment as to how long the d^lay 
should be, should be in the hands of the person who obtains the patent ; 
or ought there be some pubhc body which would exercise some 
judgment with respect to that? 

Dr. Bush. I feel. Commissioner, that there is no great danger in 
leaving that judgment in the hands of the company itself, for this 
reason: That this is a terhporary monopoly which the company holds, 
and if it delays unduly it destroys its own monopoly because the 
patent is going to expire. If we had the situation of a permanent 
monopoly, it would be quite different. 

The Chairman. The Commissioner explained yesterday that under 
the syatem which we now have the period of protection may be unduly 


extended. An example was given, for example, of a patentable device, 
the period of protection of which covered 44 years. 

Dr. Bush. And, Mr. Chairman, I think that is an infernal situation 
that ought to be corrected. 

The Chairman. So that with that qualification 

Dr. Bush (interposing). Yes; in answering the Commissioner I had 
in mind that we were dealing with a system in which the normal period 
of 17 years obtained; with undue delays I would immediately say the 
matter ought to be corrected, but ought to be corrected by correcting 
the delays. 

Mr. Frank. But supposing that a corporation owned a patent and 
there was some other invention, some new device, which would be 
far better in the public interest, and it patented that new device and 
sterilized it for the full period of 17 years. Do you think that that 
is in line with the constitutional purpose or the constitutional power 
pursuant to which Congress enacts the patent laws? 

Dr. Bush. Commissioner, in 20 years I never have seen what I 
considered a bona fide case of suppression of that type. I have never 
seen a suppressed patent in that sense, and I think the reason is this. 
It is altogether too dangerous a procedure. 

Let's take the example of the vacuum tank on the automobile. The 
patents on that system were pretty much held by one company which 
controlled the system of transferring gasoline from the tank to the 
engine by a vacuum device, and they had a group of patents which 
controlled that whole affair. 

Whether or not they put out into the hands of the public the best 
form of that I can't say, but certainly they had an incentive to put 
out the best form of it. Moreover, they were vulnerable. One would 
have said offhand that they had the entire t-ituation in their hands, 
but what occurred? Along came the motor gasoline pump and the 
vacuum tank became obsolete. 

Every company is in the position, even if it has control of a par- 
ticular device, that some individual outside may come on with a new 
and novel idea which will render their whole affair obsolete. The 
more complex their situation in some ways, the greater the danger, 
and they have therefore the greatest mcentive to make the best device 
that they possibly can in view of the things that are in their hands, 
and my own experience and my own judgment is that there are no 
suppressed patents in that sense and that it would be very foolish for 
industrial concerns to have suppressed patents in that sense. 

Mr. DiENNER. And you might say that a patent is a self-destroy- 
ing monopoly in respect to the point of time, and one patent monopoly 
destroys another monopoly. They are not by any means continuing 
monopolies in themselves. 

Dr. Bush. Yes, although I think much can be said about monopoly 
based on a succession of patents. 

Mr. DiENNER. Let's discuss that right now. Let's ask ourselves 
whether the monopoly of a patent is truly temporary, and under 
what circumstances it might be doubted that it is so. 

Dr. Bush. Well, I will take a moment to discuss that, because it 
can't be answered in one sentence. The original patent law con- 
templated an original inventor and gave him a monopoly for 17 
years, after which the monopoly would terminate. That still happens 
today. W^ do have individual patents wliich stand on their own feet 


and which are used for. 17 years by the original inventor or his as- 
signees and then go into public use. 

But we also have various other situations, and one which is fairly 
clear-cut is tliis: The company has a group of inventions protected 
by patents. It has intensive research and as a result of its study and 
research it continually improves its product and takes out new patents, 
and in that way extends its monopoly. 

My own point is this with regard to that particular form, that if a 
company can improve its product at the rate necessary to preserve 
its patent control, assuming again a reasonable expediency in prosecu- 
tion and that we have no long delays, then I say that is for the public 
benefit. It is a monopoly which is made permanent for a time by 
reason of the activity of the holder thereof. It is bound to expire 
sometime and it is in general beneficial because of the incentive whicli 
that company has to greatly improve its product. 

The Chairman. Is it possible for such a collective unit, by the use 
of this method which you have just described, to make it difficult, if 
not impossible, for a single individual to make effective an improve- 
ment in the same field? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, sir; and that brings me to the third form. It is not 
easy to prevent some individual from making the improvement, but 
it may readily be that if that individual makes such an improvement 
he will find himself in the position of having only one customer for it, 
so that an organization which has a patent control over the entire 
situation nuiy therefore find it readily possible to acquire improve- 
ments which come from the hands of others, and to thus perpetuate, 
by aggregating to itself the improvements not only that it itself makes, 
but also the improvements made by others by purchase. 

The Chairman. It would be possible, for example, for such an 
aggregation as you describe to use a device invented in good faith by 
an independent person, and individual, to appropriate that device, 
and compel the individual to resort to the courts for liis protection. 

Dr. Bush. Of course, our entire patent system is based on the idea 
that any individual, if he thinks he is right, may make anything, and 
the recourse of the holder of the patent, no matter who he may be, in- 
individual or corporation, is to appeal to the courts. 

The Chairman. Yes; but I am speaking now of policy. As I 
listen to you, I see this possibility, that a large corporation engaged 
in the manufacture of a certain type of product, some machine let us 
say, runs across a very valuable improvement which has been developed 
and invented and patented by an individual who is not an employee 
of that company and who, indeed, would like to sell the device to the 
company. The company, recognizing the value of the device, refuses, 
however, to deal with the inventor and says to the inventor, ''You 
take 3'our case to the court." Is that possible under this situation? 

Dr. Bush. It is possible, but it would be a very foolish thing to do, 
for a company which has an established business will certainly not go 
out and baldly violate a patent which is obviously valid, for it is so 
vulnerable that that becomes exceedingly dangerous. The individual, 
through the courts, can collect damages. 

I have many thoughts on the cost of that litigation and I agree 
enormously with the recommendation of the Commissioner with 
regard to the simplification of that system, but even under the pre- 
sent circumstances, where litigation is relatively involved and unduly 


costly, no company would go out and baldly violate an obvious patent 
in the hands of an individual. 

The Chairman. Many complaints have been registered with this 
committee that that has been clone in certain cases. 

Dr. Bush. We can come to that, if you wish. It is quite a story. 

To go on for a moment with your question, if I may, sir, it can ap- 
proach the individual to buy that patent or to buy rights under it, 
whereupon the individual has a ;:hoii e between selling to one customer 
at the price set by that customer, or of waiting until the fundamental 
patents in the hands of the group expire, whereupon he can deal with 
his patent as he wishes. 


Dr. Bush. There is no doubt that a group which holds the patent 
control on a particular field may, in that way, acquire improvements 
from individuals at times at small cost, and then to thus increase its 
control and continue its monopoly. I believe that that usually 
occurs only in the case not of individual companies but of cases where 
there are patent agreements between practically all of the units in an 
industry, so that we come immediately to the question of patent 
pooling, which is a large question, but in the case of the individual 
company I am not so afraid of that, for the individual company is too 
vulnerable. There is too much chance that exactly what happened 
in the case of the vacuum tank may happen to them, so that in gen- 
eral the individual inventor still has an opportunity to make a reason- 
able arrangement with them instead of waiting for the expiration of 
their patent. 

Senator King. Aren't there analogous cases in real estate? I am 
diverting for a moment. Take in the mining industry, there are hund- 
reds of cases in which the owner of a mining claim, through under- 
ground wor^ngs, has abstracted the ore belonging to a contiguous 
owner, and he has insisted, after he has committed the trespass, upon 
buying the property for nothing or refusing to pay for it, and has forced 
the person who has been deprived of his property to resort to the 
courts. You can't guard against that. A man can resort to the 
courts to meet the trespasses here as well as trespasses in real estate. 
There are many cases in which the owner of the property has "fudged," 
to use a comn^on expression, on the property of his neighbo.- (the 
neighbor was a poor man) and insisted that it was liis property, and 
the poor man has been compelled to go into court. There have been 
thousands of cases where there have been trespasses on the surface 
which compelled the poor man to defend himself in order to maintain 
his rights. You can't guard against everything. The poor man has 
the courts. He may resort to the courts. 

Dr. Bush. But the owmer of a vaUd patent which is obviously valid 
on the face of it, for an improvement which is a very necessary and 
important improvement, is in an exceedingly strong position no matter 
what the industrial situation may be, provided the procedure m the 
courts is sufficiently facile so he may be supported in his rights. 

The Chairman. That is not the case now? 

Dr. Bush. Not in my opinion, sir. 

Mr. Dienner. Going back to the question of the temporary charac- 
ter of the monopoly, Tbelieve you discussed the phase of overlapping 
patents owned by the same company, and you mentioned the question 


of pools. Will you please tell us the character of the pool which j^ou 
consider to be undesirable, and a character of pool wliich might not 
be open to that objection? 

Dr. Bush. That is a very large question, sir. The simplest situa- 
tion that arises is this, where two companies or two individuals hold 
the patents, neither one of whom is able to manufacture on the basis 
of the patents which he holds, so that it is necessary for them to get 
together in some way or other before the device can go into pubhc 
use. Obviously in such cases it is to the public interest that they 
should interchange rights under the patents. That is the simplest 

We have the more complex situation, however, where units in an 
entire industry interchange patents, and we have then what we might 
call a patent pool. In my opinion some types of patent pools are 
necessary and beneficent, and other types are undersirable. It is a 
very large question. I can mention only one or two points on it 
unless you wish me to go ahead. 

One undesirable feature, I think, is this. If tlie patents are inter- 
changed among the units of an industry on the basis of no royalty, 
I think that is undesirable, because the incentive which is provided 
by the patent system for progress, for research, for invention, is 
effectively canceled out in that event. 

I think, also, that a closed pool which has no provision whatever, 
no workable provision, for the entrance into it of a newcomer who 
brings with him an addition to the situation, is undesirable. I wish 
very much that a beneficent type of pool, a desirable t3'pe of pool, 
could be defined and given public support. or governmental support 
in this country, for I think it is a thing that we very much need. 
Pooling is necessary and desirable if properly carried out. 

Mr. DiENNER. We might say this, that pooling goes to the aspect 
of proper use, but it endangers the aspect of termination. Is that 

Dr. Bush. If it is complete it practically cancels the aspect of ter- 
mination if it is in an advancing art. In a static art, of course, it 
does not. 

The Chairman. How does it cancel termination? 

Dr. Bush. If it is in an advancing art and if there is a complete 
interchange af patents between the units of an industry, and there is 
a provision so that new inventions as they arise may be brought 
effectively into the pool, then if inventions arise with sufficient 
frequency the monopoly in effect goes on and on, but of course if it 
is the type of pool that I just outlined, where there is an opportunity 
for the newcomer to enter into the pool, bringing with him his ideas 
or facilities, then it is not a monopol}^ in the real sense at all. 

The Chairman. In other words, you object to the pool which 
excludes the newcomer, but the pool which would admit the newcomer 
you think would operate to the benefit of the people. 

Dr. Bush. I don't think we can draw it on that point alone. That 
is an important point. 

The Chairman. What other points should be borne in mind? 

Dr. Bush. I tliink, for one thing, the one that I just mentioned. 
Reasonable royalties should be charged between the units of a pool 
in order that the incentive to progress be not canceled out. But 
there are several other ones. I think in general that pools are very 



necessary in some fields, that they can be beneficial, and that if they 
have certain features which could be readily defined they are desir- 
able and should be encouraged. Of course, the converse is also true — • 
that I believe that pools very often have been disadvantageous in 
the past where they have not contained the desirable features. 

The Chairman. Of course, that in turn raises the question of who 
should draw the regulations by which such a pool should operate. 
If the pool is one of very large corporations with a great many stock- 
holders and many employees and deals in a product which is used 
widely by the public, then if the pool itself may, without any super- 
vision, fix the regulations, the pool may impose its will upon the 
public. Is that not so? 

Dr. Bush. It could in an ideal case, yes. 

The Chairman. I would scarcely use the word "ideal" in that 

Dr. Bush. Having had a bit of mathematical training, I am likely 
to use the word "ideal" as meaning over-simplified. 

Senator King. You are familiar, are you not, with the testimony 
with respect to the pools by a number of manufacturers of auto- 
mobiles, where the various companies, A, B, and C, to illustrate, had 
patents, and some were conflicting. with the others, yet all of the 
patents aimed at the same thing, namely, the perfection of an auto- 
mobile for the best interests of the public. They formed a pool, put 
all their patents in the pool, and A was permitted to use B's and C's 
patents, and B and C were permitted to use A's. Do you see any 
disadvantage in that? 

Dr. Bush. In general, that is certainly a desirable feature. It 
saves litigation and enables a product to be built, et cetera. If it is 
properly safeguarded, if there is an open pool, there is an opportunity 
for the newcomer to enter, it is not a monopoly, it is not closed, and 
I do not tliink that in that case there is any reason why it should be 
undesirable. I do think in the case of the automobile pool that it 
would have been better had they. done certain other tilings. In fact, 
I disagree with their procedure with regard to the exchange of 
royalties. I think the automobile industry in' this country would 
have gone ahead more rapidly if it kept the incentive of interchange 
of royalties on a higher plane. 

Senator King. You can't contend that it hasn't gone ahead rapidly 
when there are over 40,000,000 automobiles used by the public. 

Dr. Bush. Yes; but I notice that some of the very important ad- 
vances'in the automobile have come in Europe before they have come 
in this country, and as an American proud of our advance I prefer 
that they come here first. 

Mr. Frank. Dr. Bush, I quite understand that the patent system 
is liiglily desirable in enabhng persons to obtain funds to exploit ideas 
which might not otherwise be exploited if there were no monopoly; 
yet I would Uke to ask, purely for information, the follomng question: 
As I understand you, nonprofit research organizations allow their 
patented inventions to be used on the basis of relatively small royalties 
and take out patents primarily to prevent the antisocial use of their 
inventions. That I understood to be the general point of view of such 
organizations. Now, bearing in mind what I said previously, that it 
is necessary to get funds through the patented monopoly in private 
industry in order to bring about the exploitation of new ideas, I would 


like to ask this question: Would large corporations or small corpora- 
tions wliicli are profit-making organizations abandon their research 
work and their research laboratories if, when they procured patents 
on their inventions, they were obliged to give licenses on a modest 
royalty basis to all persons not intending to use the inventions 


Dr. Bush. Some of them would; some of them would not. Some 
great research laboratories have other purposes than the mere pro- 
duction of patentable inventions. The research laboratory of the 
telephone company, for example, has many other functions and many 
other ideas. I can tell you that many would never come into existence 
and many research laboratories and many groups now and in the 
recent past striving to bring in new products would never have come 
about had there been any system of general compulsory licensing. I 
can tell you from my own experience that I was closely associated 
with the founding of several small companies in this country based 
on inventions, and no one of those would ever have come about had 
there been a system of general compulsion in licensing, so that having 
spent a great deal of money, they w^ould have been obliged to license 
their competitors at a small royalty. 

Mr. Frank. Then you think that the profit incentive connected 
or associated with the monopoly created by a patent is essential if 
we are to have the development and exploitation of new ideas. 

Dr. Bush. Some things would come into use without it, but there 
are many ideas for which it is essential. Here is one right here. T 
was associated many years ago in the development of a thermostat as a 
consulting engineer. The invention was made by a young chap who 
at that time was a macliinist at the bench. That device has come into 
use. It has gone into some 10,000,000 flatirons for their control; it 
has been of public service. It certainly prevented a great many 
electrical and flatiron fires; it has kept employment, it has done many 
beneficial things. That w^ould never have come into use had there 
not been the exclusive right for a considerable period, for, simple as 
that device looks, it required $100,000 of development before there 
was anything that could be used out of it. That thing is very inter- 
esting. Senator. You may have heard of it. 

It is a piece of thermostatic metal which is just like the bottom of 
an oil can and snaps back and forth, but since it is of thermostatic 
metal, if you change its temperature it will itself snap. It is a very 
simple idea, yet it proved to meet a great need. It is a difficult thing, 
to produce a thermostat which will operate in a flatiron at the high 
temperatures and successfully break the electric current. This thing 
acts with such great abruptness that it can break a current even under 
very difficult circumstances, and hence it became used in that field 
where it was not possible to use the prior devices. 

The young man brought that out. There was a company fornicd 
around him holding a series of patents, and the company is still going 
and having its troubles. I consulted for it in its early days. This is 
supposed to operate at body temperature ; except for the fact that my 
hands are cold this morning I could show you how it is supposed to 


go. Thermostatic metal, you know, is two kinds of metal joined 
together in a sheet with different coefficients of expansion. That 
was old in the art before this work started. There were a number 
of expired patents on it, so it was public property, but the general 
scheme of making it in that little form was utterly new. There, for 
example, is a thing that never would have come into use if it hadn't 
been for the exclusive right. 

Mr. DiENNER. \That would you say the cost of developing that 
thermostat was? 

Dr. Bush. We spent about $100,000 on development before it went 
into any uses whatever. I have a couple more of those, I think. 
\\Tien I Icnew I was coming down here I looked in my desk and found 
that I had just four of those left. 

The Chairman. I hope the witness doesn't believe the members of 
the committee should have something to play with.^ [Laughter.] 

Dr. Bush. Mr. Chairman, I can assure you that that device at one 
time held up all procedure on the Boston Stock Exchange for 5 

The Chairman. Were they able to make them snap? 

Dr. Bush. Only practice and warm hands will make that snap 

Mr. DiENNER. Dr. Bush, in the use phase of the patent, that is 
introducing the invention into industry, we have this question of price 
control to consider; that is, tliere is price control under patents. Will 
you please explain a situation under which price control is a necessaiy 
requirement in introducing an idea into industr}-? 

Dr. Bush. It is a part, of course, of the situation that I just men- 
tioned, where the introduction of an invention requires a large initial 
investment. The fimds for that can be secured only if there will be 
a speculative profit, only if the individual who puts up the money ca 
expect that if the gamble is successful he will reap considerable profits. 
Now that procedure of putting the thing into use can occur either by 
the new companj^ itself manufacturing or licensing for manufacture. 
If it licenses a single company for manufacture, it can give an exclu- 
sive license and collect a royalty. However, suppose that it licenses 
two companies. In order that there shall be at the outset a complete 
control, it is necessary that price restriction also be superimposed, 
otherwise competition will be produced between those units and the 
speculative profit which is necessary will not occur. The inclusive 
feature is necessary in order, in many cases, to bring the device into 
use, and there are circumstances, therefore, where price control is 
necessary in order to preserve the exclusive feature. 

Mr. DiENNER. Then we might answer Commissioner Frank's ques- 
tion in some degree by pointing out that there is a necessary relation 
between speculative profit and exclusiveness. 

I believe you have passed on the question of introduction, the possi- 
bility of using the patent situation for stimulation of new industries, 
and I believe you rendered a report to the Secretary of Commerce. 
I beheve this report which you prepared as a member of the subcom- 
mittee of the Science Advisory Board is of sufficient significance that 
I should request its introduction as ^^n exliibit in this case and that it 
be printed as an appendix in the record. 

The Chairman. It is so ordered. 

' Referring to exhibit of thermostatic metal. 


(The report referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 206" and is in- 
chided in the appendix on p. 1139.) 

The Chairman. May I ask the witness to identify the Science 
Advisory Board? 

Dr. Bush. The Science Advisory Board, sir, was set up under the 
National Academy of Sciences by order of the President and requested 
to advise the several departments of the Government as requested, 
and this report was one result. The Secretary of Commerce asked 
that he be advised in regard to certain operations of the patent system 
in connection with the advent of new industries, so that this report 
was made^ to him. 

Mr. DiENNER. Will you discuss for us briefly your view as to whether 
17 years is a proper period for the life of a patent? 

Dr. Bush. Well, sir, we haven't really tried it out in recent years. 
I would like to see the situation brought into form so that 17 years 
would actually be the period, and then see how it works. 

Mr. DiENNER. Answering the question in respect to the grant as 
being for a period of 17 years, do you have any comments as to whether 
you think it ought to be longer or shorter, assuming that delays in the 
Patent Office were reduced or eliminated? 

Dr. Bush. If the delays were reduced or if the 20-year rule were 
introduced as proposed by the Commissioner, then it seems to me that 
that is a good reasonable period. 

Mr. DiENNER. To pursue the point further, Mr. Chairman, I should 
like to have the witness tell us briefly the purpose of the subconimit- 
tee's report and the recommendations which are attached to it in 


Dr. Bush. I can do that very briefly, indeed, since there are only 
three principal recommendations and a number of minor ones. The 
first one, and the most important one, is one that was presented to 
you yesterday by the Commissioner of Patents: the proposal that 
there be established in tliis country a single court of patent appeals 
in the form in wliich we proposed it here. It was also urged that this 
court be supplied with proper technical advice of its own in the con- 
sideration of patent cases. 

The second recommendation, which is associated with that, is 
that there shall be supplied to courts of first instance in the considera- 
tion of patent disputes technical advice to the court as contrasted 
with the present situation where the only technical advice available 
to the court is by experts presented as witnesses. My committee 
felt strongly that the determination of a patent case involves the 
law and the facts, and the facts in a patent case are technical facts, 
properly understood only by men with a technical background, so 
there should be joined to the court for the proper determination of 
those facts individuals who have the proper scientific and teclmical 
background to understand them, rather than to expect a judge to 
acquire that necessary knowledge in the brief course of a suit. 

Finally we made one recommendation in regard to the opening of 
patents before issuance not to contest within the general system but 
to the submission of additional evidence by anyone interested in 
order to increase the presumption of validity of issued patents. The 


unfortunate situation that obtains today is that an individual who is 
granted a patent by the United States Government has not as great 
assurance as he ought to have that that patent is vahd and will be 
sustained. Anything that can be done to increase the presumption 
of validity of that patent when it is issued will aid in the introduction 
of new ideas in industry, because it will shorten and make easy the 
path of the man who has to forge his way. 

Mr. DiENNER. Then might we conclude from your statement that 
the one significant thing jin your opinion for improvement of the 
system would be in the direction of increasing the presumptive 
validity of the patent when issued? 

Dr. Bush. Increase its presumptive validity when issued and 
make simple and inexpensive and direct the procedure by which 
that vahdity will be tested in tho courts, if necessary. 

Senator King. May I ask o^ question? Who would select the 
supposedly nonpartisan adviser, technical advisers, to the judge who 
acts in the first instance? 

Dr. Bush. The court itself, sir, in my judgment should select its 
own advisors. There is no lack in this country of properly quahfied 
scientific and technical men who are utterly nonpartisan, who have 
no connection in industry whatever in some cases, who would be 
available if called upon in a dignified way by the court. Many of 
them object to becoming experts for the reason that, because the pro- 
cedure of the court is natural to the attorney, it is not natural to the 
scientific and technical man called by the court, but as an advisor to 
the court they would respond and there is no lack of eminent successful 
and distinguished men who would offer their services, who would 
respond to a request made that way by the court. 

Senator King. I recall, if I am pardoned a diversion, that in the 
many lawsuits over miderground passes, or the determination of the 
forms in which the ore was found — because there were controversies 
as to whether it was dolomite lime or the various other forms in which 
the ore is found — in view of the fact that many of those lawsuits took 
up weeks, and experts from Germany and the leading geological insti- 
tutions of the country came before the court — the plaintiff would 
have experts and the defendant would have experts — and the court, 
not being a geologist, would have difficulty in determining whom to 
believe. It was suggested that the court employ independent expertwS 
to aid him to disentangle the conflicting statements of the geological 
experts. There was objection made because they thought perhaps 
the court would find somebody who knew more or knew less, and there 
was a conflict as to who should guide the court in selecting the expert 
to advise him. 

I was wondering if the same difficulty would not be experienced 

Dr. Bush. I would personally be quite content to see the court 
select its own advisors, and I feel quite sure that that would be done 
in such a way that perfectly adequate and impartial advice would be 
obtained in order to aid the judge in the determination of facts in a 
field of science, which by its very nature is one that he cannot know 
intimately and cannot learn in the brief space of a trial. 

Senator King. That would mean Congress would provide a fund 
from which the experts so selected would be paid, and the judge 
would determine the compensation which was to be puid them? 

124491— 39— pt. .3 5 


Dr. Bush. Yes, sir. That compensation, I think, should be com- 
mensurate with their usual earning power. 

Mr. Frank. Dr. Bush, has any progress been made since the date 
of this report in classifying patents in the manner therein indicated into 
major and minor patents? 

Dr. Bush. The Commissioner of Patents and I have had a number 
of discussions on that. It has been discussed before his advisory 
committee. Progress has been made, but we have not arrived as yet 
at any concensus of opinion. It is a difficult thing to make such a 
classification. It is done, as you undoubtedly know, in Germany. 

Mr. Fbank. Is there a body of literature on that subject? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, sir; quite a number of references. 

Mr. DiENNER. I think the question of major ajtid minor patents is 
provided for in the law of Germany, Japan, and Poland at present. 
Those are the only countries. 

Mr. Frank. Would it be any great burden at some time to supple- 
ment the record by a bibhography on that subject? ^ 

Dr. Bush. No difficulty. I haven't it offhand, but I think it can 
be obtained. I think the Patent Office Journal has such a list. 


Mr. DiENNER. One final question, Dr. Bush. How far would you 
go :p a statement as to the influence of the patent system as a primary 
factor in producing in this country ,the highest standard of living in the 

Dr. Bush. It has been an extremely important factor in putting 
this country ahead of the world in industrial development. At the 
present time it is operating very lamely indeed in that respect. If 
we can remove some of the difficulties in the way of the pioneer, the 
technical pioneer, if we can make it more readily possible to establish 
new industries in this country based on inventions, if we can remove 
some of the difficulties of litigation, if we can simplify the procedure, 
then I think we have a reasonable chance that we can regain our posi- 
tion and proceed on the way. Unless we do that, our industrial prog- 
ress will be permanently lost. 

Senator King. Isn't one of the difficulties of acquiring a patent in 
order to carry forward inventions with which we are familiar, because 
of high taxes or for other reasons, legitimate or illegitimate? 

Dr. Bush. High taxes come into it in another way. It is very 
difficult to secure funds from an individual if, under the conditions of 
failure he loses 100 percent, and under the conditions of success he 
gains 15 percent. That is most certainly a difficulty in the way of 
securing new funds for. new developments. I do not think, however, 
that the taxes imposed by our patent system on the inventor are in 
effect a serious bar. 

Senator King. Do you perceive any reduction in the stream of 
technological development and of invention? 

Dr. Bush. No, sir; I expect an acceleration. 

Senator King. It seems to me there are more inventions these days 
than during the 10 years proceeding; by that I mean in this decade 
measured by the former decade. 

' For brief bibliography on short term, minor or petty patents see appendix, p. 1157. 


Dr. BiTSH. There are plenty of them. The progress of the world 
is not stopped in any degree. 

Representative Sumners. Unfortunately, I couldn't be here during 
the beginning of the testimony, and if any of my questions have any- 
thing to do with subjects which you already have testified on, I wish 
you would consider the question withdrawn before I ask it. I am 
interested in the statement just made. It may be expected that the 
continuing development of our genius as inventors will help us to 
retain our position in the world. As you visualize the future, would 
those inventions take the direction of helping us to produce cheaper 
and more efl&ciently, in the main, things we now produce, or produce 
new things which we do not now have, as distinguished from producing 
an old thing in a new way. 

Dr. Bush. I think both things will undoubtedly be accomplished. 
The extent of human desires is infinite. The extent of human needs 
may be bounded, bu<^ there is no limit to the number of new devices 
and new advances that can be absorbed by the public if they are 
produced at a reasonable cost and properly distributed, and we are 
nowhere near the end of new devices for the public benefit, new com- 
binations, so that I fully expect the program will take two forms: 
the production of more of the usual things that we already have and 
in better form by better methods and the introduction of wholly new 

Representative Sumners. I will stop you on that point. Would 
it mean a reduction in the unit cost of producing things which people 
now use? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, sir; that is one aspect. 

Representative Sumners. Would that have a bearing in your judg- 
ment on the number of people unemployed? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, it has a bearing; a very definite bearing, and it has 
a bearing in both directions. Progress, sir, always pays for itself by 
at least temporary disturbance. If we have a static world, we can 
have a completely stable affair in which things do not change. That 
is very lovely in one way, but if we are going to go ahead technically 
or in any other way then we must expect at least local disruption and 
temporary disruption which means unemployment. There is no 
question, however, that the whole trend of invention, the whole trend 
of the introduction into industry of new devices and new ways of 
doing old things has been to greatly increase employment in the long 
run and in the end, so that it works in both ways; it produces in my 
opinion a temporary and local disruption but in the long run and over 
a considerable period generally increases the standard of living and 
increases enormously the potential employment. 

Representative Sumners. May I ask you another question, as a 
scientist. These changes that result from scientific progress in the 
fields of mechanical things, may we expect that nature will more or 
less take care of the temporary addition of unemployment in the dis- 
ruption or will we have to expect that there shall be some scientific 
developments to take care of the results of scientific development? 

Dr. Bush. I feel, sir, that if our procedure for the introduction of 
new industries in this country, for the commercialization of new ideas 
and new things had been faster, had been ready, had been easily 
operated in the past decade, we would not have anywhere near the 
problem that we now face in that regard. The fact that new indus- 


tries have not come ahead, that their way has been inhibited in a 
thousand directions, is one of the reasons that we are in difficulty at 
the present time. As industries grow old, there must be the advent 
of new industries to pick up the slack or we will have difficulty. 

Representative SuMNERs. I don't want to appear to be in opposition 
because I wouldn't even if I were opposed — I wouldn't expose myself 
to anything of that sort, but do you think there has been any lack of 
relative progress in the sciences, in scientific development in the last 
10 or 15 years when we have accumulated some of our modern 

Dr. Bush. No, sir; science has gone ahead at an accelerated rate. 


Representative Sumners. One other question. I thank you very 
much for answering those questions; it has been very helpful to me. 
Now, in regard to this expert to aid the court, would it be expected 
as a practical proposition that a group of scientists would be suffi- 
ciently expert in the whole field to constitute more or less professional 
advisers of the court or would you have to have for each particular 
group of patents that are under consideration, somebody who would 
have time to become expert, qiore expert, as expert as would be 
required in that particular field? 

Dr. Bush. I think the scientist that comes in that regard should 
be called upon to be expert not in the particular patents before the 
court, but in the science which underlies them. 

Representative Sumners. That is rather important. Would you 
mind helping us on that? That is very important to me and I believe 
to my colleagues in this regard. You think then that a man who is 
trained in the general field of science and who has a scientific turn of 
mind could probably advise a court with reference to most any patent 

Dr. Bush. I think he could be of great help, indeed, sir. 
Representative Sumners. I didn't get that across. I didn't mean 
somebody to be a great help but I mean as great help as somebody 
trained with reference to a particular group of questions involved. 
Dr. Bush. Oh, I see the point. I think we need both, sir. 
Ilepresentative Sumners. You couldn't have them in one advisory 
court in the same lawsuit, could you? 

Dr. Bush. My committee did not recommend that we abolish the 
idea of experts called by the litigants. 

Representative Sumners. I understand that. 
Dr. Bush. But that we supplement it. 

Representative Sumners. But you are making a concrete sugges- 
tion with regard to court procedure which I am sure the members of 
the committee are very much interested in because you are getting 
down to something, don't you know. All this talking around doesn't 
get you anywhere but. when you get down to a concrete proposition, 
that means something. That is why I am taking the time to get a 
pretty clear view of your notion because you are going away. When 
we come to details, could we hope to get the aid that you suggest by 
having some persons who possibly are attached to the judiciary to 
give this advice, or would you have to have somebody in each lawsuit 
who is particularly trained with reference to that particular group of 



Dr. Bush. I hope ultimately, sir, that we will have both forms, that 
we will have permanently attached to the court of appeals scientific 
and technical advisers who will permanently be a part of the court, 
but that we will have in addition, particularly in the courts of first 
instance, individuals called as teclmical advisers to the court who are 
called for each case individually. 

The Chairman. Mr. Dienner, that buzzer, of course, was the roll 
call in the Senate. 

Representative Sumners. Why not hold it until there is something 
important and they call us over in the House. 

The Chairman. In that event, we probably would be here all the 

The Chairman. The committee will recess until 2 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 12 noon, a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the 
same day.) 

AFTERNOON- session 

The committee reconvened at 2:10 p. m. on the expiration of the 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

Dr. Bush, I think that all members of the committee this morning 
were very much interested in the testimony which you gave. I know 
that speaking personally, I think it was one of the most interesting 
discussions of the patent question which has been presented to our 
committee and it stimulated a number of questions in my mind, some 
of which perhaps we might be able to pursue this afternoon very 

You are aware, of course, that this committee is operating by virtue 
of a resolution which was adopted by both Houses and signed by the 
President, which directed us to do certain things.* Among these wa3 
the direction that we should examine the eft'ect of existing tax, patent, 
and other Government policies upon competition, upon price levels, 
unemployment, profits, and consumption. 


The Chairman. The part of the study with respect to the effect 
of patent law upon competition has already taken place and a hearing 
has been presented to this committee. It was demonstrated this 
morning that your experience has been so broad that I felt it would 
be very illuminating if you would give us briefly, perhaps, the benefit 
of your judgment with respect to the effect of the present patent 
policy upon unemployment. 

May I say before you answer that as I conceive it, that is the pre- 
eminent problem before the people of the United States and indeed 
before the people of the world. We have a system which is operating 
very inefficiently. If we are to judge efficiency by the social security 
which it produces, our system does not produce social security. 

What, then, can tlie patent system do, what does it do, with respect 
to unemployment? Would you care to give your views on that? 

I Public Resolution 113, 75th Cong. P: iously entered in the record as "Exhibit No. 2," see Hearings, 
Part I, appendi\, p. 192. 



Dr. Bush. The patent system was designed expressly^ to bring out 
new industries in this country, and by so doing to advance the useful 
arts and science, and of course by increasing industrial activity and 
providing new products to provide for new employment. And that 
it did very effectively, very effectively because we went to the point 
where we had the highest standard of living in the world. Today, in 
my opinion, it is not doing that with nearly the effectiveness that it 
ought to, and if it were truly effective in that regard I think many 
more new industries would have sprung up in this country in recent 
years and would have provided a considerable amount of employment. 

Now, that has not been the only factor, of course. You spoke a 
moment ago of the tax situation and its relationship to that problem, 
but from the standpoint of the patent system alone I feel sure that 
if it were operating smoothly and effectively so that the individual 
and the small group had better opportunity to bring out in this coun- 
try new and desirable products, that the effect upon our unemploy- 
ment situation would be very real. 

The Chairman. What prevents the individual and the small group 
from realizing the potentialities of the system which was envisaged 
by the drafters of the Constitution who directed Congress to provide 
this patent system? 

Dr. Bush. Several things. I will draw on my own experience in 
that regard. I was one of a small group several times that were in-, 
strumental in organizing new companies, new industries, based on 
inventions, some 15 years ago. In my considered opinion, that same 
procedure would not operate today to produce the things that were 
then produced, given the same opportunity as far as the ideas them- 
selves were concerned, first because it would be much more difficult, 
if not impossible, to secure the interest of men having funds which 
they could properly spend in speculative ventures in a new under- 
taking, where the risks are very large. Only men of large means can 
properly take the long shot that is involved, and men of large means 
today, with the taxation system that we have, are not inclined to 
take long risks, so that it would be very much more difficult to finance 
such an operation. 

The Chairman. Would you want this committe to draw the infer- 
ence that we should arrange our system now so that it would accom- 
modate men of large means primarily rather than men ol small means 

Dr. Bush. No, sir; so that it would accommodate both in combina- 
tion, the man of large means and the man with an idea. 

Tne Chairman. All right, but would you tie it to the opportunity 
of the wealthy man to invest his savings or would you tie it to the 
opportunity of the poor man, the individual, to attain proper devel- 

Dr. Bush. I would tie it to both, for I think that only when you 
have the proper combination of the man with the good idea, the new 
thought, the new invention, and capital able and wiUing to enter 
into its development with it have you a combination which can pro- 
duce new industries. 


The Chairman. I judge from what you have said this morning 
and from what Commissioner Coe testified yesterday that the patent 
system as it now operates tends to restrict the opportunity of the 

Dr. Bush. I feel that it does, and of the small group, and, inciden- 
tally, also of all those who use the patent system. 

The Chairman. And in the recommendations which you have made 
as a member oi ♦^his Advisory Committee, you have covered the field 
so far as your prt '^nt studies have taken you? 

Dr. Bush. We n ade at that time three recommendations which 
we considered to be the three most important ones and a number of 
minor recommendations. I do not think that those would go the 
whole distance toward giving us a perfect system, but I think they 
would go a very long way toward improving it. 

The Chairman. I glanced over this report by the Science Advisory 
Board,' and I found on page 29 this statement — it raises the same 
question which you raised at the very outset of your testimony this 
morning [reading from "Exhibit No. 206"]: 

The frontiers have disappeared. No longer may a citizen break new ground 
beyond the horizon. 

You refer there to a citizen being, I take it, the natural person. 

But the opportunity for pioneering in the application pi science to human need 
remains and calls for the same virtues of courage, independence, and persever- 
ance. It still is possible to enter uncharted regions in industry and it is still 
hazardous to thus open new territory for the national welfare. 

Now let me ask you there: Is it as easy for a citizen, a natural 
person, to penetrate these frontiers of science as it was for Daniel 
Boone and the geographical pioneers of our history to penetrate the 
geographical frontiers? 

Dr. Bush. I think the risks are quite comparable. 

The Chairman. Is that your answer, taking into consideration also 
the accumulation of capital resources by large groups of individuals 
operating as groups? 

Dr. Bush. Taking into account the whole situation as I see it, 
I think the courage and resourcefulness called for today in a man 
who would break new ground in the industrial field, produce new 
companies, new products, for the benefit of the pubhc, and the risks 
that he takes, are as great as the risks of any pioneer; and his reward 
ought to be commensurate with the risk that he takes. 

The Chairman. Yes; but I have not made my question clear. 
You described to us this morning a system which is followed by the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.^ As I understood it, you 
described the collective effort of a staff of an institution of learning. 
Now, my own feeling is that staff working together can probably 
produce better results than the individuals working separately. 

Dr. Bush. Oh, yes; in certain fields very much better. 

The Chairman. So that illustrates what has been developing 
through our society in the last 50 years, namely, collective effort in 
science and in economics, so the question proposes itself, as it we^e^ 
Is the individual who operates outside of a collective group protected 
in our present system sufficiently? 

1 Pee "Exhibit No. 206", appendix, p. 1139 at p. 1147. 
» Supra, p. 877. 



Dr. Bush. In my opinion he is not, and I think the day of the 
pioneer is not past, the day of the individual inventor is not past, 
for fine as these cooperative groups may be and necessary as they 
are to our general progress in this country, they do not cover the 
entire field. 

The Chairman. But the individual inventor as such is now under 
a handicap that in attempting to develop his invention he is forced 
to compete with collective groups. 

Dr. Bush. Oh, but he is always competing. He has difficulties 
t)f all sorts. 

The Chairman. That may be, but this is a new sort of difficulty 
that he didn't compete with in the days when the patent system was 

Dr. Bush. Yes; I think today he merely has more artificial hazards 
which ought to be removed from his path because he has troubles 
enough anyway without taking into account the artificial ones. 


The Chairman. Of course you have recommended, as the Com- 
missioner of Patents has recommended, that there should be one 
single court of patent appeals. Now the primary argument which 
has been advanced to support that recommendation has been this: 
That the individual inventor is unable financially to follow a collec- 
tive unit through the 10 circuits of the United States Courts of Appeals 
to establish the validity of his patent, and therefore is in danger of 
losing his patent to a collective group which is willing to seize the 
use of the patent and put the inventor to his remedy in the courts. 

Dr. Bush. Yes, and more generally the delays, burdens, costs of 
the present system, which I believe has grown to be unduly cumber- 
some, are a burden upon society at large, for they are a burden upon 
the progress of the new things which the country could use. 

The Chairman. So that your recommendation with respect to iin- 
provement in the court system is designed to open the way for indi- 
vidual enterprise? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. And you recognize that individual enterprise is 
handicapped by the necessity now of competing with collective power 
of some kind or another? 

Dr. Bush. The individual small enterprise at the present time can 
go forward with surety only when it has in its hands patents of the 
validity of which it is sure, so that it can proceed. The present 
process for establishing without a doubt the validity of a patent is now 
altogether too cumbersome, and if it can be shortened new ventures 
can go forward with more assurance. 

The Chairman. So now we have developed a realization of a certain 
amount of control of scientific' development and invention by these 
collective groups which we may regard as private groups. With that 
in mind, I want to read the next paragraph in your report [reading 
from "Exhibit No. 206"!:' 

There ha,s been a powerful trend toward stronger Government control of large 
industry in recent years. Unfortunately this has resulted in many measures 
which have borne heavily and which have added artificial hazards to those 
^naturally in the path of new ventures. Independence has been curtailed. 

Appeudix, p. U30. 


What did you have in mind when that paragraph was written? 

Dr. Bush. I had in mind, and I think the committee as a whole had 
in mind, a number of things. I can illustrate by one thing, if you 
wish. I think the general procedure that has been adopted in this 
country in regard to the control of the issuance of new securities has 
been a desirable thing in order to protect the pubHc. But along with 
that entire problem, an attempt to control and protect the public 
against the issuance of securities of no value, if you like, has come an 
additional burden upon new ventures, an additional cost, an addi- 
tional amount of red tape in the furtherance of issuance of securities 
to the public for the financing of new affairs. That is one illustration. 

The Chairman. You don't mean to intimate to this committee that 
it would be a valuable exchange to abandon the control or supervision 
which is now being exercised over the issuance of securities in order 
to obtain this greater freedom of which you speak. 

Dr. Bush. Not at all, sir. I hope that the benefits may be main- 
tained and the disadvantages mitigated as time goes on. 

The Chairman. Have you any suggestions as to how that might 
be done? 

Dr. Bush. No, sir; not without taking more time than I ought to 
take on that subject. 

The Chairman. Well, now, if, by taking a httle time, you could 
do that, I think I can speak for the committee in saying we will be 
glad to have a m.emorandum from you on that point. 

Dr. Bush. I will be very glad to go to work on that some time. 

The Chairman. Because the more information we get the more 
likely we are to reach conclusions that will be pubhcly advantageous. 

This whole question of the effect of patents upon unemployment, 
as outlined in our resolution, raises in my mind the question of what 
the effect is of labor-saving devices. Have you any opinions about 

Dr Bush. Yes. It happens that in my own experience I have 
had very httle to do with inventions which were brought out ex- 
phcitly for the purpose of saving labor. I have perhaps 30 United 
States" patents. I don't think any one of those is directed to the 
saving of labor as a means for the production of profit, and I very 
seldom encounter the group that is attempting to invent for that ex- 
plicit purpose. 

More generally, the cheapening of a product through the saving of 
labor very often results in its increased use, as we all know, so that 
the mere saving of cost in that way, in the production of a product, 
does not necessarily mean a decrease in the aggregate of labor used 
in that particular field. 

The general result of all invention and all patents has been, first, 
to cause temporary dislocations in labor, but, second and more im- 
portant, to increase very largely the potential call for labor in the 
country as a whole. 

The Chairman. We have a condition which might be described as 
a race between the labor-saving device upon the one hand and the 
new invention upon the other, creating new demands. Would that 
be a fairly accurate description? 

Dr. Bush. We have a race between the tendency of old industries 
always to produce their products with less labor and the advent of 
new industries which are capable of picking up that labor and labor 
in addition. 


The Chairman. Which is overtaking the other? 

Dr. Bush. Recently I think the advent of new industries has been 
so inliibited that it has not performed its proper part in picking up 
the slack. 

The Chairman. How has it been inhibited? 

Dr. Bush. By lameness, by cumbersomeness in the patent system, 
particularly in the matter of litigation, and by the general situation in 
regard to the attraction of new and venturesome capital into new 

The Chairman. The litigation system, in your opinion, is such 
that it restricts development, thereby restricting the opportunity for 
creating labor, new opportimities for labor? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. And you have taken that into consideration in 
the recommendations which you have made here? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, sir. 


The Chairman. Have you any suggestion to. make to us with 
respect to the operation of our patent system upon tlie inventions of 
citizens of the United States and the inventions of foreigners? 

Dr. Bush. Of course, under our patent laws any individual who 
comes with a new idea is entitled to the protection of our patents 
and similarly American citizens may apply for patents in foreign 
countries. In my opinion, the American patent system is a far 
better system than is found elsewhere, far. more favorable to the in- 
ventor. It has been my own personal experience that it is very 
seldom worth while for an American citizen to apply largely for foreign 
patents because primarily of the taxes which soon come to bear as 
a burden. In that sense, then, the situation as far as foreign citizens 
applying for patents in this country and Americans applying for 
patents abroad is not the same. They operate under different 

The Chairman. What I had in mind was whether or not in your 
judgment foreign inventors or foreign cartels, particularly, could use 
the American patent system for the purpose of preventing production 
or employment in this country. 

Dr. Bush. If the American patent system is operating properly 
for its intended use, for improving the standard of living of the 
American people, through increasing employment, through giving 
us new industries, then we don't care who uses it for that purpose. 
Any individual who uses it properly for that purpose will contribute 
to our general situation and to the benefit of the public. 

The Chairman. I didn't imderstand that to be an answer to the 
question as to whether in your opinion the system as it now exists 
can be used by foreigners for the purpose of repressing production 

Dr. Bush. Oh, yes; it can. 

The Chairman. Have you any suggestions to make to us with 
respect to remedying that point, that defect? 

Dr. Bush. I am not sure that it needs to be remedied. I think it 
would require quite a bit of study to determine whether that is on 
the whole a damaging situation at the present time. 


The Chairman. Do you want us to draw the inference that you 
beUeve it may be beneficial on the whole that developmcDt could be 
suppressed or restrained? 

Dr. Bush. No, but I am not sure that that is sufficiently extensive 
to compensate for the benefit that is undoubtedly produced by having 
the foreigners come in here and introduce their ideas into the American 
patent system, which, of course, results in due time in their release 
to the public. 

The Chairman. Does your experience enable you to draw any 
conclusion as to whether or not there are among these large groups 
which are now developing patents, understandings, and agreements 
which overrun national lines which include other nations as well as 
the United States? 

Dr. Bush. Well, I know, as I think is general public knowledge, that 
there are arrangements by which American companies interchange 
patents with foreign companies. 

The Chairman. Of course, that wasn't in the contemplation of 
those who drew the original patent law. Have you any advice to 
give the committee with respect to recommendations dealing with 
that phase of the situation? 

Dr. Bush. I have never felt that the American businessman 
needed any great aid in that regard. I have always felt that he was 
perfectly able to take care of liimself in that sort of situation. 

The Chairman. That buzzer is a roll call and the members of the 
Senate are being called to respond to a vote. Senator King and I will 
have to go and I will turn the inquiry over to my good friend of the 
House of Representatives. 

(The vice chairman. Representative Sumners, assumed the chair.) 

Mr. Frank. Dr. Bush, there is every indication that you have a 
splendid scientific mind and I therefore assume that in any subject 
with which you are dealing you want to be supplied with adequate 
data. I just want to suggest that if you care to, in preparing the 
memorandum to which you referred, you can avail yourself of the 
data that the S. E. C. has on the subject of the cost of registering new 
issues. I think it may surprise you to learn that the cost, particu- 
larly of the smaller issues, while it is larger proportionately than in 
the case of the larger issues, is by no means the impediment to the 
saleability of such issues, for we have hundreds of them registered 
and fully ready to sell and they have not been sold. But that and 
other related data, if you care to have it, we will put at your disposal. 

Dr. Bush. Thank you, Commissioner. I shall be glad to. 

Mr. Frank. May I ask you a question on the subject of your sug- 
gestion as to experts? It occurs to me that an interesting analogy 
might be found in the statute, the O'Mahoney-Chandler Act, that 
was enacted at the last session of Congress. Under that act the courts 
may call upon the S. E. C. for advice with respect to reorganizations. 
Would it be possible that a similar device might be used with respect 
to patents; for instance, that a group in the Patent Office might be set 
up, of experts upon whom the courts could call if they desired? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, it seems to me that that would be quite possible. 
I hoped personally that the matter would be broadened so that the 
court would be enabled to call upon the best man in the country on a 
particular field for advice in considering a particular issue. 


Mr. Frank. Would you think, to carry the analogy a Httle further, 
that it might be appropriate to allow the Patent Office, or some branch 
of the Patent Office, to apply to the court in any case where a patent 
suit was being heard and ask for leave to supply information to the 

Dr. Bush. Property worked out I think that might be quite helpful. 
It is not exactly what my committee had in mind in making the 
recommendation . 

The Vice Chairman. Are there any further questions, gentlemen? 

Dr. Bush, there are one or two points, and I am constantly having 
to explain my embarrassment because I haven't been able to be here 
all the time. 

I gather from the statement by the chairman that in your report/ 
which I unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to examine, that 
you found similarity between the condition of the individual pioneer 
and the person who is pioneering jm the field of scientific discovery 
and invention. It occurred to me that the similarity probably would 
be more striking between the position of the discoverer of a new 
continent or a new island than it would be between the pioneer in the 
field of scientific discovery and the individual, in the relatively small 
number of people who can hope successfully to pioneer in the field of 

Dr. Bush. I would compare the geographical discoverer rather 
with the scientist who spends his lifetime in discovering new knowledge, 
new relationships. 

The Vice Chairman, I misunderstood your analogy. I thought 
from the question of the chairman that yo.u had indicated a sort of 
broad, democratic opportunity in the field of scientific discovery, 
comparable to that which is afforded the pioneer who wanted to get 
an individual home. 

Dr. Bush. Of course, we have to contrast in all our thinking 
scientific discovery with invention, and the scientific discoverer is not 
subjected to the stresses of the pioneer in industry who makes and 
commercializes a patentable invention. 


The Vice Chairman. If I may, I would like to follow that just a 
little further and for my own information ask for a httle more develop- 

Whatever that was [referring to buzzer], I wish it wasn't. 

I refer to the practical situation, as I view it, that has developed by 
reason of a large number of unemployed people and the peculiarly 
distressing situation of the person along about 50 years old who has 
been released from some employment where he has been trained 
through his lifetime, and the apparent inabiUty of organized society, 
or whatever you want to call it, to provide an opportmiity for at least 
a relatively large number of people to find any sort of gainful occupation. 
^ I wouldn't myself go so far as to say that there ought to be a cessa- 
tion for a while of the inducement wliich the Government is offering 
for people who invent a machine who will give us some more idle 
people. I wouldn't like to go that far yet, but a.<» a practical, common- 
sense propo sition, we do recognize that we have so much more rapidly 

' "Exhibit No. 206", appendix, p. U39. 


advanced in one of what ought to be, it seems to me, paralleling lines, 
where we have accumulated all these millions of people, and I question 
the common sense of continuing to try to hire somebody to invent a 
machine that will give us some more idle people by offering them a 
monopoly of 17 years of right to use. 

I have traded all my Hfe in the country, buying mules and yearlings 
and things, and it doesn't seem to me that is an awfully good trade. 
I can't figure it out. 

Dr. Bush. You and I, sir, approach this apparently from 'itterly 
different points of view. 

The Vice Chairman. You are a scientist, and I am just an ordinary 
fellow around the country. I mean that. 

Dr. Bush. I am a boy from the country, too, but my own experience 
in this field has nothing whatever to do with that. One of the prin- 
cipal things that I was concerned with that was founded upon inven- 
tion and that was dependent entirely upon the patent system for its 
continuance, succeeded in carrying through this depression with 
approximately a thousand men. Now, the pioneers in that thing 
made very httle money in it; it hasn't been a money-making venture, 
but it has provided employment in a new field where men would not 
have been employed if those inventions had not been made. 

The Vice Chairman. What is that, Doctor, what field? 

Dr. Bush. I am thinking of the Raytheon Manufacturing Co. 

The Vice Chairman. What do they make? 

Dr. Bush. They make about a million thermionic tubes a month, 
radio tubes that go into the sockets of your radio set, an-d they were 
early in the field and have a large number of inventions in the general 
field, vacumn tubes and the like. 

The Vice Chairman. That is the development of the use of radio, 
isn't it? It is a new field? 

Dr. Bush. Yes; that is a very new field; this was just one unit in it. 

The Vice Chairman. I was wondering if you had an illustration of 
what we may call invention and discovery with reference to some 
established activity, well, anything. 

Dr. Bush. Well, take control devices, a very old field, a field where 
much work has been done for two generations. 

The Vice President. What field is that? 

Dr. Bush. Controls, thermostatic controls, automatic controls of 
all sorts. I was associated 

The Vice Chairman (interposing). You mean instead of using the 
hand brake on a freight car you press a button or something? 

Dr. Bush. Yes; and ofihand that looks decidedly hke a field where 
labor would be displaced by making things automatic instead of 
hand operated. My own experience in that field has been this: 
I was associated with a group that started with some inventions and 
formed a little company which has gone on for 15 years and has pro- 
vided new employment by providing new devices, things that the 
world had never seen and which are now being rnanufactured. 

The Vice Chairman. Applying that to the railroads, how many 
people did you increase by reason of that automatic device, just 
deahng with that one thing'^? How many people did you increase in 
the operation of trains? 


Dr. Bush. This, as far as I know, has never gone into the operation 
of trains. They have some automatic devices but not this particular 

The Vice Chairman. I don't want to pursue it to the point of 
becoming tedious but isn't it a fact that these automatic apphances 
with regard to trains, which I have seen operate, did considerably 
reduce the number of people who were required to stop moving trains? 

Dr. Bush. Yes, sir; and if the railroads of this country had had 
their own great research laboratories, had participated completely 
in the technical advance, had produced 10 or 15 years ago streamlined 
trains, light cars, many of the things that we see just over the horizon 
now, the situation in the railroads would be a much more pleasant 
one than at the present time. In my opinion the railroads have suf- 
fered not from the advent of new devices, not from the advent of 
inventions, but from the lack of completely successful development 

The Vice Chairman. Well, that is compared with the automobiles 
and traffic of that sort. It didn't result in many people riding trains 
that hadn't ridden them before, do you suppose? 

Dr. Bush. Well, every time I have been on a streamlined train it 
has been crowded. 

The Vice Chairman. Now, do you think those people wouldn't have 
been going places if they hadn't had a streamUned train? 

Dr. Bush. They might have gone another way. 

The Vice Chairman. That has been bothering me, but nobody 
agrees with me, so don't be disturbed. I have been trying to figure 
out whether it is a good thing to keep on increasing the number of 
unemployed people by increasing patents. 

Dr. Bush. You haven't any doubt what I think about it, have 
you, sir? 

The Vice Chairman. No, sir. Thank you very much. 


Mr. Davis. Mr. Bush, I am very much interested in the proposal 
with respect to the single court of patent appeals. I should like to 
ask whether this recommendation made by your committee con- 
templated that all of the evidence for consideration by the Court of 
Appeals would be made up in the hearings in the Patent Office, so that 
the Court of Appeals would in fact be a Court of Appeals and hear the 
case upon the written record and in the absence of the introduction of 
any witnesses or additional testimony. 

Dr. Bush. My committee, sir, does not make any recommendation 
in regard to the distribution of function between the courts of first 
instance and the Court of Appeals. The recommendation of my com- 
mittee was directed to one point only, the creation of a single court of 
appeals for patent cases rather than to have the appeals go to the 
several circuit courts. 

Mr. Davis. Was there any contemplation of your committee to 
the effect that the entire hearings should be here in Washington, 
assuming that the court of appeals would sit here, or that you would 
employ trial examiners, such as do some of our commissions, to 
go to different sections to receive testimony? 

>This subject is resumed from p. 902 and is continued on p. 1104, infra. 


Dr. Bush. The committee suggested that there be held sessions in 
the several districts but made it clear that that was not the important 
feature in the minds of the committee; the important feature was the 
creation of a single court and the details of the ways in which it held 
its sessions were regarded as secondary. 

Mr. Davis. You have in my opinion very properly manifested a 
concern for the inventor, the independent inventor without very 
great means. If he resides a considerable distance from the capital 
and was required to bring his witnesses and other testimony to the 
capital for introduction before this court, would it not in a great 
many instances amount to a denial of justice to him? 

Dr. Bush. If it would, sir, then we have a denial of justice in the 
same sense at the present time, for he may be called upon to go to 
any circuit in defense of his rights. 

Mr. Davis. Well, but we are undertaking to devise means of 
impr(5ving this situation, not simply creating something else as bad, 
and I respectfully suggest that that is a very important feature that 
should be considered, the disadvantages of which could be avoided 
in the manner of some of the existing commissions. 

Dr. Bush, you also made some comments with respect to the 
relative position or importance of independent inventors and collective 
invention, and I presume that by the latter term you refer to the 
development of inventions in laboratories. That is correct, is it not? 

Dr. Bush. Yes. 

Mr. Davis. It is a fact, is it not, that a large percentage of the 
useful, valuable inventions have been developed by individual in- 

Dr. Bush. It is a fact that important inventions have come from 
both sources ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Davis. Is it not a further fact that the success of a laboratory 
of this kind in large measure depends upon the personnel, with respect 
to ability and inveptive genius of it? 

Dr. Bush. Oh, yes; very much so. 

Mr. Davis. In other words, can it not be truthfully said that 
inventors are born rather than made? I mean, men with inventive 
minds and the ability to evolve these ideas. 

Dr. Bush. While it is quite true that there are born inventors, it 
is also entirely possible to teach the ^rt of invention to a consider- 
able degree, and a man who is naturally of the type of mind who 
would make inventions if properly handled in his training will become 
a much better inventor than if he went his own way. I think it is 
entirely possible to impart some of the fundamentals of the art of 

Mr. Davis. That is all. 

Mr. Frank. Dr. Bush, you referred some time ago to the desir- 
abihty of removing impediments to the investment in risky ventures 
which may turn out to be socially useful. Did you imply that per- 
haps in connection with inventions and investments therein it might 
be worth while to consider granting some kind of limited tax exemp- 
tions to persons making such investments? 

Dr. Bush. That is one artifice that is very attractive as it is viewed 
in the broad. I would not venture an opinion as to just how such a 
thing could be worked out, but it certainly seems to me fundamentally 


necessary that we make it possible for speculative investment, 
properly made, to secure a speculative profit. 

The Vice Chairman. Are there other questions? 

Mr. DiENNER. I have no further questions. Senator King would 
like to put some questions to the witness. 

Mr. Patterson. Mr. Chairman, I should Hke permission to call on 
my colleague, the Commissioner of Patents, to speak for a moment 
on Judge Davis' observation of the court problem. The Commissioner 
has something in mind, if it is agreeable. 

Mr. Conway P. Coe. Mr. Chairman, I think in a very simple way 
I can remove some of the uncertainty that seems to have arisen in 
Judge Davis' mind about the single patent court of appeals. It is 
contemplated that if that court is established it will be used merely 
for purposes of litigation and have nothing to do with the appeals 
from the Patent Office, so that if such a court is -established the pro- 
cedure will be this: A patentee would go into the district court, any- 
where he could obtain service on the defendant, and build his record 
exactly as he does today. Thereafter, instead of appealing to a cir- 
cuit court of appeals of that circuit, he would take it to this single 
circuit court of patent appeals, having jurisdiction throughout the 
United States. 

(Senator O'Mahoney resumed the Chair.) 

Mr. Davis. In other words, you only contemplate appeals from 
the United States district courts. 

Mr. Coe. Exactly. 

Mr. Davis. To be heard upon a written record, a transcript of the 
record made up in that court. 

Mr. Coe. Yes; the record made in the district court. 

Mr. Davis. I misconceived, largely by reason of what Dr. Bush 
said, the function of the proposed court. 


Representative Reece. Mr. Chairman, sometimes one hears the 
view expressed that the putting of a patent into production is 
restrained by purchase or otherwise of some interest that would be 
adversely affected by the patent being put into production, and then 
after this interest acquires the control or influence over the patent, does 
not utilize it, and I am wondering if, in your studies, which of course 
are impartial, such a condition was found to ex-ist to any considerable 
degree, if at all. 

Dr. Bush. I said a word or two this morning on the matter of sup- 
pressed patents, which I think is what you have in mind. 

Representative Reece. That is certainly one phase of the question 
of suppressed patents. 

Dr. Bush. And, I said that in my opinion it did not constitute a 
serious problem, for various reasons that I outlined, and specifically 
that in the usual sense of the suppressed patent, namely one that might 
result in a device for the public benefit, I had never in my experience 
seen one held away from the public permanently which could produce 
a benefit. 

Representative Reece. As an illustration of what I had in mind, 
an experience was encountered yesterday as I came down in a taxicab. 
In some way the conversation with the driver developed which gave 


him the-opportunity to express his view that he understood there were 
patents available by which there could be a great saving effected in 
the use of gas and the operation of an automobile, by which you could 
get 40 miles to the gallon, but the oil companies had bought them up 
and of course wouldn't put them into production. 

Dr. Bush. I think that is one of the popular opinions that we are 
bound to meet. I don't believe myself that there is any serious 
problem of suppression of patents in this country. I have never 
seen it. 

Representative Reece. My thought in propounding the question 
wasn't to reveal that I had the view myself, but rather to allay the 
fears that some might have. 

Dr. Bush. Of course, all inventors think that the things that they 
invent are great. If they did not have that point of view they would 
not be good inventors. Very often you find a man who thinks his 
patent has been sidetracked by artificial means because he knows 
it is good and knows it would be of great public benefit and it is not 
in use. For that reason I think we very often find men who have 
the feeling that they have been artificially prevented from progressing, 
when really the facts are quite different. 

Senator King. Apropos of that, are you familiar with the Oldfield 
hearings in the House? ^ 

Dr. Bush. Only very sketchily, sir. 

Senator King. And the McFarlane hearJngs, recently in the 
House of Representatives? ^ Is it not a fact, especially in the latter 
hearings, that there was no evidence whatever of any suppression of 

Dr. Bush. I didn't follow that evidence closely. Senator King. 

Senator King. In the Oldfield hearings, two hearings, as I recall, 
while there was some claim that there had been some patents sup- 
pressed or not used, there was no concrete evidence presented, as I 
recall. Are you familiar with that? 

Dr. Bush. No, I am not. I have never seen the record. 

Senator King. I suppose there are thousands of patents issued 
which lack utility and are never put intause? 

Dr. Bush. Right. 

Senator King. Have you made an investigation to determine, out 
of the hundreds of thousands of patents v/hich have been issued, the 
number which have been used? 

Dr. Bush. No, sir. I thought j'-ou were going to ask me whether 
I had made an invention which proved to have no utility. 

Senator King. I will ask you that now. Out of your 30 patents, 
how many of them had any utihty? 

Dr. Bush. Oh, I suppose half or a third of them are in use. The 
fiirst invention I ever made was patented in 1913 and didn't have a 
ghost of a show, but I was too young to know it at the time, or appre- 
ciate it. 

Senator King. Taken by and large, you think the patent system 
has been beneficial to our industrial and economic fife? 

Dr. Bush. It has not only been beneficial but it has been one of the 
essential factors in our position. 

1 Codification of Patent Statutes and their hearings pursuant to H. P. 23417, April 17, 1912; adu Oldfleld 
Revision and Codification of Patent Laws, 1914, 63d 2d. „ , ^ , . , 

' Hearings before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Patents on "Compulsory Licensing , 
75th 3d pursuant to R. R. 9259, H. R. 9815, and H. R. 1666. 

124491— 39— pt. 3 6 


Senator King. Would you favor any repeal or amendment of the 
present law? 

Dr. Bush. I would not. I would recommend that the patent law 
be strengthened and its imperfections removed in order that it may 
function for its intended purpose more efficiently. 

The Chairman. The question propounded by Senator King sug- 
gests another one to my mind, namely, did you ever invent any 
device which was afterwards the subject of litigation, and if so, with 

Dr. Bush. I can't remember of a case where one of my own inven- 
tions has specifically gone into litigation. 

The Chairman. You showed us this morning a device which 
sounded very much Uke a child's firecracker, but which I think was an 
important element and a really useful device. Was that ever the 
subject of litigation? 

Dr. Bush. That device was invented by one John A. Spencer. 
There are about, 1 think, 40 or 50 patents in the general field that are 
held by tha^t company, many of them resulting from his inventions. 
Those patents have never been the subject of Utigations. They have 
been the subject of long discussion and I can remember a period of 
years during which w^e in the company felt that a large company was 
infringing those patents. The matter never went to suit. 

The Chairman. You say a large company? 

Dr. Bush. A very large company. The matter never went to 
suit. The company finally took a license, and is now manufacturing 
under the patents. 

The -Chairman. I hope you are now getting a Uttle royalty from the 
large company. 

Dr. Bush. Yes; we got royalties from the large com.pany for years. 
We plowed them back in the business ; we built up a very fine business, 
and the depression came along, and things haven't been as nice since, 
but we still have hopes. 

The Chairman. I have no doubt but that with your personality 
you t!ould persuade any company to be interested. 


Senator King. Reference was made before the recess to foreign 
patents. Are there m.any Am.erican citizens who have taken out 
foreign patents? 

Dr. Bush. I can't give you the statistics off-hand. Yes; quite a 
number, of course. 

Senator King. Have they encountered any difficulties in the 
utilization of their patents in foreign countries? 

Dr. Bush. Well, again, from, my own experience, the tax situation 
in foreign countries is very difficult, and the expense of keeping up a 
group of patents is so liigh that I do not personally believe it pays to 
take out foreign patents except under very extraordinary circum- 

Senator King. I understood you to answer Senator O'Mahoney this 
rooming that you did not know of any foreign patents taken out in the 
United States; that is, taken out in the United States by foreigners, 
which were used for ro.onopolistic purposes, or for the purpose of inter- 
fering or injuring the economics of our country, our business life. 

' This subject is resumed frorn p. 093. 


Dr. Bush. I said, I think, I couldn't name any specific instance of 
where I felt that such a situation was permanently disadvantageous. 
I have no doubt that there are situations of that sort, but I can't 
name them. 

Senator King. Is there any considerable number of foreign patents? 

Dr. Bush. Oh, yes; quite a large number. 

Senator King. In what particular fields, chemistry? 

Dr. Bush. Oh, I think in all fields. You will find United States 
patents taken out by foreigners and often assigned to foreign concerns 
in practically all fields. 

Senator King. Many American patents are taken out now on dyes, 
are they not, or do you rely very largely upon the German patents for 
our dyes, for the products of coal tars? 

Dr. Bush. Before the war, of course, the whole dye industry, and 
the development of organic chemistry of dyes, had its center in Ger- 
many and was developed there. I think no one questions that at the 
present time' the Am.erican chemists are doing fully as good work as is 
done anywhere in the world in the development of that type of 

Senator King. We took over, did we not, all of the German patents, 
immediately after we entered the war? 

Dr. Bush. Yes; the Alien Property Custodian had those patents 
and they were turned over to the Chemical Foundation for the United 
States of America. 

The Chairman. Do any other members of the committee desire to 
ask Dr. Bush any additional questions? Mr. Dienner, have you any- 
thing more? 

Mr. Dienner. Nothing further, thank you. 

The Chairman. Dr. Bush, we are very grateful to you for a very 
interesting day. Thank you for appearing. 

Dr. Bush. At your service. 

The Chairman. Mr. Dienner, your next witness. 

Mr. Dienner. May we call Dr. W. D. Coohdge to take the stand? 

The Chairman. Dr. Coolidge, do you solemnly swear that the testi- 
mony you are about to give in this proceedings will be the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth? 

Dr. Coolidge. I do. 

The Chairman. You may proceed. Mr. Dienner, will you pro- 


history and description of general electric research 

Mr. Dienner. Your full name? 

Dr. Coolidge. "William D. Coolidge. 

Mr. Dienner. And your occupation? 

Dr. Coolidge. I am director of the research laboratory of the 
General Electric Co. 

Mr. Dienner. Am I correct in understanding that that was the 
first industrial research laboratory in the United States? 



Dr. CooLiDGE. So far as I know; yes, sir. 

Mr. DiENNER. That is identified in popular language as the House 
of Magic; is it not? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. Yes. 

The Chairman. This is the successor of Mr. Steinmetz? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. You might regard it as such. But it might be in- 
teresting for me to say a few words as to how this laboratory happened 
to be formed. 

The Chairman. I am sure we would be very much interested, Mr. 

Dr. Coolidge. It was 38 years ago. Mr. E. W. Rice was then in 
charge of the engineering work of the company, and among his associ- 
ates he had Professor Elihu Thomson, Dr. Steinmetz, and Mr. 
A. G. Davis, who was then head of the patent department, and these 
gentlemen saw clearly that all of the engineering work of the company 
was based on the facts and principles established by fundamental re- 
search. Much of that research work had been done by university pro- 
fessors, and they felt that it might be a very good scheme for us to 
contribute to that kind of fundamental research, and of course with 
the utilitarian purpose of establishing new facts and principles on 
which new jobs for our factories could be created, new devices which 
would give work to our various factories. 

It might be interesting, too, if I go a step further and give you a little 
picture of what that industrial research laboratory is like. It started 
with one man — a very small laboratory. Dr. \\'hitney was then 
Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 
and it gradually grew. Today there are about 300 people in that 
laboratory; about 100 of these are research workers and the others are 
mechanics, glass blowers, and assistants, and clerical help. The re- 
search workers are men who for the most part would otherwise be 
connected with universities if they weren't with us. 

The Chairman. Would it be inappropriate if we would call that the 
brain trust of the General Electric Co.? 

Dr. Coolidge. I think a little, because some of our people would 
feel that there were brains outside of the laboratory. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Frank. To follow in that vein, Doctor, it is possible that some 
of those men are persons who have never met a pay roll. 

Senator King. Is the inference that a brain truster never did meet 
a pay roll? 

Mr. Frank. It has been suggested that they have a monopoly of 
such incapacity. 

Senator King. Well, they have a partial one. 

Mr. DiENNER. Dr. Coolidge, you have been so modest that you 
have not given us a statement of your qualifications and accomplish- 
ments, and I would like to have you do so. 

Dr. Coolidge. Well, I started out to try to be an electrical engineer, 
and then after graduating from the Institute of Technology I went 
abroad for study in physics and chemistry, and then came back to this 
country and remained at the Institute of Technology for 5 years doing 
research work, and then in 1905 I joined the staff of the research 
laboratory in Schenectady. 

If I may go on and tell you a little more about what that laboratory 
is like, I have a feeling that while there is no difficulty in finding men 
who know enough to do research work, it is not so easy to find those 


who can make use, good use, of their knowledge, so that I think of 
our group as a hand-picked group of men who are able to use their 
scientific knowledge and as men who are capable of cooperating well 
with one another and with the other men in the General Electric 
organization. I should have said that Dr. Whitney in starting the 
laboratory started out with the idea that cooperation was tremen- 
dously inriportant, that given two scientists of equal ability, if they 
would cooperate nicely with one another, their output should be 
much more than twice that of either of them working alone, that each 
should contribute a good deal to the work of the othor, and I have 
seen that work out very well. In the 33 years that I have been in 
that laboratory I have often seen it happen that one man working in 
a seemingly very remote field from the other makes an important con- 
tribution to the work of the other. 

The facilities of such a laboratory are. of course, very helpful to the 
worker in it. I should name, first, the library as the most important 
aid to his work, and then he has material facilities in his workroom; he 
has probably hydrogen gas at low pressure, hydrogen gas at high 
pressure, oxygen gas, compressed air, water, and vacuum, all piped 
to his room, and then electrical services — a great variety of electrical 

I might go on a step further and speak of the different kinds of work 
going on in that laboratory. Remember that the laboratory was 
established for fundamental research, that is to establish new facts 
and principles, but it natu'-ally develops that inventions will be made 
by members of the staff. 

The Chairman. By fundamental research, Dr. Coolidge, I assume 
you mean unrestricted research unrelated to the particular objectives 
that the company itself might have in mind at that particular time. 

Dr. Coolidge.' Absolutely unrestricted. We have ordinarily stuck 
to things in the electrical field, but now that we regard all matter as 
electrical you see thct that gives us a very wide field for our work. 

As a rule, the man is working quite on his own, just as much so as 
he would if he were connected with a university. It is impossible in a 
large laboratory for any director to direct in any detail the work of 
the men in the laboratory. 

Representative Sumners. Doctor, let me ask you, in this labora- 
tory are you seeking to discover natural law and how human beings 
can work in accord with it? 

Dr. Coolidge. New facts and new principles in the physical world. 

Representative Sumners. You say new facts and new principles; 
you mean they are newly discovered; they have always existed, 
haven't they? 

Dr. Coolidge. They mav have always existed. If it were cosmic 
radiation you would sav it has always existed, but we have known noth- 
ing about it. On the" other hand, it might be something which has 
not always existed, which has been brought into existence. For 
example, "take ductile tunarsten, the material from v/hich those lamp 
filaments are made, the source of light in all of the present-day mean- 
descent lamps. There was never such a thing as ductile tungsten m 
existence until it was brought into ex-istence in the laboratory. The 
tungsten which had been made up to that time, metallic tungsten, 
had been as brittle as glass, but it was possible by work in the labo- 
ratory to make it as strong as steel. 


Representative Sumners. Has that depended upon some natural 
principle that you had worked in harmony with? You didn't create 
it, did you? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. You may say that it depended upon metallurgical 
work, but it was a new metallurgical art which was developed. 

Senator King. May I interrupt you there? Take, for instance, the 
shattering of atoms; perhaps it was never known and it would have 
been impossible until the concentration of electric energ}^ and such 
tremendous power, to shatter an atom. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. Except that that shattering has been going on all 
the time on a very large scale due to cosmic radiation, but we haven't 
known that until recently. 

Representative Sumners. But without going any further, you didn't 
inveT-', the power by which it would shatter, did you? You didn't 
create the power; it was always here. I think I will withdraw the 

Dr. CooLiDGE. We might invent a machine for producing very high 
voltage, very high energy particles for doing such atom smashing. 

Representative Sumners. The practical question to me — I tliink 
it is practical — is we don't seem to recognize in our job of trying to 
operate the machinery of a complex government that there are any 
natural laws, any principles, anything that we have got to know about 
and work in accord with; we just go thundering along. You people 
in your laboratories are trying to discover natural law and how you 
can work with it. 

The Chairman. It might be proper to remark here that the courts 
have recognized a distinction between a principle, which Congressman 
Sumners is now discussiong, and a device which makes use of that 
principle. The principle is not patentable; the device is patentable, 
and of course it may be that there is a principle in poHtics. I will dis- 
cuss tlat with Congressman Sumners a little later. 

Representative Sumners. If there is, we are pretty ignorant of it 
around here. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I appreciate your help, Mr. Chairman. 

I might say that all of this work is published, that is, there is no 
secrecy in that laboratory. Insofar as possible we try to have every 
member of the staff know what every other member is doing, and, as 
I say, all of the results of that research work, which are of any interest, 
are published, and published very promptly, published just as soon as 
the patent ai)plication can be filed. 

The Chathman. But not published before application is filed. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. That is right ; provided there is sometliing patentable 
there. Of course in mnny cases it is fundamental work, discovery of 
new facts and principles on which 

The Chairman (interposing). On which a patent couldn't be ob- 

Dr. CooLiDGE. On which a patent couldn't be obtained. The fact 
that thcro is no secrecy is very lielpful because it makes it ])Ossible for 
us to discuss our work not only freely among ourselves but also with 
other research workers in the universities and also in other industrial 
laboratores, even those of our competitors; that is, we welcome all 
visitors to our laborator^^ and always feel perfectly free to discuss 
aiiytVJng which either isn't patentable or on wliich patent protection 
has been obtained. I have said as nmch as I have about the value of 


cooperation because I know how much more efficient it is to work 
that way than on the basis of secrecy. 

The Chairman. But tliis is cooperation within a certain group, as 
you have just defined it. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. It is rather more than that because we do feel that 
we can cooperate with other groups, with scientists working in other 

The Chairman. Yes; you cooperate with these other scientists, 
these other groups so far as principles are concerned, and new facts are 

Dr. CooLiDGE (interposing). Yes; and often as to methods. 

The Chairman. But you would not cooperate with them with 
respect to any patentable de\ace until after your application was filed. 
That is a p\irely practical situation. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. That is correct. 

The Chairman. I was very much interested, Dr. Coolidge, in 
your description of this laboratory. We all know, of course, that 
laboratories of this kind are productive of great benefits, public 
benefits as well as private benefits to your particular corporation. 
Ton refer to the advantage which the scientist who is employed by 
your laboratory derives from the presence, ready to his hand, easily 
accessible, of hydrogen gas under pressure and hydrogen gas without 
pressure, the accessibility of current in various forms, and the -avail- 
ability of all of the physical devices which are used in a laboratory. 
That suggests to my mind an inquiry — if it may be a proper one, and 
I don't want to ask you to divulge private information — the inquir}'- 
as to what your annual budget may be for the maintenance cf this 

Dr. Coolidge. In this one laboratory, so-called research labora- 
tory, it will be a little over $1,000,000 a year, but that will be only a 
small fractK :i of the amount of money spent by the company for 
research. I have no idea what the total amount is, but you see there 
are some 15 other laboratories. They for the most part are what we 
call works laboratories, and their function is mainly for testing mate- 
rials and the control of factory processes. 

The Chairman. Those 15 other laboratories are the laboratorios 
which arc operated for the development of devices which are presently 
usable bv the company. I take it. 

Dr. Coolidge. It is intended that way. 

The Chairman. Yours is the general laboratory which undertake 
the fundamental research. 

Dr. Coolidge. Yes; but some fundamental research work will be 
carried on in these other laboratories. It will depend upon the 

The Chairman. Would j^ou care to venture any opinion as to the 
annual cust to the General Electric Co. for maintaining these 15 
other laboratories? 

Dr. Coolidge. I wouldn't dare to. I don't know the answer, and 
it would be very difficult, I think, even for our controller to tell you 
how much the company spends annually for research, because in some 
cases you would need to get together on definitions as to what should 
be included. 

The Chairman. But in your laboratory the expense is not less than 
$1,000,000 a year. 


Dr. CooLiDGE. That is right. 

The Chairman. And of course that is made possible only because 
the General Electric Co. is a large company, with a large number of 
stockholders and a very large capital reservoir upon which to draw. 

Mr. DiENNER. Also you should include the patent system available, 
in that connection. 

The Chairman. We will come to that, Mr. Dienner. We are not 
going to forget patents in this inquiry any time. 

You were about to answer the question, Dr. Coolidge. I said all 
of this is possible only becauso the General Electric Co. has a large 
number of stockholders and therefore a large capital reservoir upon 
which to draw to maintain this enterprise. 


Dr. Coolidge. That is undoubtedly helpful. I wouldn't want to. 
lesive you, however, with the impression that that laboratory is an 
expense to the General Electric Co. 

The Chairman. Oh, undoubtedly it produces dividends ; I am sure 
of that. I was thinking of the cooperative aspect of the matter to 
which you have referred. 

Dr. Coolidge. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Dienner. Might I ask, Dr. Coolidge, whether without such a 
laboratory your company would continue with development of new 
ideas, new principles, inventions, and, if so, at what rate? 

Dr. Coolidge. The engineering development work would certainly 
go on and the application of known principles, facts, would certainly 
go on. I think, however, that both of those would go on at a some- 
what reduced rate, because without patent protection the manufac- 
turer would spend money on the development of a device and would 
put it on the market and it would then be copied by others, and the 
second manufacturer making the "Chinese" copies would have no 
development expense and so could undersell the first manufacturer 
who was responsible for tne dev'ce in the first place. 

So far as fundamental research is concerned, 1 presume we would 
also do a certain amount of fundamental research, but it seems to me 
that it would have to be much less than At present, because I don't 
see how it could be paid for in the absence of any patent protection. 

Mr. Dienner. One other point. Would not the necessity of 
observing secrecy materially interfere with the rate of advance? 

Dr. Coolidge. It would certainly slow it down. I was so impressed 
several years ago seeing how far secrecy could be carried, and how 
badly it worked out. It was in a German laboratory and the research 
work was all done behind locked doors, not only outside doors but also 
inside doors, so that although this was all one laboratory, the man 
working in this room knew nothing about what was going on in the 
next room, and it went so far, I rember, in one instance, that the two 
men working in this room needed an electric furnace of a special type. 
They knew that a man working in the next room h-td developed such 
a furnace, but they couldn't learn anytliing about the design of that 
furnace, so they had to go ahead and develop their own, although the 
same company paid for both of these development jobs. 

Mr. DiKNN'RK. Dr. Coolidge, would you tell us about some of the 
public benefits which have accrued from your laboratory in the past, 
with reference, for example, to the electric lamp? 


Dr. CooLiDGE. As I have already said, the filament, the light-giving 
filament in the incandescent lamp of today is made of ductUe tungsten 
that was developed in that laboratory. Then miost of these lamps are 
gas-filled lamps and that was also an invention made in our laboratory 
by Dr. Langmnir, an invention w^hich doubled the efficiency of the 
incandescent lamp. I mean, the efficiency of the gas-filled' lamp is 
twice tliat of the high vacuum lamp which preceded it. 

I might also speak of our X-ray work; the modem X-ray tube came 
from that laboratory. To get back a moment to the subject of 
lighting, the new fluorescent — we have contributed to the new 
fluorescent lamp which is two or three times as efficient as the gas- 
filled incandescent lamp. 

Mr. Dip:nner. Will you pardon my interruption, but I would like 
to have you bring out at this point what savings were effected to the 
public through your improvenient.^ in lamps over the period of years. 
Refer to your notes, if you please. 

Dr. CooLiDGK. I have a story here which I would like to read on 
that subject. The United States public paid about $90,000,000 for the 
lamps it bought in 1938. If it had to buy the carbon lamps of 1900 
to produce the same n mount of light, its lamp bill would have been 
increased by about $600,000,000 for that one year, $2,000,000 per 
working day. 

The CiiAir.MAN. Well, that of course means that reduction in 
price is the means by which the inventions of science become available 
to the masses of the people.. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. That is right. 

Mr. DiENNER. A further point, Senator, that in doing that there 
is an enormous sav^ing in the cost of current required to produce the 
light we do get. Not only do we buy more lamps, but we save our 
natunil resources. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. Tliat is a small part of the story. The lamps of 
1938 through research were so much more efficient than those of 1900 
that to produce with the latter lamps the amount of H^dit used in 
1938 would have raised the public's electric light bill for the same year 
by about $3,000,000,000, or $10,000,000 per working day. 

The Chairman. It would have been perfectly impossible for the 
public to have paid any such bill? 

[Dr. Coolidge nodded his head.) 

The Chairman. Let the records show that the Doctor nodded his 
head affirmatively. 

Dr. Coolidge! Thus research on lamps has given the public an 
annual saving of about $3,500,000,000, more than the cost of all the 
private automobiles sold in 1938 in the United States. But even this 
is only part of the story. The foregoing was calculated on the basis of 
average power rates for electric lighting in 1938. The average cost 
of power today is less than one-third of what it was in 1900, and in 
this reduction 'research has played its part. If the light used in 1938 
had been produced by the lamps of 1900 with the electric power rates 
of 1900, the cost would have exceeded that of 1938 by over $10,000,- 
000,000— $30,000,000 per day.- Of course, the public would get along 
with less light for they could not have afforded such a lighting bill. 

What that woidd'have meant in reduced safety and efficiency in 
industry, in reduced safety on streets and highways, and reduced 
comfort and convenience in the home cannot be evaluated in dollars. 


The Chairman. What you are telling us, then, Doctor, if I under- 
stand it, is that anything that tends to reduce production or to main- 
tain price is really not u\ the public interest? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. That is correct. 

Mr. DiEXNEu. Dr. Coolidge, would you be good enough to let us 
in on some of your current work and show us an example or so of 
what you are working on in your laboratory at present? We would 
appreciate that very much. 

Dr. Coolidge. Dr. Bush made it a little easier for me by establi<=!h- 
ing a precedent this morning of showing some playthings. First of 
all, I should like to speak of our work on pernument magnets. 

The Chairmax. If I may remark, it looks as though Aladdin was 
just about to rub the lamp. 

Mr. DiENXER. It has been nd:)be(l. 

Dr. Coolidge. Through continuous research, in the last 30 years 
the strength of a permanent magnet has been increased eight to ten- 
fold. DiH'erent groups have contributed to this research, and from 
our laboratory has come the last step which has resulted in a two or 
threefold increase in magnet strength. I think that if you try to 
pull — I won't try to — -the iron armat\ire off of that magnet, you will 
have quite a little respect for it, and I might say that in this magnet, 
the only permanent magnet part is just the thin outer shell; the rest 
is of soft iron to concentrate the field in this narrow groove; that is, 
this was intended for a loud-speaker magnet. [Dr. Coolidge sub- 
mitted the sample for inspection.] 

In this case the magnetic material consists of an alloy of four 
elements, aluminum, nickel, cobalt, and iron. In the proper propor- 
tions and with the right heat treatment, these magnets are sufficiently 
powerful so that they are capable of producing levitation. You have 
here such a magnet, and then concealed in the wooden base is another 
one just like it, and thus, as you see, one is capable of sustaining the 
other. [Dr. Coolidge submitted the sample for inspection.] 

These new magnets will find hundreds of new applications. It is 
quite interesting to see how the field of usefidness of the permanent 
magnet is suddenly extended by increasing its strength. It will be 
used on the airplane, where weight is very important, for the magneto 
and dymimos and motors; that is, for the fields of dynamos and motors. 
It will be used where you want a quick break, as in switches where 
you now use a toggle and spring you will use a little magnet. One of 
these little horseshoe magnets goes in the control of each of our 
domestic refrigerators. I will pass these toys around. You might 
like to put them in your pockets. [Dr. Coolidge submitted the sam- 
ples for inspection.) 

The Chairman. I think you are trying to interrupt this study. 
Doctor, by making the members play. 

Senator King. How do you extract the dynamic power that con- 
stitutes this magnet; where do you get it? How do you concentrate 
it in the concrete form? Although it is imponderable, how do you 
make it ponderable? 

Dr. Coolidge. What you have done in this case is to take the 
right elements and then you have put these things in a very strong 
magnetic field. You have had to do that; that is, the thing is not a 
permanent magnet until you put it in a strong magnetic field. 


I might say just one word more about the magnet research. That 
material is so hard that it can't be machined; it has to be ground so 
that the cost, of course, is very important; it has much to do with 
determining the breadth of the field in which this thing can be used, 
so that to make little magnets like that or magnets of complicated 
shape, it is very desirable to be able to get away from the casting 
process, and we do find here through research that we can take the 
constituent metals in powder form, mix these powders up in the right 
proportion, press them in a pill-pressing machine, and then subject 
them to heat treatment which causes a sintering and au alloying of 
the metals, and then with the proper heat treatment and after mag- 
netization, they are just as good as cast magnets. 

If I may go from that to a more recent piece of work which many 
of you may liave seen described in the public press recently, the work 
of Dr. Blodgett, Dr. Katharine Blodgett, of our laboratory, in making 
glass invisible. This has come as the result of several years' work on 
surface films, fundamental research work, very funilamental on surface 
chemistry, but she has discovered this application of this work. She 
has found that by coating glass on both surfaces with a layer of material 
having the right optical property and the right thickness, she can 
completely eliminate the reflection which otherwise takes place from 
a glass surface. That is, when light falls normally on a piece of glass 
4 percent of it is reflected at this surface and 4 percent at the other 
surface so that only 92 percent goes through. This becomes a very 
serious matter when you come to a complicated optical system such 
as a good camera lens or a submarine periscope, for example, or a 
telescope. I happen to remember that in the case of the submarine 
periscope only something like 20 percent of the light which is received 
gets down through the instrument to the eye of the observer and that 
loss, 80 percent, is mainly due to the reflection that takes place from 
the various air-glass surfaces involved in the various lenses and prisms 
that go to make up that device. 

What I show you here is practical but only in a very limited field, 
because this film is a soap which would be very easily rubbed off; 
that is if you touch it you spoil it. It could be used then practically 
only where it is mechanically protected, but I am rather glad to show 
it to you for this reason. 

The Chairman. I hope you are not inferring that we ought to 
make ourselves invisible. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I want to raise this question: Can we afl'ord to carry 
this invention from this state to the state where it is generally applic- 
able, let's say, on your eveglasses? That is, now you may be troubled 
by light corning in from the side and being reflected in the eye from 
the inner surface of the lens, or on show windows, store windows, or 
the windshield of your automobile. In all those cases you are troubled 
by light reflected from the surface of the glass. Now this obviously 
in its present state can't be used on your windshield because the wind- 
shield has to be cleaned. But can we afford to go on with this piece 
of work, to carry it further, unless we can see a chance to get patent 
protection on the method which is being developed? Remember that 
we are not glass manufacturers nor are we manufacturers of optical 
equipment. I don't see how we can possibly afford to go on further 
with this invention, how we could possibly do it, unless we could get 
patent protection on it. 


The Chairman. That, of course, suggests to my mind a very inter- 
esting corrolary. This invention of Dr. Blodgett for making glass 
invisible is really outside of the field of General Electric, your imme- 
diate field, the field for which that company was originally organized, 
and in which it is operating, and it is a result of the fundamental study 
which you have been carrying on. Obviously it is a useful, patentable 
device, and if Dr. Blodgett appHes for a patent the patent will in due 
course issue to General Electric or its appointee, maybe one of its sub- 
sidiaries. That, of course, means, it indicates the way by which, as a 
result of the studies being carried on in this laboratory, maintauied at 
a cost in excess of a million dollars a year, the General Electric can, 
in due course, project itself into many fields altogether separate and 
distinct from that in which it was originally organized. Thereby the 
patent system and the system of research laboratories would be the 
means of further concentration in a single compan}^, would it not? 

Dr. Cooi.iDGE. Yes, that is true. 

The Chairman. And that in turn raises the question in my mind 
whether, under these conditions which you describe, the establishment 
of research laboratories maintained at such great expense and so per- 
fectly, so completely, it is possible for an inventor, a single individual, 
to rise in' the future, as Thomas Edison arose in the past. In other 
words, is not the individual now, the natural person who has a scien- 
tific turn of mind or a mechanical turn of mind, placed at a tremend- 
ous disadvantage to compete with your entire staff, the studies of 
which are so, what shall I say, stimulated by this tremendous organi- 
zation that you maintain? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I don't think so. This tree of knowledge is always 
growing, it is always putting on new branches, so that the frontiers, 
instead of being reduced, as you may say the geographical frontiers 
are being greatly reduced — it seems to me the frontiers of scientific 
knowledge are always being extended. 

The Chairman. Oh, I quite agree with you on that. I didn't mean 
to imply anything else. I evidently didn't make myself clear. I am 
asking whether or not in the conditions which you have described 
the future of invention, the future of discovery, is not being occupied 
by the collective efforts which are represented by your organization 
to the disadvantage of the individual enterprise of the individual 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I personally doubt whether it is to the disadvantage 
of the individual. 

The Chairman. What chance does an individual have against the 
General Electric Research Laboratorv, vour general laboratory and 
the 15 others? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. Take in this case, for example: Dr. Blodgett has 
made a splendid contribution. This work, 3-ou see, is published in 
detail. She has made a splendid contribution to our Imowledge. It 
opens the field, then, doesn't it, for mvention? We will try, of course, 
to see if we can't get from here to something which is generally appli- 
cable, but her publication opens this field up, doesn't it, to the indi- 
vidual inventor as well? 

The Chairman. Yes, tut the individual inventor doesn't have 
available to him in his closet hydrogen gas under pressure, hydrogen 
gas without pressure, test tubes of evevy variety, electric power such 
as General Electric can make available*' to you and to Dr. Blodgett 


and to others. That is what I am thinking of. He^.e is a collective, 
cooperative enterprise upon the one hand with those wonderful in- 
strumentahties immediately at command, and her^ is an individual 
working without those benefits. Is' he not at a groat disadvantage 
and should anytliing be done about it? I don't know, I confess. ' 

Representative Sumxers. Mr. Chairman, isn't this the answer? If 
the individual could do it, he could do it, and if he couldn't do it, 
this is the only agency that could do it. 

The Chairman. That may be the answer. We are discussing tbe 
fact now. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I think so. We certainly have advantages that he 
does not, but he is still making useful inventions. 

The Chairman. Oh, yes; and whenever you discover a principle 
that principle becomes public information and any individual who 
has the wit and the facihty to do so may take advantage. That is 
true, of course. 

Representative Sumners. It could hardly be expected that a private 
person of limited means could take even this glass, with soap on it, 
and be able to put something on it that would endure, and be able to 
do anythmg with it. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I am not so sure, because the principles have been 
clearly established by Dr. Blodgett. There are two things that are 
essential, only two things. One is that the tliickness of the coating 
shall be right, one-fourth of the wavelength of the light in question; 
and the other is that the iriaterial used shall be of the right refractive 
index, that is, that the velocity of hght traveling through it shall 
have the right value. Now, in this case she finds that there is no 
material — no solid material — which has the right refractive index. 
But she shows how porosity can be developed m a material so as to 
give the right refractive index, and shows that that porosity must 
be of a very fine nature, that is, the air pockets that she develops in 
this soap film must be so small that they do not cause a scattering of 
the light. 

The Chairman. To make a film withstand ordinary usage it will 
become necessary for an inventor or a scientist to make innumerable 
experiments, just as Dr. Blodgett has made, with all sorts of material 
under all sorts of conditions, and to do that it is practically necessary 
for the individual to have at his or her command the vast resources 
of a laboratory such as yours. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. But you would be surprised in this case to see how 
simple the means are that she has used in producing those films. 

The Chairman. Yes, I judge that; but it took a lot of experimen- 
tation under these conditions such as you have described to produce 
that simple use. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. And she certainly has the advantage of close contact 
with a large cooperating group of scientists. 

Mr. Dienner. Mr. Chairman, might I suggest that we will complete 
that picture a Uttle further, since obviously Dr. Coolidge can not tell 
the other side of the story so well, and we can call as a witness one or 
two other men who, without facilities, but who with only the knowledge 
of principles, were able to perceive how things can be done. 

The Chairman. Mr. Dienner, on behalf of the committee I apolo- 
gize to you for interrupting. Dr. CooHdge is too interesting, he is 
too provocative. He gets us going. Proceed, Mr. Dienner. 



Mr. DiENNER. The issuance of a patent, Dr. Coolidge, sometimes 
stimulates other people, does it not? 

Dr. Coolidge. Yes. 

Mr. DiENNER. Explain what you mean by that. 

Dr. Coolidge. It seems to me that that is very desirable, indeed. 
I think it often happens that the original invention without improve- 
ments would not come into general use, but that the publication 
through the patent of the basic patent does stimulate others to make 
detailed inventions, and as a result of such a detailed invention, that 
may be of benefit to the second inventor and the first inventor, and to 
the public, where the owner of the basic patent might never have 
realized at all on his invention. 

Mr. DiENNER. We have discussed, for example, the beginning of 
this film for reducing the glare on glass, and we have been speaking 
of these high-powered permanent magnets. Take a series of inven- 
tions with which you are familiar, and give us some idea of the time 
between the making of the invention and the putting of that invention 
into commercial form and into commercial use. 

Dr. Coolidge. It is very different in different cases. It seems to 
be always very much longer than one would predict. I have in mind 
a recent development some 4 years ago, I should say. One of our 
men invented a new mercury switch, a little thing to be used in the 
home in place of the ordinary switch that you now have. It was 
about as large around as a 25-cent piece, and perhaps 3 or 4 times as 
thick, and there was nothing in it but 2 little steel shells sealed to- 
gether around the edge with some glass, a httle piece of porcelain 
inside, a drop of mercury and some hydrogen gas. But it has taken 
us 3 years to get from the idea to something which could be sold to 
the pubhc. It is a case where the device must be rehable, and it 
must be very inexpensive. I suppose to have a very wide use, it 
can't cost but a few cents, so that automatic machinery has been 
developed to produce it. Automatic machinery has had to be de- 
veloped to test it, because it isn't sufficient that 99 out of 100 of these 
devices shall function properly, they must all function properly. 
But as you look at it now, it doesn't seem possible that it can have 
taken us 3 years of hard work to get that thing to a point where it 
could be of benefit to the public. 

With more complicated things, the time is usually much longer. 
Several years ago I remember Dr. Whitney made a study covering a 
few of the devices developed in our laboratory, and found that the 
average time was 10 or 12 years. 

Mr. DiENNER. Considering the life of the grant, that is the life of 
a patent after it is granted, have you any comments on the 17 years 
as being a suitable time or otherwise? 

Dr. Coolidge. I have a feeling that it is none too long. 

Mr. DiENNER. Have you any comments to make on the general 
character of the workings of the patent svstem as you have encoun- 
tered it? 

Dr. Coolidge. It has certainly seemed to tne to be tremendously 
helpful, and I should certainly hate to see it abolished or any very 
radical changes made in it. I am impressed, of course, by the fact 
that under that system in the 38 years since our laboratory was started 
some 1,500 other industrial research laboratories have sprung up. 


Mr. Frank. Dr. Coolidge, your corporation devotes apparently a 
considerable amount of its funds not only to the development of these 
ideas, but in many instances to their useful exploitation and develop- 
ment. That indicates, I would gather, that in that manner other than 
through what are known as the capital markets, large sums of mone}^ 
are available for the development of American enterprise, so that the 
sole measure of our industrial advancement must not be taken as 
being found solely in the capital markets. 

Dr. Coolidge. You are getting me a little out of my field; I am 

Mr. DiENNER. Do you vision the future as involving a continuous 
increase in the number of research laboratories maintained by in- 

Dr. Coolidge. Yes, I do. I think it has been very well demon- 
strated now that it is only through research that industry can be — 
well, I think of research as insurance for industry. 

Mr. DiENNER. Insurance against what risk? 

Dr. Coolidge. Any industry is manufacturing certain things. Im- 
provements may be made by others which would render those things 

Mr. DiENNER. In other words, insurance against a displacement 
from its position, whatever that may be? 

Dr. Coolidge. Yes, that is what I mean. 

Mr. DiENNER. What do you vision the effect in the way of public 
benefit may be, that is regarding the patent system as a means for 
effecting the greatest good to the public? Do you see any danger 
to the public arising through the increase in industrial research labora- 

Dr. Coolidge. I can't see any. As I have said before, I think of 
the tree of knowledge as always increasing, always putting out new 
branches, and I can s^e no hazard in it. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chairman, I have concluded with the witness' 

The Chairman. You find the patent system beneficial to General 
Electric or to any other large corporation operating industrially, do 
you not? 

Dr. Coolidge. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. And that, of course, is recognized as a grant from 
the pubhc, from all the people of the United States, to the corporation. 

Dr. Coolidge. Yes. 

The Chairman. In other words, I am merely emphasizing the fact 
that patents are possible only because the Constitution of the United 
States and the representatives of all of the people assembled in 
Congress have provided for this protection to inventors, and that 
protection inures to the benefit of the big as well as to the benefit of 
the small. 

Dr. Coolidge. Yes. 

The Chairman. Of course, the question which suggests itself over 
and over in my mind in connection with every phase of the study in 
which we are engaged is whether or not there is anything that we 
should do, anything that we can do, to m.ake it possible for industry 
to take up the slack in unemployment. We have had a good deal of 
testimony here today and upon other occasions, and there is a good 


deal published in all of the current literature with respect to the in- 
creased opportunities for labor which arise as a result of invention, 
but as I pointed out in questioning Dr. Bush, these new enterprises 
have been accomplished, strangely enough, by increased unemploy- 
ment. Do you tliink of any tiling that industry can do or that govern- 
ment can do to solve this very, very important question? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. Again I am being taken out of my field, Senator. 

The Chairman. You don't see anything in the patent field wliich 
would solve it? 


The Chairman. Are you satisfied that the natural individual is 
sufficiently protected by the present system against competition from, 
huge collective enterprises such as that by wliich you are employed? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I tliink so. 

The Chairman. You think he is. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I think so. We are always on the lookout for new 
inventions (I mean our company is), whether they come from our 
laboratory or whether they may be from outside. 

Mr. Dienner. Did you hear the testimony this morning ^ about the 
manner in which an individual is sometimes compelled to, having 
obtained a patent, go to great expense through a very complicated 
legal system to maintain his rights? 

Dr. CooLiDGE. Yes; and I can see that it would be very nice if 
that could be simplified. 

The Chairman. But you have notliing of yours to add to that 

Dr. CooLiDGE. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Are there any other questions to be asked by any 
other m.embers of the committee? Admiral Peoples? Mr. P'rank? 
Mr. WUliams? Judge "Davis? Congressman Reece? Commissioner 

Representative Reece, Except, Mr. Chairman, I would be inter- 
ested to know what policy your company has with reference to making 
its patents available to the public, particularly those patents which 
might be evolved in your laboratory which the company itself does 
not use. 

Dr. CooLiDGE. I tliink that in general it has been the policy of our 
company to Ucense other companies under such patents. 

The Chairman. Are there any other questions to be asked? If 
not. Dr. Coolidge, the committee is very much indebted to you for a 
very interesting afternoon. 

Mr. Dienner, your next witness will be who? 

Mr. Dienner. I shah call Mr. Flanders, of Jones & Lamson, and 
Mr. Graham of the Motor Improvement Co. 

The Chairman. WiU it be convenient for you to begin with them 
in the morning? 

Mr. Dienner. I would appreciate that. 

The Chairman. If there is no objection, the committee wdl stand 
in recess until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 4:15 p. m., a recess was taken until Wednesday, 
January 18, 1939, at 10 a. m.) 

' Supra, p. 855 et seq. 



United States Senate, 
Temporary National Economic Committee, 

Washington, D. C. 

The Temporary National Economic Committee met pursuant to 
adjournment yesterday, at 10:30 a. m. in the Caucus room of the 
Senate Office Building, Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney presiding. 

Present: Senator O'Mahoney (chairman); Representative Williams; 
Messrs. Henderson, Frank, Peoples, Thorp, and Coe. 

Present also: Senator Homer T. Bone, of Washington, chairman of 
the Senate Patents Committee. Counsel: John A. Dienner, special 
counsel for committee; Justin W. Macklin, First Assistant Commis- 
sioner of Patents; Leslie Frazer, Assistant Commissioner of Patents; 
Henry Van Arsdale, Assistant Commissioner of Patents; Grattan 
Kerans, administrative assistant to the Commissioner of Patents; 
George Ramsey, of New York, assistant to Mr. Dienner. 

The Chairman. The committee will now come to order, Mr. 
Dienner, you are recognized to proceed. 

Mr. Dienner. Yesterday our last witness was a representative 
of a large industry, of a wide variety of products, fields and interests, 
with a largfi research laboratory at his command. Now we are 
introducing a witness representing a relatively small enterprise wliich 
has for a long period maintained its position in industry under the 
patent laws and without the advantages of a research laboratory.. 
We call Mr. Ralph E. Flanders. Mr. Flanders, vAW you be sworn? 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear the testimony wliich you 
will give in these proceedings will be the truth, the whole truth and 
nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Flanders. I do. 


Mr. Dienner. Mr. Flanders, will you tell us your occupation and 

Mr. Flanders. I am president of the Jones & Lamson Machine 
Co., of Springfield, Vt., maker of machine tools. Machine tools are 
roughly metal working machinery ; and I am an inventor and designer 
as well as having some responsibility for the business management 
of the company. 

Mr. Dienner. Give us some further facts in regard to your 

Mr. Flanders. Well, I was born up in the country in Vermont, 
taken as a child down into Rhode Island, served an old-fashioned 

124491— 39— pt. 3 7 925 


apprenticeship to the machinist trade at Brown's shops in Providence, 
stayed there for 5 years, worked in the drafting room there and in" 
other places for a number of years, roving about ; then was associate 
editor of Machinery, a pubhcation deahng with machine tools in 
New York for 5 years, from 1905 to 1910; then I went froni there 
back to Vermont, to Springfield, where I now live, for work with the 
machine-tool industries of that town in various connections. 

Mr. Frank. Mr. Flanders, you are one of the co-authors of a recent- 
ly published important book known as Toward Full Employment? ^ 

Mr. Flanders. I am a co-author, sir, of that book. 

The Chairman. You don't object to the adjective, I am sure. 

Mr. Flanders. It is a much more difficult and praiseworthy task 
to be a co-author than it is to be an author. 

The Chairman. I thought you meant the word "important." 

Mr. Flanders. I would rather someone else would use that. 


Mr. Dienner. Will you tell us the history of your present com- 
pany, which I believe is Jones & Lamson Machine Co.? 

Mr. Flanders. Yes. There are photostats here of a genealogical 
chart of my company. ^ One new ancestor has been found since 
this chart was made. This chart, by the way, is taken from a 
book by Prof. Joseph W. Roe, then of Yale, Sheffield School, titled 
''English and American Tool Builders." The line is traced back 
one generation earlier to Asahel Hubbard, an inventor of Windsor. 
Vt., who in 1834 was granted a patent, of which photostats are avail- 
able for a revolving hydrauUc engine.^ This patent carries the signa- 
tures of President John Quincy Adams (the Adamses were important 
in those days) ; Henry Cl^y, Secretary of State ; smd WilUam Wirt, 
Attorney General of the United States. They got on all the names 
that were available. A patent was a pretty serious thing; it was an 
outright monopoly without much qualification or subject to much 
doubt. The fact that Mr. Hubbard was able to get a patent that 
enabled' him to get the backing of a local capitahst to set up a little 
machine shop in Windsor, and he built these so-called revolving 
hydraulic engines which were nothing more than an early form of 
rotary pump, and from that little town way up in the North, far 
from the centers of urban civilization, salesmen were sent all over 
this country, and the first public water system of the city of St. 
Louis had the water pumped by one of these pumps made up in 
Windsor, Vt., at that time. 

I am not going to go into all of this in detail, but I will touch one or 
two high spots. The ^ext step was when Nikanor Kendall (these 
names are good — Asahel Hubbard and Nikanor Kendall — they are 
country boys) married the daughter of Asahel Hubbard. Nikanor 
Kendall was a gunsmith, had a country gun shop, and made guns by 
hand. When he married into the family of a man wdth a machine 
shop they commenced making guns by machinery instead of by hand, 
and it was the development of machine tools for making guns which 

I Co-autliors with Mr. Flanders: Henry S. Dennlson, Lincoln Filene. Morris E. Leeds, published 1938 by 
McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc. Mr. Dennison subsequently testified before the committee, see hearings 
held May 22, 1939. h .r , ^ 

* Subsequently entered as "Exhibit No. 208". See infra, p. 1149. 

• Subsequently entered as "Exhibit No. 207". See infra, facing p. 1149. 


has been continued down through to my company to the present day. 
I just touch one or two of the high spots in that thing. 
I notice here on the left the Enfield gun machinery. 
Mr. DiENNER. You are referring to the genealogical chart? 
Mr. Flanders. Of our company; yes. That is the Enfield Arsenal 
h^ England, and the machinery for making the Lee-Enfield gun, with 
which the British fought the Crimean \Yar, was made up in Windsor, 
Vt. They made such good guns that were exhibited at a royal exhi- 
bition in London, that the British Army sent over a buying commission 
which wound up in Windsor, Vt., and bought machinery for equipping 
the Enfield Arsenal. 

Coming down through, there is another interesting spHt-off here. 
You see the Windsor Manufacturing Co., 1865, in the lower middle 
center, with a line in the left running off to Sullivan Machinery Co. 
This firm through its history built almost everything imaginable, 
including in 1865 certain minmg and quarrying machinery, and with 
regard to the Une of quarrying machinery there was a patent suit on^ 
and a couple of young fellows in the Windsor Manufacturing Co. 
thought that they had a scheme for a channeling machine that was 
better than the one that was held up by the lawsuit, and so they tried 
to sell the new idea to the people in charge of the firm, didn't succeed 
in doing^it, so they went down to the livery stable, hired a buggy, and 
the two of them set off for the neighboring town of Claremont, N. H., 
and on their way they stopped to talk to a well-to-do farmer of Clare- 
mont, Deacon Upham, and with him sitting on one side of the flat-top 
stone wall and they on the other, they spread out their sketches and 
he financed them to the making of the new channeling machine. 
That was the beginning of the Sullivan Machinery Co., which is one 
of the leading builders of mining and quarrying machinery in the 
United States — another case of the starting of a new industry from 
the ideas of a couple of young fellows. 

Now, this central company has gone into decline two or three 
periods throughout its history and had to be reorganized, and in each 
case the reorganization and the new success was built on new inven- 
tions and new patented. inventions, clear down through to the last one, 
James Hartness, who came there in 1888 and revived the fading insti-. 
tution with new blood and new ideas, and again brought it to the 

The last thing I will mention is the three names below Mr. Hart- 
ness' name to which a fourth has been added since this chart was 
made: Mr. Lovejoy. There is a succession of chief draftsmen from 
Mr. Hartness, each of whom had a patentable idea, each of whom left 
the parent company, got financial backing for his idea, and each of 
whom founded a successful company existing and operating today. 

This genealogical chart of companies is, if looked at from the patent 
standpoint, a series of patentable ideas, branching off from the central 
parent stem and becoming a new and successful a/id going organization. 

Mr. DiENNER. Each enterprise founded on an idea not coming from 
a research laboratory, I take it. 

Mr. Flanders. No. In fact, one of the most picturesque of these 
is Mr. E. R. Fellows, who before he went with Mr. Hartness was a 
window dresser in a department store in Torrington, Conn. That 
wasn't a research laboratory proposition. 


Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chairman, may we have these charts introduced 
in the records as exhibits? I think they would be helpful to explain 
the testimony of the witness. 

The Chairman. Without objection, so ordered. 

(The documents referred to were marked "Exhibits Nos. 207 and 
208" and are included in the appendix on pp. 1148-1149.) 


Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Flanders, in your particular industry what do 
you feel would happen without patent protection to your company? 
Mr. Flanders. Without patent protection — really, I can't imagine. 
It is the patent protection which makes it worth while for us to spend 
the tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars involved in 
developing a new idea. I don't know just what we would do without 
patent protection. I am sure that there would not be so much 
improvement because you couldn't afford to put the money into the 
development. I never tried to think what it would be without patent 

' Mr. DiENNER. Assume that you even had the disadvantage, or 
the advantage, of a compulsory license provision in the law, what 
would be the effect upon your industry? 

Mr. Flanders. The compulsory license provision — well, of course, 
most of the patents, not all but most of the patents we take out we 
put into use, and we wouldn't lose much ourselves that we had 
patented, but I am not able to answer these hypothetical questions 
quite so well as I am to describe actual experience. I haven't tried 
to think through what would happen with a Ucensing provision. 

Mr. DiENNER. In other words, if someone had the right to come 
to you and ask for a Ucense on the payment of a fee, roj^altj^, you 
consider that would be beneficial. 

Mr. Flanders. I see, you are not referring to the same situation 
they have abroad where you must either work it yourself — — 

Mr. DiENNER (interposing). No, that is called a working agreement. 
Mr. Flanders. The idea being if people had a right to demand a 
license of us? 

Mr, DiENNER. Yes. 
Mr. Flanders. That is different. 
Mr. DiENNER. What do you think of it? 

Mr. Flanders. If they had the right to demand a license, it would 
depend on what the Ucense fee was. If it was something that required 
$100,000, which is by no means, even in our line, a large sum, to 
develop and get possible future profits from it, we should need to 
have a license fee large enough to have warranted that expenditure 
and it would be a pretty large fee. 

Mr. DiENNER. Would you like to have some existing with you, 
even though you did receive a royalty on your own ideas? 

Mr. Flanders. We might be willing on any particular thing to 
receive licenses large enough so we could sit back and do nothing on 
that particular thing, but we wouldn't want to be compelled to sit 
back and do nothing on everything we did and just receive money 
without having any fun in business. 

I don't know, this proposal is something that I haven't given much 
thought to. You speak about having competition. We do have 
very severe competition, and the competition at the present time 


works this way, that here is a competitor here, and here are we here, 
and we find our competitor moving ahead a notch With some new 
patented improvement, and we have to think hard and think fast 
and think of something else that is better than that so that we are 
up here., and the other fellow thinks of something that is better than 
that and he is up here, and so we keep going. That is as far as I can 
go right this minute, but there is no end to that step-by-step progress 
that comes with protected inventions. 

The Chairman. Now are you speaking of actual events which have 
happened in your experience, or of an ideal condition? 

Mr. Flanders. Yes; that situation is actual. A particular case of 
it is at the moment is with a comparatively new machine, a new 
process, a process for grinding screw threads on hardened parts, par- 
ticularly useful in aviation engine work. We have one competitor. 
The competitor (let not this word get out of this room) is just about 
as good as we are, and we are a continual stimulus to each other. 
That doesn't trouble us at all, and it is good for the industry as a whole. 

The Chairman. "VMien this very able competitor of yours develops 
a new device, do you attempt to compete with it by imitating the 
device or by developing an utterly different device? 

Mr. Flanders. An utterly different device for the same thing, not 
by trying to copy at all — an utterly different device, and the' net 
result is that in this particular process the results-obtained for the user 
of the machine are about four or five times as good as they would have 
been if there had been no competition and no patented protection. 
The user gets the benefit of it. That is a specific instance. In 
general, our whole industry's relation to patents and the relation of 
our customers to the effects of patent protection run along the same 

The Chairman. It occurs to me that under the compulsory licensing 
system, of which Mr. Dienner spoke, it would only be necessary for 
you, when your competitor stepped out a yard in advance of you, to 
demand that he license the new device to you and you would not be 
put to the stimulus or the effort of developing the utterly different 
device from your own. 

Mr. Flanders. No; we wouldn't be put to the stimulus; we prob- 
ably wouldn't make the effort and the art wouldn't be advanced so 
rapidly. That seems to me a logical result. 

I say, this is a hypothetical situation I have never met, but I 
imagine it would work that way. 

Mr. Dienner. I would like to ask, Mr. Flanders, whether there is 
any broad patent protection in your specific field that you now know 
of; I mean, wldch prevents anyone from making machine tools. 

Mr. Flanders. No; there is no marked-off space of any importance 
that I can think of in which there is a "no trespassing" sign set up. 
It is an old industry and an open field for ingenuity. Its opportuni- 
ties for ingenuity still exist; ingenuity is still being exercised, still 
being protected, still being rewarded ,~" and the field is still being devel- 
oped in spite of the fact that it is an old one. 

Mr. Dienner. You mentioned the products or machines made by 
your company as a thread-grinding machine. Do you make other 
machines? ■ ■> 

Mr. Flanders. Yes; we make turret lathes, automatic lathes, the 
automatic opening die, and a line of'bptical measuring instruments 


involving the use of magnified projection of outlines to be measured. 

Mr. DiENNER. Now 1 would like to bring before the committee 
the picture in regard to the expiration of a particular patent and the 
result of that in connection with the turret lathe. Will you explain 
the facts in connection with that? 

Mr. Flanders. Well, the facts in connection with that are typical 
of almost any of these lines on this chart. The modern turret lathe 
was born with our company before the Civil War. After the Civil 
War it went through another period of development on which a series 
of patents was taken out. On the expiration of those patents they 
became common property and are now used without thought or 
knowledge, even, of their ever having been patented, they have become 
so much the common property of the industry by all builders of 
turret lathes in the country, and a series of lathe patents in the nineties 
has become common property and is used by all builders of turret 
lathes the country over and the world over. In these other companies 
down here, particularly Fellows, the Gear Shaper Co., gear-cutting 
macliinery, the same -thing is true. He developed — this man whose 
previous experience had been dressing windows in a dry goods store — 
a method of cutting gear teeth which was new and revolutionary. It 
is now common property. There are two firms in the United States, 
two in England, and two in Germany building machinery which is 
more or less a direct copy of the machines that he built. That has 
now become the common property of the industry and is the basis 
of the designs of many companies. 

Mr. DiENNER. I take it here is an industry in which a great many 
devices, machines, are being manufactured in substantially the same 
from in which they were manufactured before the expiration of the 
patents. Is that correct? 

Mr. Flanders. That is particularly true of the gear shaper. In 
the turret lathe I wouldn't want to say "the same form." The 
principles have remained the same, but the form has been so much 
improved that the likeness isn't so obvious as it is in the case of the 
gear shaper, which is a more unique sort of thing, but the same prin- 
ciples that were patented by early inventors in our company are now 
universally used in improved forms with no change in principle. 

Mr. DiENNER. I understand you do not maintain a research labora- 

Mr. Flanders. No. 

Mr. DiENNER. What is the size of your enterprise, approximately? 

Mr. Flanders. We have in good times about 800 employees and 
sell three or four millions dollars' worth of machine tools a year. 

Mr. DiENNER. How are you able to maintain your position in 
competition with larger competitors? 

Mr. Flanders. Well, the difficulty is not so much with larger 
competitors as it is in our location, 7 miles from a railroad, but we 
can maintain our position there geographically or competitively only 
by continuous invention and continuous development. 

Mr. DiENNER. Which I assume is patented where possible. 

Mr. Flanders. It is patented; yes. 

The Chairman. If you don't maintain a research laboratory, how 
an you depend upon the continuity of invention which you say is so 
ecessary to maintain your competitive position? 

Mr. Flanders. Continuity of invention is maintained by hiring 
bright young fellows; it is maintained personally. We have to renew 


m a given company without a continuing research laboratory the 
inventive ability and the personnel at least every generation. That is 
the history. There is no organization; it is too small for an organiza- 
tion, and it has never been the history of our particular industry to 
depend on research organizations. Perhaps it is more nearly the old- 
fashioned inventor than it is scientific research, though a certain 
degree of scientific research comes into it. ■ 

The Chairman. Doesn't this fall into a slightly different category 
from that in which the General Electric find themselves, for example? 
The General Electric Co. is deahng primarily with fundamental 
research, the application of scientific principles to modern industrial 

Mr. Flanders. Yes. 

The Chairman. On the other hand, your company, which is engaged 
in the making of macliine tools, as I understand it, is dependent rather 
upon the practical application of particular tools to particular tasks. 

Mr. Flanders. Yes. 

The Chairman. And therefore you can depend for invention en- 
tirely upon these bright young men who are working on a special task 
every day, and you don't have to have research, 

Mt. Flanders. That's right; that's right. 

The Chairman. So that the mere fact that your company 'pro- 
ceeds without a research laboratory is not in any sense a criticism of 
the research laboratory method. 

Mr. Flanders. Not at all; no. 

The Chairman. Nor an indication that the research laboratory 
method could be dispensed -watli? 

Mr. Flanders. Not at all. ■ 

The Chairman. Nor is it an indication that the research laboratory 
method does not result in the concentration of patent control? 

Mr. Flanders. Well, does not result in the concentration of patent 
control . Tn its own field I presume it does. I like to speak best about 
my field about which I know. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions for the 
witness, unless he wishes to develop the subject. 

The Chairman. Mr. Flanders, the fact that your company is pri- 
marily interested in the manufacture of machine tools would indicate 
that you should be' particularly expert in giving us an opinion at 
least \vith respect to the effect on unemployment of labor-saving 
devices. I assume that this long line of companies illustrated on the 
chart which you presented here this morning has grown and extended 
in the early the present time primarily because you have been 
constantly developing and inventing new devices for making macliine 
tools and for saving labor in the manufacture of the implements to 
which these machines would apply. 

Mr. Flanders. In our industry there are two things that improve- 
ment does. It provides machines which turn out work faster and 
turn out work better. You have to keep that in mind particslarly 
in the machine-tool industry, because at least half of the improvement 
relates to accuracy and the other half relates to higher production. 
and so setting aside, not forgetting, the fact that a main purpose cif 
improvement lies in accuracy, we will say, yes, that a main line of 
improvement lies in increasing the output of the worker. Now, this 
history of our company and its predecessors has gone on for more than 


a hundred years, not just since the war, since the World War, but for 
more than a hundred years it has been engaged in making machinery 
by which the individual workman turns out more product. Not onl}^ 
has that been true of machine tools; it has been true in textile machin- 
ery, it has been true in agricultural machinery, it has been true in 
every Hne of production machinery, that for more than a hundred 
years, not just since 1920, we have been continuously engaged in the 
process of improving the output of the individual worker. 

Now from time to time we run into difficulties, but in that hundred- 
year period the net result has been beneficial and in the last 10-year 
period perhaps we are not so clear on the picture; on the hundred-year 
picture it is clear. 


The Chairman. When you say beneficial, what do you mean in 
terms of jobs? What I have in mind, Mr. Flanders, simply stating 
it, is this. Through this himdred-year period — we will treat the 10- 
year period afterward, as you differentiated it — have your company 
and its predecessors in machine tools created more jobs than they 
have displaced? 

Mr. Flanders. Immensely more. 

The Chairman. Now on what do you base that statement? 

Mr. Flanders. The industries which have spread out from our 
work (I don't mean just simply this chart, but the great mass of 
things that these machines have made) were not in existence; they 
relate to goods which no one dreamed of; they relate to things like 
this microphone which no one could even imagine, and the people 
who make these microphones have completely new jobs. I haven't 
any statistics at hand, I can't say whether a greater percentage of the 
population now is gaiii fully employed than was the case in 1834 when 
this began, but of this I am sure, that in 1834 they were engaged in 
making a bare Uving and in 1939 they are engaged in making for 
themselves very much more than a bare living, very much more than 
food and clothes and shelter, and it is the development of which our 
company has been a part which has made that thing possible. 

The Chairman. Now about the 10-year period which you differ- 
entiated a moment ago. 

Mr. Flanders. The lO-j'ear period seems to me by no means a 
period in which our distresses have come from labor-saving machiner3\ 
Now when I start to talk on tliis line I am completely off of the patent 
question, and I don't know whether I should be or not, but we wont 
through in the period from the middle twenties on to the middle thir- 
ties a timet when the primary activity of a large part of the capital of 
the country was engaged not in production and distribution, but in 
the manufacture and sale of paper titles to wealth, and I don't beUeve 
that that is a socially useful service. I believe it was at that time a 
disruptive, socially disruptive occupation, and there is no likeness, 
no coimection ]>etween financial speculation and the production and 
distribution of goods, and I befieve we want to be very careful that 
in applying' proper controls and correctives to the production and 
distribution of securities that we don't at the same time apply improper 
and dan^eri'us barriers to the production and distribution of goods 
and tiervices. 


The Chairman. I am afraid I misunderstood you, Mr. Flanders. 
I thought that you were indicating that in the lO-year period there 
was a different effect upon employment from that which was noticeable 
during the previous 100 years. 

Mr. Flanders. Let me make the connection which I didn't estab- 
Ush. My belief is that there has been no change in the principle, in 
the effects of the application of improved maclunery to employment 
and production and the standard of living since the war as distinguished 
from the period before the World War, but that something else has 
come in which has disturbed us and that that is the cause of our 
difficulties and that we are not looking at the right thing when we 
try to find that cause in improved macliinery, we are not looking at 
the right thing, we should be looking at this other thing. 

The Chairman. Then you really mean that the difference in the 
10-year period from the 100-year period is due to other causes 

Mr. Flanders. Yes; that is it, cither causes altogether. 

The Chairman. Do you export any of your machine tools? 

Mr. Flanders. We exported last year about 60 percent of our 
machine tools. 

The Chairman. Where did they go? 

Mr. Flanders. They went largely to England, Russia, and France. 

The Chairman. Was there any difference noticeable in the amount 
of exportation to those three countries recently? 

Mr. Flanders. They were largely concerned with war prepara- 
tions. The domestic demand is not good. 

The Chairman. How about France? 

Mr. Flanders. France is interesting. France has been a poor 
market for modern production machinery until this last year. Then 
the shorter hours introduced by the Premier — you know, previous to 

The Chairman (interposing). Premier Blum. 

Mr. Flanders. Introduced under Premier Blum stopped off or 
interfered with production, particularly war preparations, to such an 
extent that for the first time the French are keenly interested in pro- 
duction machinery, and they are npw buyng it. That is just a 
matter of interest. 

The Chairman. I was going to ask just another question. • With 
respect to the stabiUty of employment which is available to workers 
in a field like yours or in a plant like yours which is located in the 
country, what happens to your workers when a depression comes and 
your market falls off? 

Mr. Flanders. We are favorably located so far as the workers are 
concerned. Our industry is the worst in the whole list of industries 
for which records are kept. In the 1929 depression there was only one 
subject to more fluctuations than ours, and that was locomotive build- 
ing, in which, owing to certain technical corrections in the index they 
had a minus production one month. Ours wasn't quite so bad as 
that. On the face of it, it looks as if somebody shipped a locomotive 
back to Baldwin. [Laughter.] But except for that we have the 
worst ups and downs of anj industry. Located as we are, in the 
country, a very large proportion of our men have gardens and bens and 
some of them have cows, some of them have pretty nearly full-fledged 
farms. Most of them have fathers and mothers or uncles and aunts 


or brotliers and sisters on the farm, and that helps out durin? hard 
times. But there is one other thing that we do, and did \Ve were 
enabled in 1929, under the— if you will permit me to say so— tax laws 
then existing, to lay by a considerable sum for development work and 
that development work we carried out during tjie depression and we 
spent something between five and six bundled thousand dollars- and 
hve and six hundred thousand dollars in development work means that 
amount of employment, because in development work a comparatively 
small amount of material is used— it is almost a hundred percent 
employment— and we used that during tlie dull times for brino-incr our 
line of machinery and product up to date. ^ 

So we had the advantage of a war chest— we didn't go out for 
dividends, we just want to make sure that is clear; we had a little wir 
chest lor maintaining employment, and we were in the country Pnd in 
close connection with the soil and we got by and our men got by 
better than did many other industries much less subject to fluctuation 
than ours was, located in urban centers. 

The Ch.^irman Your men lived on the soil, whereas the laid-off 
employees m the big city were unable to support themselves 

^\1T. INLANDERS. 1[ es. 

The Chairman. Do any of the members of the committee desire 
to ask any questions? 


vo!^Ir7.''.^r;i^^';7^^''-^''''>'-*^^^^'^ important book of which 
Ir.^ f co-author, there is an mtimation that something oudit to be 
done for the relatively small industry— you indicate, I believe an 
f^nnnLn"^^.^ ^'^^ or needing funds in the amount of $500,000 to 
tW ?i!i u something ought to be done for such industries so 

explail that? "^"'^ ^^^ ^ ""^^^"^ '^P^*^^' "^'^^^^ ^^^ ^^^« ^^ 
Mr. Flanders. Anyone wanting more than $5,000,000 can get it 
annlv f^T.nJfnnn*-''^ concl.t.i $i,ooo,000 is a feasible amount to 
apply for, $500,000 is a httle bit difficult. Floating a stock issue or 
a Dond issue or getting banking accommodation of long-term nature 
or less than $500,000 is something that we are not set-up to do? aJid 
or th. r^^-TP'^r °fi!^^'' ""^7 '"'^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^eeds above the $500,000 
It nrt^ '''' line that needs some means of long-time financing not 

hasTrdin«Hri'^^'\ ^r ^^' "^P^^^ within that range hitherto 
Has ordinarily done its financing by sav ng up durincr ^oSd times a 

diffici^t?o"; ''^. spending it luriiig hard ti^es. f hirwas most 
somPwLi 1 "^"^V^'^. undistnbuted profits tax as it was-they are 
or7or o«U!ff Pf ^^li^fd for It now, but either whether for expansion 
^ tW mS^/^'^^^^^T^^'^ ^^°^^? '^ ^ ^*^" ^iffi^^Jt ^or the company 
Sing eC aiain f '■ ^^Z ""^^'^ '' "^-"^^^ *« expansion that is some^- 
mmg else again, 25 30, 40 years ago it was possible to go out in the 

mfney It if rt' ^"' "^^^'^^"^ '^'^t ^^^^^^ ^^^^ and g?? addidonal 
money It is not so easy now. The S. E. C process is all to thp 

fesfrSe"Tt\a: CT'^' -\-,?--ral in i?sTa%Vre:Illts: a 
to be thP ri 1 handicapped the httle local financing which used 
to be the regular method by which these small and middle-sized 
£ompa^ either were originaUy started or got their additSnal 

' See hearings on this subject, Henring^, Part IX. 


capital as they grew. There is a real element of risk involved in it. 
That element of risk is pretty, pretty large, and. it isn't so easy for 
local folk to take a chance, nor do they want to, in tliis comparatively 
small thing, even though they know there is a chance there. 

Twenty -five and thirty years ago people were taking chances wil- 
lingly; it was in the air. There were successes all about of people 
who had taken chances; there were failures as well, but the spirit of 
taking a chance was in the air and the financing of most of the small 
and middle-sized companies was a matter of willingly taking chances. 
I don't know whether you get what I mean by the spirit of risk and 
enterprise being in the air or not, but it has gone out of the air now. 
We don't breathe that air quite as naturally as we did 25 to 30 or 40 
years ago. The S. E. C. is partly responsible for it, by putting the 
finger on the risks and callmg attention to them, partly responsible 
for it by putting a larger financial load on the small industries than 
on the large. 

Mr. Frank. I should like to pursue that with you for a moment. 
On that latter point you are misinformed. You might be interested 
to know that aside from the fact that there are certain exemptions 
for some small issues, what is more important, we have a great number 
of issues of small character which have been registered with S. E. C. It 
is true that the cost of registration is relatively larger, but it is frac- 
tionally small as compared with the cost of flotation. We have this 
very large number of registered issues where that expense has been 
incurred and where the issues have been unsold, so that the lack of 
salability cannot be ascribed to the cost of registration. 

Mr. Flanders. I don't think I made clear the point I was trying 
to make. In times past the inventor put his faith in a man. Here is 
our region up here in the country; here is a group of two or three or 
four men. The people around about know these men to be men of 
ingenuity, men of integrit}', men of energy, and they have put their 
faith and their money in a man, and that is quite a different process 
from the disembodied corporation of unknown personalities of which 
3'ou judge on the basis of certain certified figures spread out before you. 

The Chairman. Then I assume that 3-ou would be very much 
inclined to agree with Senator Borah and me that it is of great impor- 
tance that the corporation laws be so drafted as to make it possible 
for men to place the same faith in the corporation which they for>nerly 
used to place in the man. 

Mr. Flanders. I don't know the mechanism, sir, but on the end 
I agree with you 100 percent. 

The Chairman. I am very happy to have you say that, 

Mr. Frank. Have you any suggestion, Mr. Flanders, as to how to 
meet this most important problem of obtaining long-term financing 
for the small enterprise which, as you say, finds it difficult now to 
obtain funds for expansion? 

Mr. Flanders. Well, I should dislike to open up too wide one 
phase of that subject because it is not the subject we are talldng about, 
and that is the necessity for having visible profit coming out of new 
enterprise to which people can look and see as visible successes of risked 
money. I am talking about more or less intangible things, but they 
are real; profit is under a cloud, the success story is unpopular — these 
are on the intangibles; we need more success stories to revive the spirit 
of business enterprise, and I want again to draw the distinction between 


business enterprise and financial speculation. We are all the time 
mixing those two things up, and if you who make the laws of the 
country and we who are engaged in business can each of us in our part 
do all we can to hamper harmful financial speculation and to leave the 
road open for enterprise and production and distribution, we are going 
to make a better business climate in this country for increased employ- 

One of the things we sometimes forget is this, that new business 
enterprise surely provides new employment, it doesn't surely provide 
profit; profit is its ultimate end, but the thing that is sure is increased 
employment; the profit may be, it may not be. But every expansion 
of a business enterprise is an expansion of employment, and it must 
be a serious matter for us to provide the proper business atmosphere 
and the proper business weather for business ventures, not financial 
ventures pure and simple, but business ventures. That is our prime 
responsibility today. 

Now you asked me, I think, a more specific question and I didn't 
answer it at all but talked about something else. Do you want to 
ask your question again? 

Mr. Frank. I don't care to press it, I know that you are a very 
reflective person and this morning you have indicated undue modesty 
by restricting your remarks to your immediate experiences. I thought 
perhaps you might make some helpful suggestions as to specific 
devices by which the small business enterprise which today finds 
difficulty in obtaining funds for expansion could obtain such funds 
on a long-term basis. 

Mr. Flanders. That is a matter wldch I have been interested in, 
have made inquiries about at banks and in other waj^s, not, I will 
say, for my own company because we have been well treated. When 
you look at the problem in detail of this company or that company 
or the other company, the bank's analysis of the problem in the case 
of a bank with good management, willing to take some risks, which 
is what a bank must do as well as anybody else (a bank which lends 
only on safe risks isn't 100 percent safe, isn't performing its function) 
but the bank's analysis is liable to look to any of us, I think, as 
thorough and conclusive for that particular instance. Yet after you 
look at a hundred or a thousand of those particular instances you are 
still left with the feeling that some function has not been performed. 
Now that function previously was performed by private lenders who 
had confidence in men. It was performed in part by the country 
bank which was halfway between the city bank and the private lender, 
and the country bank also had confidence in men — I don't mean 
necessarily the country bank in a small town like mine, but in a small 
city. Now what we are trying to do is a difficult thing to do; we are 
trying to say to the lending institution that you must go by rules and 
not get into trouble by following your individual judgments of men, 
you must go by rules, and in so doing we have left this middle area 
unfilled between that which by the rules is a hundred percent safe 
to do as a bank and that which is unsafe to do. 

Now, I don't know how to fill in that c:ap. I see the gap but I 
don't know how to fill it in. It used to be filled in by individuals, 
risk-taking individuals, or by the small bank which took risks which 
it is now not allowed to take. In there is an unfilled gap, and I haven't 
any good suggestions to offer this morning as to how to fill that gap, 
but I know it is there. 


The Chairman. You haven't developed the cause of that gap, have 
you? You made some reference to rules and regulations. 

Mr. Flanders. Yes. Well, the cause of that gap is, I think, clear 
to all of us. There werr mistakes made in years past in that gap, 
and banks failed and rules are made and those rules are being followed, 
and the rules are pretty stiff because the banks are insured by the 
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It is necessary to follow 
rules. The whole thing is safer, the whole banking situation is safer 
than it ever was, and yet the field for enterpirise has been restricted. 

The Chairman. You don't wish us to infer that in your opinion 
the laws which have made the banking structure more safe have been 
the cause of this gap? 

Mr. Flanders. Yes; they have been one of the causes of this gap. 

The Chairman. That is a different matter. You now say one of 
the causes. That is what I was hoping you would say. 

Mr. Flanders. You are getting me into territory in which I am 
not an expert. I am only telling you now what I see as someone off 
on the sidelines looking into a territory where he doesn't belong, and 
I think perhaps it might be better to keep me on the stuff I know 
something about. 

The Chairman. Before we dismiss you from that, I might just ask 
this one question, whether you think that it would be very far wrong 
to suggest that one of the primary causes of this gap has been the pro- 
gressive concentration of control over the industrial system which 
makes it very difficult for a man to compete with this collective unit 
of which you were speaking a moment ago. In other words, a small 
banker in a small town isn't going to finance an enterprise which will 
compete with a large national corporation as readily as he would 
have financed an ordinary applicant 25 or 30 years ago. 

Mr. Flanders. I presume that may be so, Senator O'Mahoney, 
There have been no cases of that that have come into my experience. 

Dr. LuBiN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask Mr. Flanders this 
one question. It has particular bearing upon rules and regulations 
that have been made to control banking and investment. I wonder 
how far, in your opinion, the disappearance of this risk-taking spirit 
which formerly was personified in confidence in individual people — 
how far that risk-taking spirit has disappeared as the result of the fact 
that some of these individuals have proven themselves unfit to be 
trusted. How far has the fact that now the public knows when dis- 
honesty exists, because of these regulations, been a factor? 

Mr. Flanders. I think if we look back to the times of our childhood, 
we will remem.ber an immense amount of rascality, if our mind goes 
that way, which became public. My recollection is that thei'e was 
just as much of defalcation and dishonesty in the nineties andthe 
early nineteen hundreds as there is today, if anything perhaps a little 
more of it, and perhaps a little more condoned, but it was not con- 
cealed in those days, but the recognition of that thing was a part of 
the risk. I don't think we are having any worse men in business or 
any worse things shown up now than we had 30 and 40, 50 years ago. 
I don't think we are any worse. In fact, I thmk on the whole we are 
better, standards are a bit higher. 

The Chairman. Mr. Dienner, I think we have carried Mr. Flanders 
very far afield from your outline. If there are no other questions, the 
witness is excused. 

Your next witness. 


Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chairman, we shall turn to Mr. Graham, who 
is president of the Motor Improvements Corporation. Mr. Graham, 
will you take the stand. 

The Chairman. Mr. Graham, do you solemnly swear the testimony 
you are about to give in this proceeding shall be the truth, the whole 
truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Graham. I do. 


Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Graham, I understand you are president of 
Motor Improvements, Inc. 

Mr. Graham. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DiENNER. And how long have you been president of that 

Mr. Graham. Since April 13, 1925. 

Mr. DiENNER. Explain what the business of that company is, 

formation of company to establish new INDUSTRY 

Mr. Graham. The business of that company— it was originally 
organized ifor the purpose of establishing a new industry, oil filters, 
filtering the oil of an internal combustion engine as the oil circulated. 
The idea was presented by an inventor who had in a preliminary way 
conducted experiments that showed liim that under certain conditions, 
he could perform that function, but he hadn't worked it out and 
hadn't applied it, and he came to a group of men in Newark and New 
York who became interested in the problem, and in 1923 a company 
was organized. At that time the filtration of oil which had been 
tried by several inventors and proven a failure, was accomplished, and 
it was up to our company first to prove the principle; secondly, to 
apply it, because when you go to deal with an automobile motor, 
you find so many variables that what applies to one will not apply to 
all. So that the work of application before we could go out and 
attempt to interest the autom.obile engineer was quite a task and 
required the expenditure of an immense amount of m.oney. 

After the development was proved practical, then the job of intro- 
duction came in. The automotive engineers are about the hardest- 
headed group of engineers that there is in the country, and one of the 
policies of the automobile maker is not to put an extra nickel in the 
car until two things can be proven: First, that it will cut down the 
construction costs of the car; and secondly, it will increase the utiUty 
and decrease the upkeep cost on the automobile. 

So we had a difficult job in that respect and before those three 
stages were accomplished, the initial investment in the company 
had been spent and it was necessary for the original subscribers of 
stock to invest more money. The company was originally organized 
for $400,000 cash, and before I came into the company two series of 
notes of $200,000 each had been subscribed for, so that at that time 
there was an investment of $800,000 before any money began to 
come back. 

It is a little difficult for me to follow three experts and talk about 
patents, but one nice thing developed yesterday, that the last pre- 


ceding witness proved to be a customer of ours, and in his talk this 
morning I find another need for our product on that thread-grinding 

We have developed our business much beyond the stage at which 
it was when I came into the company and we are building filters 
today for all sorts of purposes, even filtering toothpaste, lacquers and 
all sorts of products of that nature, and the reason I am telling that 
story at this point is the fact that things happened to us that made 
it necessary for us to diversify, and while we started in to merchan- 
dise a new invention and estabhsh a new industry, we found that 
we had to go far afield while staying in the filter business, to develop 
new uses for our product. 

I have listened with a great deal of interest to these gentlemen 
who have preceded me. I am not an engineer, just a common, 
ordinary businessman, and I want to tell 5^ou what our experience 
has been. We have probably had the opportunity a hundred times 
during the last year of looking at new inventions. Invariably the 
developer of an. idea does just the same as Mr. Sweetland did in 
developing the filter idea, and when a company is organized to 
put that production on the market, you have otily got the idea, you 
have got to work it out, and that tak^s real money. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Graham, may I interrupt to put your napie on 
the record? 

Mr. Graham. John A. Graham. 

Mr. DiENNER. Now will you proceed with your story of Motor 

Mr. Graham. May I refer to notes? I have made a running story 
of our experience and it will be easier for me to cover it in that way. 

Mr. Sweetland, as well as being an inventor, was a very capable 
businessman and when he wrote the agreement under which our 
company is operating, we paid him $105,000, and at that time he 
had no patents issued. His applications were made to the Patent 
Office in 1920 and the years following. No patent came to issue 
until July_ 1926, so that by the allowed claims of the Patent Office we. 
had faitb in the product and undertook its development. 

I have heard it said that ordinarily the inventor doesn't get much 
out of the merchandising of the invention. In our case,~it has been 
the reverse, because in the years that we have been operating, after 
paying $105,000 we have paid the inventor $851,000, so that that 
"poor" inventor got well paid. 

In the early days of our experience, naturally our job was to sell the 
car companies. Chrysler, when that was put on the market in 
1924, was equipped w^ith our filter, known under the trade name of 
Purolator. That happened in 1924. In 1925 Buick, Cadillac, Oak- 
land units of General Motors adopted our filter. Following that, 
Nash, Studebaker and Peerless, and a lot of cars whose names you 
would hardly recognize today, adofDted the filter as equipment. 

The last half of 1925 and the first half of 1926 we got to where we 
were making money. We established our price based on our ability 
to build 50,000 filters a month, and at that point we would break even. 
Beyond that point we would make some profit, we went along 
and when we took on these bigger production cars, our volume went 
up and naturally we began to get a httle money back. It became 
necessary for us in that period, due to the fact that automobile produc- 


tion is up this month and down next month, to be in position to lake 
care of the peak production, so we had to provide new buildings. We 
built a building, two stories, 100 by 150 feet, and bought equipment 
to put us in position to manufacture economically. 


Mr. Graham. In the early part of 1926 a patent infringement 
occurred and a company started in to build oil filters, appropriating 
the patent that we had spent so much money in developing. In 1925 
and 1926 we had this volume business. In the eariy part of 1926 this 
new filter appeared on the market, experimentally, and at the buying 
season of the year, which is July 1, we had lost Buick, Cadillac, and in 
November of tlmt year we lost Oakland, and that cut our business more 
than in half and drove us immediately from an earning company to a 
heavy losing company. Fortunately for me, I didn't have to go to the 
public for finance because the original people were thoroughly willing to 
support the company, and a bond issue was put on the plant and that 
provided us with enough money to pay for these investments we had 
made and to give us some working capital, but it increased the invest- 
ment in that business from $800,000 to $1,100,000. 

Now in the regular course, when our patents came to issue in July 
1926, we started first by notifying the infringer of the infringement, 
and asked him to desist and account. Failing to do so, in the fall of 
1926 suit was started, and a supplemental bill was filed in the spring 
of 1927. That case took its regular course and it went to the district 
court in which the ruling was, or the decision, that every claim of 
every patent was infringed, but the judge declared the patents in- 
valid. We took an appeal to the circuit court of appeals at Cincin- 
nati. That was late 1928. The district court tried the case in April 
of 1928, and in 1930 that case was argued before the circuit court of 
appeals. We felt we were in the right and we employed Mr. Charles 
Evans Hughes and he and Mr. William Houston Kenyon argued our 
case before the circuit court of appeals. 

That case in 1930, I believe it was — no, it was early 1931, was 
decided and the trial judge was reversed, claiming that two of the 
five patents were valid. Well, those two patents were the important 
patents. The defendants petitioned for a new trial and were refused, 
and then they petitioned the Supreme Court for writ of certiorari and 
that was refused. 

The Chairman. Who were the parties to this suit? 

Mr. Graham. The AC Spark Plug Co., Flint, Mich. 

The Chairman. And your company. 

Mr. Graham. And they are a unit of General Motors. 

Wlien the Supreme Court refused to take that case under con- 
sideration, it was referred back to the trial judge for the issuance of 
an injunction. We got an injunction I think on the 2d of November 
1931, and then that was filed I think on November 14. Immedi- 
ately the judge ordered an accounting. By reason of the fact that 
there were so many units of the General Motors interested in t&e 
case, the accounting was a very laborious one. They had the AC 
Spark Plug Co., the Buick, Cadillac, LaSalle, Oakland, and the 
United Motor Service, all of whom were parties to the case. It took 
about a year and a quarter for that accounting to be completed. 


After that was completed, then it became necessary for us to 
employ accountants to study that accounting and to recast it, 
which used up a lot of time because so many of the records required 
the interviewing of oflBcials and department heads that our recasting 
of that lasted about a year and a half. 

After that recast was filed, another thing we had to do was to employ 
accountants also to find what our damages were, to make our own 
calculation of how much we had been damaged. Then we started a 
series of arguments with the master that had been appointed, and 
that carried us through another year and a half. The heads of 
departments had to be called before the master and the points at 
issue argued, and it usually had to be done under a court order. 

So we come up to December 22. The case was completed before 
the Master, I believe, in the beginning of 1936 and we had expected 
before the end of that year that we would have the Master's ruUng, 
but unfortunately, on December 22, 1936 he died without leaving 
any indication as to what his findings or recommendations might 
have been. 

Then we were up against the problem of doing all that work over 
again, but the judge had compassion and he decided to end the case 
himself, and in a series of arguments he went down the list, he allowed 
us this, he denied us that, and he allowed us this and denied the next 
item, and that took the early part of 1937, and on April 26 he decided 
that we were entitled to this, not that, and then it was put back to 
the accountants for both sides to agree upon the computation of the 
amount due us, and that again was argued, and on October 11, 1937, 
he gave us a judgmi^^nt, entered a judgment based on the findings of 
the two sets of accountants, and that judgment was for $1,045,000, 
with a supplemental judgment based on the possibility of tax savings 
not to exceed $139,000, so that it made a possible judgment of $1,184,- 

000. We didn't think that that was a sufiicient amount, for the 
reason that *He judge in rendering his decision took the instrunient 
apart. Our patent covered an extended area type of construction, 
and he took the filter apart and only allowed that portion of their 
product which could be attributed to the filtering element itself. 
We contended that the whole item was the patented item, so at that 
point our regular attorneys recommended to me that they were so 
close to the forest that they couldn't see the trees, or something to 
that effect, and wanted me to get other counsel to review the situation. 
We employed Mr. W. H. Davis, of Penny, Davis, Marvin & Edmonds 
in New York, and their recommendation was to us that we had a just 
right, with the expectancy of an increased judgment, to appeal the 
case. That case was appealed and went back to the circuit court of 
appeals in Cincinnati, and while the narrative statement was being 
prepared it consumed almost all of 1938 and fortunately before the 
end of the year settlement was had by agreement. 

That is the story of the infringement, and one of the reasons why 

1, as a businessman, feel that some action should be had that will 
make it impossible for a case to stay in court 12 years. 

The Chairman. You regard your company as a small company? 
Mr. Graham. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Are you now making the filters for General Motors? 
Mr. Graham. We have certain units, but we have none of their 
car accounts. 

124491— 39— pt. 3 8 


The Chairman. Are they using the device which was an alleged 
infringement of your device now? 

Mr. Graham. Not generally. 

The Chairman. They are using a new device? 

Mr. Graham. The cars are not equipped with filters. 

The Chairman. I see. I take it from your story that when you 
got production it was largely by reason of the use of your filter upon 
the General Motors, and when General Motors began to use the 
allegedly infringing device, then your volume dropped off and instead 
of making money you began to lose money and thereupon had to 
float this bond issue among your own financial backers. 
. Mr. Graham. True. 

The Chairman. And your struggle from then on took you through 
the courts for 12 years m order to establish your fundamental right 
in the patent, and you did that finally only by settlement. 

Mr. Graham. That is correct. 

Mr. DiENNER. May I ask the witness another question? I believe 
there was an interference involved in the same proceedings which I 
think the committee would like to hear about. 

Mr. Graham. Naturally when a company undertakes to defend 
their action they are going to search the world to find anticipation or 
something in the prior art. In 1918 a man by the name of Cole 
applied to the Patent Office for a patent covering what he claimed to be 
the same principle of filtration as was employed by Sweetland. That 
was 2 years prior to Sweetland's filings. That case was continuously 
rejected by the Patent Office, and I might say this. I thought the 
Patent Office acted very unfairly when they allowed six or seven 
amendments and kept that patent application alive in the Patent 
Office. When we tried our case we relied on certain claims of the 
various patents, and claims that we didn't want to rely on weren't 
used in our prosecution of the case. After the Sweetland patent came 
to issue in July 1936, one claim, claim 3 of one of the patents, which 
had not been relied on by us, was picked up verbatim and put in as 
a single claim in this Cole patent. That was thrown into an inter- 
ference immediately with Sweetland's issued patent, and our attorneys 
argued that interference, and it finally went to the Court of Patent 

Mr. DiENNER. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals? 

Mr. Graham. That is right. They finally issued that patent to 
Cole. Prior to the time that that Cole patent came to issue, a unit of 
General Motors had made an agreement with a man by the njime of 
Dooley who had taken up the Cole invention. My memory is that 
they paid something like $41,000 and agreed to pay $20,000 a year. 
Immediately after the patent came to issue they started suit against 
Sweetland and Motor Improvements m the district court. Our 
attorneys took up the case and asked for its dismissal, based on the 
fact that Mr. Sweetland was a resident of California and couldn't be 
served in the district of Delaware. We finally, after going up to the 
supreme court from^ the decision of the third circuit in Philadelphia, 
got the case dismissed as to Sweetland. That is the interference 

Eart of it. The infringement part, then, was set down and tried as 
etween Motor Improvements and Dooley Improvements. 
I think it was in 1937 that we got a favorable decision declaring the 
Cole invention purely a paper patent, and therefore invalid. 


When we separated the two cases there was an immediate case 
•started in the District of Columbia, because there the.v could make 
.Sweetland a party. That case— well, I will finish the Delaware case 
first. An appeal was taken from the judge's decision, but it happened 
to be taken 1 day too late, therefore the pntent was invalid and the 
case closed. But last spring the District of Columbia case was tried 
and the judge has not yet handed down the decision. So while we 
have got rid of the damage case, that case still hangs over our heads 
and that is where I criticize the Patent Office for allowing a case of 
that kind to s;.i,y alive since 1918 and come up in 1927 to a patent. 

Mr. DiENNER. Might I summarize the proceedings this way, that 
you were forced to bring suit on your own patent. After a groat deal 
of difficulty you secured a favorable decision. Meanwhile you were 
being attacked in the rear on a patent which was issued on application 
pending for a long time, having been held by the Patent Office to 
contain no allowable claim until the Sweetland patent appeared. 
Then in this old application in the Patent Office the applicant 10 years 
pending, without anything allowed, copies the claim of the Sweetland 
patent on which Motor Improvements was building its equipment, 
and was actually bringing suit against General Motors, and that nter- 
ference passed through all the stages of an interference up to the Court 
of Customs and Patent Appeals, and the Cole patent case issued as of 
an earher date than the Sweetland patents, so that while Mr. Graliam's 
company was winning on the one hand, it was apparently losing on 
the other, being stabbed in the back, as he remarked, by this old 
patent which did not, as was finally held in the courts, contain the nven- 
tion, and because of this attack in the rear, Mr. Graham's company 
first was assailed with that patent in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals 
on the accounting; it was assailed in Delaware in the district court, and 
finally it has been assailed in the District of Columbia. That is a 
brief outline of the proceedings. 

The Chairm.\n. And to what extent, Mr. Dienner, does the counsel 
for the Patent Office now desire to criticize the Patent Office in this 
matter? . 

Mr. Patterson. I didn't hear all of Mr. Graham's interesting 
discussion of his problem, but it is clear to me that he has in an 
interesting and clear fashion described one or two of the evils that the 
Commissioner of Patents is vigorously trying to change and correct, 
and such testimony as yours, Mr. Graham, is helpful to us. I haven't 
spoken to him, but I would like to know if Mr. Coe, the Comrnissioner 
of Patents, would care to comment on what you said", if that is agree- 
able with the chairman. 

The CHAiR^iiAN. I take it that the Commissioner of Patents is to 
reply to the question that I directed to his counsel. 

Mr. Coe. I won't try to defend that factor, Mr. Chairman, because 
the Commissioner of Patents and the present administration of the 
Patent Office has been very much exercised and is trying to correct 
at least two of the evils pointed out by Mr. Graham: First, the 
undesirability and the need for correcting the long pendency of 
applications in the Patent OflSce. It hasn't been due to the personnel 
in the Patent Office but rather to a procedure that permits that. 
And among the recommendations, which I offered the other day to 
this committee was one that would, we think, effectively stop the 
evil of long pendency of applications. The second vicious practice 


referred to by Mr. Graham is the use of an interference procedure by 
a competitor for the purpose of delaying or harassing an applicant 
who, in this case at least, has proven that he will ultimately prevail. 
The purchase of this old apphcation for the purpose of invoking an 
interference by a competitor who is even at that moment engaged in a 
suit with Mr. Graham is another problem which the Patent Office 
thinks should be corrected. 

The Chairman. Then do you wish us to understand, Mr. Com- 
missioner, that there was nothing which the Patent Office could do 
in this case? 

Mr. CoE. Nothing, the Patent Office could do at all in that case 
under present procedure, Mr. Chairman, so the Patent Office is now 
proposmg additional legislation and procedure that will enable us to 
cope with that situation. 

I might give a specific indication or case as to how the Patent 
Office has been unable to handle this matter of long pendency of 
applications. A case came to my attention a few years ago which 
had been pending 11 K years, and I thought that was far too long and 
indicated to the applicant that the prosecution of that case must be 
considered closed. The applicant then, with his attorneys, went down 
to the district court, obtained a mandamus, and the court ordered me 
to permit the case to continue, and it was 3 years beyond that point, 
a total life of 14 years, before the patent was issued. 

The Chairman. The rejection of an application does not neces- 
sarily end the application? 

Mr. CoE. Not only that, but we have to reconsider and reconsider 
and reconsider the rejection until final issue has been reached by the 
examiner. That opens up a long course of appeals from the examiner 
to the Board of Appeals and then to the courts, and as Mr. Graham 
has indicated, that is exactly the course that this case he refers to 
followed, not being terminated until it received final termination by 
the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. 

The Chairman. Do I understand you to say that an application 
which has been prosecuted before the Patent Office and rejected may 
thereafter be purchased by a person who is not a party to the original 
application and by that purchaser amended and carried through 
these various steps again? 

Mr. CoE. It is not only possible, Mr. Chairman, but I think the 
case Mr. Graham has cited indicates how it is put into practice. 

Mr. DiENNER. One more question. 

The Chairman. Judge Davis would like to ask a question. 

Mr. Davis. Commissioner Coe, where it appears to the satisfaction 
of the Patent Office that an applicant, apparently for the purpose of 
putting another application in interference, simply copies the claims 
or part of the claims made in a prior application, is that not pretty 
strong ground for the officials in the Patent Office practically taking 
summary action in reaching a decision in that case? 

Mr. CoE. Of course, if we were aware of the facts as you have 
stated them, Judge, perhaps the Patent Office might take some 
action, but this question of the motive, as to why they purchased this 
case or why they seek an interference, is something we have no manner 
of ascertaining, and there are frequently very legitimate, proper 
instances where an applicant must copy claims from fiTn issued patent. 

The Chairman. If you could establish that motive, do you have 
the power to take summary action? 


Mr. CoE. No; we do not, sir. We might try to do some things we 
wouldn't ordinarily do, but I think we would probably be reversed 
by the courts. 

Mr. Davis. If you reached a conclusion of that kind, would not 
that be a very strong reason for expediting that case so as to prevent 
an improper interference indefinitely, which is apparently the purpose 
of the apphcant who has placed the matter in interference? 

Mr. CoE. We are instructed to allow an applicant 6 months in 
which to respond to an office action. When a procedure contemplates 
a long course of appeals there is no effective way of expediting the 

Mr. Davis. And that is one reason you are recommending that the 
law be amended so as to shorten those periods ? 

Mr. CoE.' It is our considered judgment that the only effective 
way of stopping the evil of long pendency of applications is to penalize 
the applicant himself, and if he stays there,' to force him to accept a 
reduced monopoly. We believe that that selfish interest, then, of 
his getting his case out of the Patent Office, will effectively cure this 
evil of long pendency. 

The Chairman. Tour 20-year recommendation would be the solu- 

Mr. CoE. In our judgment that is the only effective solution, Mr. 

Mr. Davis. Well, now, right in that .connection, can a willful 
interferer, without meritorious cause, hold it in interference and by 
filing amendments and things of that kind limit the time of the life 
of the patent which is ultimately issued to the true inventor? 

Mr. CoE. Judge Davis, we suggested what we thought is a complete 
program. We did not contemplate the operation of the 20-year bill 
with the present interference practice, and therefore we suggested 
that the interference practice be so changed that there would not 
be this possibility of retaining an adversary's application in tb** 
Patent Office, such as you now suggest. 

In other words, the proposal was to have one interference decision 
by the Examiner of Interferences, and then issue the patent, and we 
think that that can be done in such a short time that it can be applied 
along with the 20-year bill without any substantial unfairness. 

Mr. Davis. In other words, you recognize that danger and are 
undertaking to provide against it in legislation. 

Mr. CoE. Yes; interference reform was part of the program we 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Graham, can you tell us how much this extended 
litigation which you have described cost your company in the 

Mr. Graham. The court costs, attorneys' fees, expert witnesses, 
and accountants, which were a very heavy part of the expense of this 
case, cost the company just around $300,000 over the 12 years. 

The Chairman. Your judgment was in excess of $1,045,000, with a 
possible $139,000 above that, and I assume, of course, you settled for 

Mr. Graham. We settled for more. 

The Chairman. I think you had pretty good attorneys or a pretty 
good business handling the settlement. 

Mr. Graham. Both. 


I would like to make one correction. I didn't mean to criticize 
the Patent Office, only as the procedure appeals to me as a layman. 

The Chairman. ^Ir. Graham, I think the committee understood 
the tenor of your testimony. 

Mr. Graham. The thing tlint annoyed me was, and Mr. Dienner 
can bear me out in this, that there was not one allowed claim in all of 
the rejections of that patent up to the time they appropriated one 
claim, out of the Sweetland patent, and that is what annoyed m.e. 

Mr. Dienner. Do you tliink, do you feel, that the award which 
yoir have received in this litigation has adequately compensated 
you and your company for the trials and difhculties and loss of business 
and general damages which it sustained? 

Mr. Graham. Not nearly. 

Mr. Dienner. Wasn't there an unfair competition feature involved 
in that case? 

Mr. Graham. Yes; when the injunction became effective on 
October 14, 1931. the defendants ceased to build the infringing type 
of filter and went to building one that we regarded as not good, and 
we started an action in the courts at Bay City, Mich., charging them 
with unfair practice. At the same time we filed a case with the 
Federal Trade Commission here in Washington charging the same 
features, and the Federal Trade Commission returned our case on 
account of the fact that we had it in the civil courts, and until we 
were through there the Federal Trade Commission wouldn't touch it. 

Mr. Dienner. But wasn't it a fact that during a part of that time 
the defendant, instead of putting an actual device of filtering charac- 
teristics on its cars, was putting something which might not even be 
described as a filter, a dummy box, as it were, to give the appearance 
of putting on the filter. 

^Ir. Graham. That's right. 

Mr. Dienner. Have you a chart indicating the progress of your 
business throughout the period that you have discussed from its start, 
through the litigation right up to the present? ' 

Mr. Graham. Yes; I have. 

Mr. Dienner. And that indicates, as has been stated by a member 
of the committee, the ups and downs of your company? 

Mr. Graham. Here is the chart, Senator, and this is our inception 
period, back in 1924. That base line in the upper chart is that 51,000 
filters a montli that would permit us to break even. In 1925 we went 
up above the line — in 1925 and the first part of 1926 — and there is 
the indication of the severe drop that we took when we lost that 
business, and it took us until 1928 to get back up above the line, and 
in this period was where we had to get that additional financing. 

Mr. FitANK. May I ask: When you got your settlement did j^ou 
have to pay an income tax on the amount for the j^ear in which you 
received that sum, or was it apportioned over the j^ears backward? 

Mr. Grau \M. T think the fair thing, Commissioner, is to put that 
back over th" infi'iigiiv.' j'ears. 

Mr. P'rank. What did happen in your case? 

Mr. Graham. Nothing as yet. 

The Chairman. That is another suit. 

Mr. Graham. No; that won't be a suit, it is just negotiation. 

' LS^lb^l•^uenlly entered as "Exhibit No. 209" on following page. 


Representative Reece. Mr. Chairman, I am rather surprised to 
hear this instance cited, because I rather got the impression, when 
representatives of G. M. C. were before the committee, that they 
never harmed anybody. 

Mr. Graham. Well, this is not a case of picking individual com- 
panies. This might have happened to any company. 

The Chairman. Mr. Graham has been called for the purpose of 
illustrating the effect of the present patent system upon this particular 
industry, and the individual companies were not material to the 
inquiry, as I understand it. 

Mr. DiENNER. That is correct. 

The Chairman. Mr. Coe, you wanted to ask another question. 

Mr. CoE. Mr. Graham, without regard to the particular defendant 
in your litigation but in view of your experience with these numerous 
litigations, would you care to express any opinion as to the handicap 
a small company or an individual has in conducting patent litigation 
against a large corporation or an adversarj^ of considerable strength? 
Do you regard that as an equal conthct? 

Mr. Graham. No; very unequal. 

Mr. Coe. You think the small company is at a decided disadvan- 

Mr. Graham, Very much so. If it hadn't been for the fact that 
the original investors in our company were people that could enlarge 
th^ir investment, and if it were not for the fact that they had con- 
fidence in the management, our company probably wouldn't be here 

Mr. Coe. In other words, the result of the litigation, even though 
you might ultimately have prevailed, would have meant failure to the 
existence of your business. 

Mr. Graham. Absolutely. 

The Chairman. Do you regard this instance as in any cegree 
typical of industry today? Have you heard of any other similar 

Mr. Graham. Well, I have heard of lots of instances where com- 
panies appropriated inventions and the person who first started the 
invention or started to merchandise the invention wasn't able to stay 
through to the finish. 

Mr. Frank. Mr. Graham, have you any notion of what the litiga- 
tion cost the defendants? 

Mr. Graham. I should think it was equally heavy. 

Mr. Frank. You think approximately the htigation cost some 

Mr. Graham. That is right, 

Mr. Dienner. May this chart be introduced in the record as an 

The Chairman. Without objection, it will be so ordered. 

(The chart referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 209" and is 
included in the appendix facing p. 1149.) 

The Chairman. Are there any other questions of Mr. Graham? 

Mr. Dienner. I have no further questions. 

The Chairman. Do any members of the committee desire to ask 
Mr. Graham aiiy additional questions? Dr. Lubin? Mr. Frank? 
Mr. Williams? Mr. Davis? Congressman Reece? Then the wit- 


ness may be excused, and the committee will stand in recess until 
2 o'clock this afternoon. 

(The witness, Mr. Graham, was excused.) 

(Whereupon, at 12:10 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the 
same day.) 


(The committee reconvened at 2:10 p. m. on the expiration of the 

The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. 

Mr. DiENNER. We wUl next call Dr. Frank B. Jewett, who is presi- 
dent of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, which is the largest indus- 
trial research laboratory in the world. He will explain the operation 
and purposes of his laboratory in terms of its effect upon the promotion 
of science and the useful arts in conjunction with the United States 
patent system. 

Dr. Jewett, will you please be sworn? 

The Chairman. Dr. Jewett, do you solemnly swear that the testi- 
mony which you are about to give in this proceeding will be the truth, 
the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Jewett. I do. 


Mr. Dienner. Dr. Jewett, will you please give your name and 
your position with your company? 

Dr. Je A'ETT. Frank B. Jewett, vice president of the American 
Telephoi-e & Telegraph Co., and president of the Bell Telephone 

Mr. Dienner. Will you please state your qualifications so that 
the committee will have your background and some idea of the 
experience which you have had so that we may ask you questions 
which may be more or less in the nature of your opinion in certain 
_ Dr. Jewett. I was born and brought up in the Southwest at a 
time when social insecurity was the order of the day. I got my 
preliminary training as an engineer in what is now the California 
Institute of Technology, then Throop Polytechnic Institute, and I 
went then to the University of Cliicago, where I did graduate work 
in physics and mathematics, and for 2 j'ears was a research assistant 
to Prof. A. A. Michelson, later a Nobel prize winner in physics, and 
then I went to Boston as an instructor in the Massachusetts Institute 
of Technology, and was there at the time, and was an, associate, of 
Dr.Coohdge, who spoke here, who testified here, yesterday, and 
Whitney, and was there at that period. At that same' time, or about 
the same time, that Whitney and Coolidge went to Schenectady to 
organize the General Electric research department laboratories, I was 
asked to go to the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. to do a 
similar job. 

For, as I listened to Dr. CooHdge yesterday, I think essentially 
the same reasons I accepted that position. I accepted that position 
although I had never had any intention of going into industrial 
research work; in fact, in those davs none of us were ever trained for 


that. Those of us who took advance degrees were scheduled to go 
either into fundamental science research in universities or into the 
teaching profession. It so happened that an appealing story was 
told and also happened that I wanted to get married and needed 
some money, so here I am, and for 35 years now I have been an 
employee of the American Telephone &^ Telegraph Co., always in 
intimate association with its research and development work and in 
the main after the first 2 or 3 years, either in responsible charge either 
of a part of it or for more than half the period in completely responsible 
charge for the program of research and development work and the 
expenditures which the Bell System makes in the communications 
field, so that whatever judgment is passed on the research function 
of the Bell System is one which I will have to share in and share a 
large part of, whether it is good, bad, or indifTerent. The only excep- 
tion to that tour of duty of nearly 35 years now (and it wasn't only a 
minor exception) was the 3 or 4 years that I served as the operating 
vice president of the Western Electric Co., and while I had general 
charge of its research and development functions my primary duty 
was an operating job in those years. 

But since about 1922 or 1923 I have been the cliief executive officer 
in charge of that function of the Bell system's business. That you 
may have a proper background to get some of the answers I may give 
to questions, since a large part of this testimony, I judge, will at least 
touch on the patent side of research and development work, I might 
say that when I entered industrial life from academic circles I was 
completely opposed to the patent system, patents at least for that class 
of work. I had grown up in the atmosphere of pure science, and at 
that time, whatever it may be now, I thii)k it is safe to say that the 
consensus of opinion of the leaders of science looked upon the patent 
system and patents as a thing which were well enough, that had their 
place with regard to mechanics and possiblj'^ to engineers and inventors, 
but had no place whatever in the pur\-iew of those who were trained 
in fundamental science. I know that that is the way my cliief. Pro- 
fessor Michelson, felt. He thought that when I entered industrial life, 
which was a field where patents were a part, I was prostituting my 
training and my ideals. 

I say that because duriug the j'ears which have followed I have 
completely reversed the preconceived ideas I had as to the value and 
necessity of the patent system. I tliink scientists in general have 
changed; I doubt if the sam.e atmosphere prevails now that did then, 
and also because in the process of the change I found myself changing 
my point of view. In order to Imow why I was doing that I made it 
somewhat of a hobby to learn a little something about the patent 
system, how it came to be, what society organized it for, what they 
expected to get out of it, and what price they expected to pay for what 
the.y got. Now, that is the sort of background of my history which 
ma}'' help you to appraise whatever I may say. 

iClr. DiENNER. I think it would be very interesting at tliis time to 
have j^ou tell us what you did find out, under your study of the patent 
system, as to its usefulness, and the way in which it accomplished its 



Dr. Jewett. Well, in the course of my examination, of course, I 
could not help but come back to the acts of Parliament at the time of 
James I. Of course, I had thought in my ignorance that the in- 
clusion of the patent section in the Constitution and the acts of Con- 
gress which followed it was a thing generated by the fathers of the 
country. When I came to look into it, of course, I found that they 
were well versed, the colonial people, in the British thing, and the 
whole history of this patent business went back to that act of Parlia- 
ment at the time of James I, when the iniquities which had gro%vn 
up around the grant of royal patents for every sort of thing had be- 
come so obnoxious to the people that Parliament at one fell swoop 
wiped them all out. That was quite conceivable, but the thing that 
always struck me about it was that in that era of intense dislike which 
was \villing to wipe out the thing that had grown up over hundreds of 
years, men were ^v^se enough to see that there was one exception to 
that thing in which the State could well afford to grant certain rights 
to people who did certain kinds of things, and that was mainly in the 
field of those who created new and useful things. 

They established that at that time and every patent system, so far 
as I know^ — of course I am not an historian — which exists in the world 
is fathered in that act of the British Parliament back at the time of 
James I. 

Now then, I think most people have a misconception as to what 
the patent system was set up to do and what patents are. In fact, 
some of the questions and answers which I heard here yesterday led 
me to feel that even some of the members of the committee may not 
have in mind what I conceive to be what a patent is. In the first 
place, some people have the idea that in the exclusive right which is 
given to the inventor of a new thing by the issuing agency, in our 
case tlie Patent Office, he is given a right to do something which he 
othcr'.vise didn't have the right to do. That is not at all, of course, 
the case. Anybody has a right to do anything if he thinks about it, 
unless he is excluded from doing it, and what the patent is is a right 
for a limited period of time to exclude others from the use of that 
thing, assuming it is a valid patent. 

■ Now just what was it that the English Parliament sought to do 
"when they established the first British patent system, and what was 
the situation which they were trying to correct? The thing they wore 
trying to correct was to break down the walls of secrecy, by which 
process new ideas were kept secret by those who thought of them, and 
operated in their own behalf, and the reason they wanted to break 
it down was because any scheme of secrecy as a means of control is 
necessarily a limited and small thing. You can't have things secret 
if you have too many people involved in them. You just can't keep 
it a secret. And Parliament felt in the interests of the nation as a 
whole that anything that could be done to break down the walls of 
secrecy was a good thing. 

The other thir.g that they were attempting to do was to act in be- 
half of the nation as a whole. They wanted to stimulate invention, 
they wanted to stimulate new ideas, new manufacture, new products, 
but they wanted to do it for the benefit of the nation. They weren't 
thinking particularly of the individual himself, but they could only 


do it through the individual, and what they did was to offer what was 
in e'flfect a bribe to the individual by being willing to agree in advance 
and to pledge the faith of the nation to inventors unknown, even 
unborn, that if they would do certain things, the nation pledged itself 
to do certain other things. And that certain other thing which they 
did was this: What they demanded of the inventor was that he 
publish forthwith and fully his invention; in other words, that he 
break down the walls of secrecy and give all and sundry notice of 
what it was he had done, and in turn for that and on behalf of the 
interests of the state, the state agreed to constitute his new, thing, 
his brain cliild, as real property endowed with all the attributes of 
real property, principal among which was the right to exclude others 
from its use for a limited period of time, after which it became public 

I think, as one looks over the history of the growth of industry in 
England, and particularly iu this couiitry and laterally in the other 
industrial countries, there can be no question that whritever may have 
been the deficiencies of that conce])t in its appUcations in different 
places at different times, whatever may be its deficiencies at the 
moment, the over-all effect of the thing as measured from the stand- 
point of the nation, of society, has been of inestimable value, and, so 
far as I can see from my observations' of it, the fundamental condi- 
tions which obtained at the time of James I's Parliament have ob- 
tained continuously since, and obtain at the present time unless one 
is prepared to say — which I am not — that we have so far explored 
and made use of the unknown of nature that there is no substantial 
future for development in the years ahead comparable to that which 
we have had in the past. 


Mr. DiENNER. Dr. Jeweit, will you please tell us about yonr labo- 
ratory, the Bell Telephone Labor;itory? 

Dr. Jewett. xis I mentioned a few minutes ago, I was asked to go 
to the American Co. at about the snme time, a year or so after Whitney 
and Coohdge went up to the General Electric. Of course, I stated 
that I thought the conditions which originated that request were 
almost identical with those which Coolidge testified to here yesterday 
as having been the genesis of the thing at the General Electric, and 
it seems quite obvious that was so. Whether at that time there 
were conversations between the people who managed the General 
Electric Co. and those wlio managed the Telephone Co. and it was 
somewhat of a concerted action, of course I don't know and never 
will know. 

The 35 years of course which 1 have been in the Telephone Co. 
are half the life of the industry since Alexander Graham Bell made 
his invention, and it is perfectly clear that at the time v.hat has 
grown to be this great research organization was started back in 1903 
or '04, the industry had outgrown its ability to progress wholly on 
the basis of random invention which was the basis of its new material 
in the very early days after Graham Bell, and had also outgrown the 
second stage in which inventive ability and genius was teamed up 
with engineering skills, skills of the trained engineer, and had reached 
«» fitfliro iT^ "vhiob it wflo ^loo»* fVtrif co'^-a ^41 ,. 1 : i *" ,--,.-,- 


problems had to be made. Roughly stated, the telephone devel- 
opers of the early nineteen hundreds, at the break of the century, 
knew the things that they wanted to do and knew that it should be 
possible to do those things in the light of known knowledge or easily 
ascertainable knowledge, but they couldn't do them with the mere 
random inventive type of stuff, or even with that supplemented by 
the t5^pical kind of engineering training that you had there; in other 
words, that they had to bring some way into the picture the same 
type of mind, trained mind, and the same type of teclmiques which had 
developed the fundamerital knowledge which they knew had applica- 
bility but which they did not know how to apply, and I think that 
state of affairs pertained in many industries, it certainly pertained in 
all the electrical fields and most assuredly pertained in the telephone 

Well, at the time when I went down to join the bunch at 125 Milk 
Street in Boston, there probably were two or three men who had 
been trained somewhat as I had been trained, as a fundamental 
scientist. Some of them, like rnyself, had had some engineering 
training. There was, of course, in the central organization of the 
A. T. & T. Co. and in the organization of the Western Electric Co. 
as a manufacturing subsidiary, and had been ever since the start, a 
lot of experimental laboratories, more or less like the laboratories Dr. 
Coolidge mentioned yesterday, but they were not research laboratories 
in the ordinary and present-day sense, so that in the 35 years this 
research and development function has grown in the Bell System from 
three or four people to many thousand, and of course you made the 
statement, and it has been made, that this laboratory of which I am 
the head is the largest industrial research laboratory in the world. 
Whether that statement is true or not, it is certainly one of the very 
largest laboratories, and it is unique so far as I know in quite a num- 
ber of respects. In many respects, of course, it is exactly the same 
as any other research laboratory in the physical sciences. In other 
words, it is dealing with fundamental science knowledge in the fields 
of chemistry, physics, and what have you, in their applicability to 
useful purposes in a particular sense. 

But it is unique in these respects, part of the uniqueness being con- 
nected with the uniqueness of the Bell S3^stem itself, the telephone 
business. In most industrial research laboratories the ultimate objec- 
tive that is sought is the development of a physical thing which is sold 
to the general consuming public. Without exception, almost, except 
in our own case, that is the end of the road, and a good piece of work 
is done when a thoroughly satisfactory article at a thoroughly satis- 
factory price, a thing which will give satisfaction to the customer, is 

The interest of the producer ceases and determines when the trans- 
action is completed except insofar as he has an interest in the good- 
will of his customer. 

Now in the Boll system, while our induslrial research laboratory 
operates physically just like any other industrial research laboratory, 
it has this distinction, that we make substantially nothing to sell. 
The end product of our work is physical things, but except to a very 
lim.ited degree those things are things which are used by the operating 
companies of the Bell system, communications people. They never 
appear in trade, or practically never appear in trade. 


Now at first sight that might appear to have very Httle bearing ou 
the question of how we conduct our work. Actually it has a vital 
bearing in this, that since the Bell system is a completely integrated 
part and since for the last thirty-odd years since society everywhere 
in , the world tried the experiment of running . the telephone business 
on a competitive basis but gave it up everywhere, so that today there 
is no competition in telephony anywhere in the world in the ordinary 
competitive sense — since that time the fact that the B^ll system is a 
completely integrated affair in which from the inception of an idea 
through its development, its manufacture, its installation, its opera- 
tion, to the end of its life when it goes on the junk heap the whole 
thing is under a common command, that integration brings in a type 
of attack in the research laboratory which is fundamentally different 
from the attack which is made, which we wouldn't make on exactly 
the same problem if our end product was to be sold in general com- 
merce, because being part of an integrated system the thing that we 
are really interested in is that this particular thing which is put into 
service shall have given the service for which it was intended through- 
out its life untU it goes on the junk heap, in the best possible fashion 
at the least possible total cost. That results more frequently than 
not in that the first cost of the thing which is produced and put into 
service may be higher than the first cost would be if it was sold in 
commerce and be equally good at the start. 

Take an example; take this kind of an example. It costs about 
somewhere over a dollar, 1 presume, for a maintenance man to go to 
visit your house to clear up trouble, most trouble on transmitters; I 
don't know what the figures are, but it certainly would cost at least 
that much on the average, and a telephone transmitter I suppose 
should last on the average about 10 years. Well, now, if you can 
afford during the life of that thing, by spending a dollar on the first 
cost of the transmitter, to save two or three visits of a maintenance 
man, you can afford to put in, in an integrated system, more money 
on your research and development in your first cost phase than you 
could afford to put in if you were selling that thing in a competitive 
market and you were interested in giving a perfectly good article but 
didn't care anything about the maintenance cost, the other fellow is 
going to bear that, so that has a bearing on how we handle our 

I mentioned this sort of thing in the hearing, to one of the members 
of the committee some time back, and he suggested that that difference 
.which results from a difference in environment was a thing which 
might be of interest to the committee in appraising this sort of thing. 

And it was suggested that I cite the case in question. Well, I am 
perfectly willing to do it because it is a rather interesting case and 
what I am going to say is no reflection on anybody else. Vacuum 
tubes — you will probably talk more about that later— as we all know, 
have become in the last couple of decades a very important article 
in the whole electrical thing. Everyone who. has a radio set has a 
vacuum tube; they are extremely important in the telephone business. 
The average vacuum tube, I presume, of good quality, which is used, 
would be considered very good quahty, would last nearly 1,000 hours 
of operation and it would, we will say, consume an ampere of current 
in its filament to heat the filament up. 


That is wliat the telephone repeater tubes 10 or 15 years apro did 
require and lasted about 1,000 or 1,500 hours and took about an am- 
pere of current. Well, as a result of research, and we had been buying 
those things from a manufacturer as though we were individuals 
buying for our radio sets, since the tubes were absolutely satisfactory 
and had a reasonable length of life, measured by incandescent lamps, 
and what not, there would have been no particular incentive for that 
fellow to have improved his product, unless he could either get a 
bigger sale by that or get a higher price for it. But we had a very 
great incentive for reducing the annual costs by prolonging the life 
of the tubes and by reducing the amount of power that they took or 
consumed. To make a long story short, the end of the road, about 
10 or 12 years ago, was a tube which was no better physically than 
the one preceding it, but instead of having 1,000 or 1,500 hours life 
it hfld 50,000 hours life and took half an ampere of current, and cost 
tilightlv less. The cost factor didn't make much difference. 

Now what is the effect of that? That is a thing which we had a 
great incentive to do, but whi^h no outsider, even with our facilities, 
would have had any particular incentive to do for us. I had the figures 
here a while back and what it amounts to is this. If I should wave a 
wand tonight over the plant or system of the Bell system and replace 
all of the vacuum tubes that are in all of these long-distance line 
circuits with tubes of the vintage which I have mentioned to you of 
10 years ago, tomorrow morning the using public would not know the 
difference, so far as the service is concerned. The service would be 
just the same as it is now, but it would cost us $10,000,000 a year for 
mcreased power and in reased replacements of these tubes. 

I mention that simply because that was suggested, that I do that as 
an interesting thing, as an illustration of how this thing developed. 

The Chairman. I wonder if we might clarify that a little bit, 
Doctor. Do I understand that the Bell telephone system was pur- 
chasing from a manufacturer? 

Dr. Jewett. No. They always purchased from our own people, 
always purchased from the Western Electric. 

The Chairman. The Western Electric was manufacturing the tube 
which was of the limited length of life? 

Dr. Jewett. That is right. 

The Chairman. And who developed the tube of the longer length of 

Dr. Jewett. The Bell Telephone Laboratories, and what it actually 
resulted in, Senator, so far as the end result for the Bell system, is 
what I have just indicated to you. The effect on the Western Electric, 
that part of the Bell system, was of course to reduce its manufacturing 
output over what it would have been. In other words, instead of 
manufacturing, assuming you did not have any difference in the 
number of tubes, you reduced the number of tubes to one-fiftieth of 
what it was before. 

The Chairman. In other words the system was being supplied by 
the subsidiary Western Electric with the short-Hved tube? 

Dr. Jewett. That is right, short lived measured by our present 

The Chairman. The laboratory pursuing this research had dis- 
covered how to make a tube of much longer life to serve the same 
purpose and because of its longer life 

Dr. Jewett. And much less current capacity. 


The Chairman. Longer life and less current used, and as a result of 
this discoyerj^ the Western Electric substituted the manufacture of 
the long-life less-powered tube for the other? 

Dr. Jewett. That is right, except insofar as the growth of the 
sjstcrn brought about more business, the efiect on the Western 
Electric as a manufacturing concern was to cut down its business. 
Suppose that there had been no growth in the use of tubes in the 
system at the time of the substitution. Then instead of having to 
replace tubes every thousand hours you replaced them onlv every 
50,000 hours. 

The Chairman. You cut down the number of tubes that it was 
necessary to manufacture for the same amount of business? 

Dr. Jewett. Right. 

The Chairman. But if you allowed the longer life and the lesser 
amount of power to be reflected in price to your patrons, then in all 
probability you had a larger demand? 

Dr. Jewett. Unquestionably there was some larger demand because 
we all know these long-distance rates, which is the service in which 
most of these tubes are used, like the transcontinental rates, have 

The Chairman. Increasing demand. 

Dr. Jewett. I can't tell you what the effect was on the Western 
Electric Co., but the tendency was one direction, and all I have brought 
this out for was because one of the members of the committee sug- 
gested it was an interesting illustration of how a pliilospohy affects 
what you do uith the same kind of tools, and it is a type of thing which 
if we had been a research laboratory, connected with the Western 
Electric Co., whose sole business was selling the general trade, we 
would have had no incentive to do that kind of tiling. 

Mr. Patterson. May I interrupt there? Did this tube become 
generall}^ available? 

Dr. Jewett. It is universally available in the Bell system, and it 
is, if I am not mistaken, under all licenses we have granted to every- 
body, useful to anybody. But no ordinary manufacturer who is 
making his money out of the sale of his products is hkely to have the 
same incentive to go as far as we have in making the things of ex- 
tremely long life and extremely low current. 

Mr.' Patterson. I can understand why the manufacturer, the 
Western Electric, M'ould not cut the business down. It seems to me, 
however, your incentive in increasing the life of this tube from 1,000 
to 50,000 hours might very well have been to decrease the rate to 
your subscribers, which is what you constantly want to do, and are 
doing. That is the major effort? 

Dr. Jewett. That's right. You see our objective — maybe I ought 
to state this, although I think you all know i^. It is nothing, even 
though I have been in the business 35 years, that I can take any 
credit for, because the wise men — let me go back to the early days of 
this Bell system, because I think it was a most astounding performance 
that was done, and its fruits are in the fact that it is recognized not 
only here but throughout the world that the telephone service in the 
United States is just miles above what it is anywhere else. No- 
where else in the world can you grab a telephone and call San Fran- 
cisco or Seattle and wait at the telephone. You have to wait a very 
long time. That is one illustration. 


How did that come about? It wasn't just through a chance aggre- 
gation of stupidities. It was due to some awfully wise planning, and 
what is most astounding to me is that some men back in Boston 
apparently in the 1880's had a concept wliich has found, outside the 
Bell system, very Uttle appUcation since. Practically every pubhc 
utility, including the Post Office of the United States, which requires 
material things for its operation, is limited to some extent by the 
physical things which are produced by somebody else. In other 
words, it is not master of its own house completely. It is true that 
the customer influences the suppHer of these things, but these Johnnies 
back in Boston in 1880, who may have had the railroads or the 
Western Union or somebody as their example, came to the conclusion 
that if they were going to attain their objective, and I will teU you 
what that objective was in a minute, there was only one way they 
could do it. The supplier of physical things must be subordinate to 
the user of those things, and they set up this arrangement which has 
persisted since 1882, in which the manufacturer, the using utility 
companjT^, directs and controls the research and development work 
and directs" and controls the physical things wliich go into his plant. 
He is master of his own house, and it has led to some very peculiar 

The Western Electric Co. is one of the three largest electric manu- 
facturing companies in the United States and it is the only great man- 
ufacturing company that I know of anywhere in the world that 
doesn't have an engineering department. It has no engineering de- 
partment. It doesn't design a single thing that it manufactures. 

The Chairman. Dr. Jewett, I was tremendously interested in that 
general principle which you say those Johnnies back in Boston de- 
veloped, the principle which they felt must be followed at any and 
all events, namely, that the supplier of the usable thing must be 
subordinate to the user. Did I understand that correctly? 

Dr. Jewett. This is for a public utility that they were talking 
about. I don't know that they would have carried it to the ordinary 
affairs of life. I don't know that they would do that. 

What was the objective they were trying to reach? Of course they 
were kind of a Jules Vernes outfit in those days — they must have 
been — but they were wise Jules Vernes, and you will find what their 
objective was stated in the charter of the American Telegraph & 
Telephone Co. It has been oft quoted. They had the vision of 
anybody anywhere in the United States, on demand being able to be 
connected to anybody anywhere else, not only in the United States; 
they mentioned these places — Canada, Mexico, and what not — by 
wires or other appropriate means whenever they wanted to do it. 
They made that statement long before they could talk 500 miles. 

The Chairman. I take it that you meant by that statement that 
those who were planning this development which we now know as 
the Bell telephone system, world-wide in its aspects, decided at an 
early date that if their plan, a very widespread plan, were to be 
carried out effectively, it must be under a system whereby those who 
were making the plan and carrying out the plan should be in a position 
to demand the manufacture of the things that they needed. 
. Dr. Jewett. Yes, that is quite right. 

The Chairman. And it was for that reason, I suppose, that these 
planners established the Western Electric Co. as a manufacturing 
subsidiary of the Bell. 


Dr. Jewett. That's right. 

Dr. Jewett. You are quite right. Let me finish this and then 
I will tell you an illustration exactly along the lines I think your mind 
is running. It shows how the thing worked in another situation 
contrariwise. Their objective was this thing I have indicated to you 
and that they should provide this service on demand at the lowest 
possible rate, and by lowest possible rate they meant in every case 
rates which were low enough so that they imposed no substantial 
artificial barrier to a free usage of this service, and with safety to the 
business. Now that has been the objective ever since before I was 
in the telephone business. It was stated by Gilford down at Dallas 
many years ago, and it wasn't anything new with Gifford; he was just 
restating a thing which was old before he and I were bom, almost. 

Now to give you the illustration of how the thing works contrari- 
wise. One of the things which was done here a good many years ago 
in the growth of the business was to develop certain kinds of machine 
switching to take the place of manual switching which had become in 
the big cities a very difficult thing to do, and because of this central- 
ized, unified thing in the Bell system, and because of this long-range 
proposition where you finally judge whether a thing is good, bad, or 
indifferent by the total cost of the time until you put it on the junk 
heap, certain types of apparatus were developed for the big city 
areas like New York. The British Post Office came along and they 
had a similar problem in London. London, a great big city, didn't 
have as big a telephone development as New York, but it was a big 
problem and they envisioned what has actually taken place, a big 
growth in the telephone service in London. They knew of all this 
work we had done over here, there was no secret about it, and they 
wanted very much to use that, the engineers in the British post oflSce 
wanted to use it, but that type of apparatus required extremely ex- 
pensive tools to stamp out the stuff, so expensive that it only proved 
out over the less efficient types of things if you could manufacture in 
large quantities, single manufacture such as we had in the Bell system. 
They didn't have that in England; they weren't masters of their 
own house; their business was built to a considerable extent on what 
they could get from the manufacturers. That isn't saying that the 
manufacturers didn't try to do what they wanted but there was a 
division of responsibility there. They wftre set up on a competitive 
basis so far as their manufactures were concerned, and it was quite 
obvious that two or three or four manufacturers coiild not tool up 
with these expensive tools to make this limited quantity of stuff and 
have the post oflace bear the burden as they would have to bear it, of 
these duplicate sets of tools. The post office even went so far at that 
time (the Postmaster General did) as to work out and present to 
Parliament a scheme which was, in effect, that these several manu- 
facturing companies should realine their business so that one of these 
companies could be the sole producer of this tiling which they wanted 
to use, and in return for that give up other kinds of things which it 
had been manufacturing, and Parliament in its wisdom, probably^ it 
was all right, refused to do that. The result was that the British 
Post Office had to put in, in the city of London, a system which they 
knew was inferior to the one which was available and was in use 
generally in the United States. 
124491— 39— pt. 3 9 



The Chairman. Well, the sum total is that in the minds of those 
who have directed and planned the growth of the Bell telephone 
system, the patenting of devices and manufacturing of devices which 
are invented and patented is a wholly subordinate thing to the larger 
concept of the work of the system. 

Dr. Jewett. Absolutely. 

The Chairman., That is to say that the manufacturing of these 
devices for the return to be derived from them is not the main objective. 


Dr. Jewett. Absolutely not.. And as long as you have mentioned 
patents now, Senator, I will go back and say that the Bell system is 
somewhat unique in another respect in connection with patenting. 
It is a type example of rather ancient age now. When was the tele- 
phone invented, 76? It is sixty-odd years ago. In its early stages it 
was completely dependent on patents, that was its lifeblood; it could 
not have come into being except for the protection which the patent 
laws of the United States gave. It was a toy; it was looked upon as a 
toy when it was invented. Some people had some vision and some 
courage. They were living in an era in which they were not afraid, 
and they had reason to believe that the patent system as it existed 
at that time was a stable thing, that it w^ould persist for a number of 
years, and they risked their money on this thing. I doubt, with that 
some thing coming into the picture just at this moment, whether the 
same course could be pursued, but that is because there are a lot of 
other factors mixed up in it. 

As time went on their complete dependence on patents existed for a 
good time, 10, 15, or 20 years, as is evidenced. Of course I have to get 
it from the lore of the tribe, I wasn't old enough to Imow about it, 
but it is perfectly clear from the record how vital was this patent 
business to this small industry which has now become vast. It grew 
from- a little bit of a thing. All you have to do is to look at the records 
of suits and the scraps in the Patent Office to know how vital it was 
at that time. But as time v/ent on and the business grew bigger, the 
same thing happened to us that happens to every great industry. 
Wliile patents are still of very great importance to us, particularly 
important in stimulating the ideas which come to us from the outside 
relatively, they become less vital to the business than they were at the 
start, and in the case of an industry like ours which for quite natural 
reasons is not subject to competition in the ordinary sense, our interest 
in patents is largely an interest of freedom to use whatever is best in 
the busmess. The result of it is that I tliink I am safe in saying that 
not one-hundredth of Lpercent of the research and development work 
in the Bell Telephone Laboratories, vast as they are, is done with the 
idea of getting patents. Patents are a pure incident in the business. 
Our job up there is to solve problems, is to find new and better, more 
satisfactory ways of doing the kinds of things we are now doing, or 
doing other kinds of things. 

The Chairman. If you were to adopt a phrase that is in more or less 
common use when economic systems are discussed would it be proper 
for me to say that within the Bell telephone system the theory is: 
patenting and production for use rather than for profit? 

Dr. Jewett, Yes, I think that is quite right. 


Mr. Patterson. Ma^ I go back, Dr. Jewett — 
Dr. Jewett (interposing). Let me add one thing. The thing is so 
much of an incidence, the patenting busmess is taken in its stride, that 
it is a form of pubhcation, it is a form of pubhcation that has to be 
done under the laws of the land under certain conditions if you are 
going to carry out the intent of the patent laws, but the darned thing 
works in our place in such a way that a large part of the research 
people resent having to spend time in getting the patents. In the 
first place, they don't want to spend the time on it, and in the second 
place they don't want to present their work in the stereotyped way 
that the patent specifications call for, 

Mr. Patterson. Dr. Jewett, did you give the year the long-life 
tube came out? If you did, I didn't get it. 

Dr. Jewett. My recollection is that that change was made in 1923, 
and we are still 15 years afterwards deriving the benefit from it. Of 
course, I don't want to get into astronomical figures of the kind you 
got into yesterday, you can buUd a thing up so that it becomes absurd, 
but that is an annual saving. In the year 1938, just as I said, if you 
replace the tubes that are in the sockets of the Bell system in connec- 
tion with this long-line service in the tubes of the vintage of whatever 
this was, 1923, there would be no change in the service, the subscriber 
wouldn't know it, but it would cost $10,000,000 to do it. 

Mr. Patterson, I follow that clearly. I have two or three thing? 
in my mind. Is it not this tube that your contemporary, Dr. John 
Carty, gave so much time to, your vice president in charge of- engi- 

Dr. Jewett. This is the vacuum tube, yes. 

Mr. Patterson. You recall General Carty? 

Dr. Jewett. Oh, absolutely; I was his assistant for many years. ■ 

Mr. Patterson. Could I use this- tube in my radio? 

Dr. Jewett. No. 

Mr. Patterson. Could I buy it today? 

Dr. Jewett. Not the one I use. 

Mr. Patterson. The long-life tube? 

Dr. Jewett. I couldn't use it in my radio and I couldn't use it in 
any radio because it is designed for the particular service of the tele- 
phone repeaters, but you could make a tube which you could use in 
your radio which has the properties of thi^j thing. 

Mr. Patterson. I could? 

Dr. Jewett. Sure. 

Mr. Patterson. Is there one on the market? 

Dr. Jewett. Not that I know of. 

The Chairman. Are the qualities which make this new tube 

Dr. Jewett. Sure, and there are plenty of people licensed to make 
it if they want to make it. 

The Chairman. I think probably I didn't make myself clear. 
Was the method by which you produced the longer-Uved tube requiring 
less power to operate just a method of manufacturing or was it a 

Dr. Jewett (interposing). No, of course, T haven't looked the 
thing up and I can't tell you just what happened, but I surmise you 
would find that there probably were a considerable number of what 
you might call secondary patents connected with the development 


which T have described here. Fundamentally the tube is exactly what 
was covered by the earHer De Forrest patents; it is a three-member 

Mr. Patterson. Are any other companies making th^s tube? 

Dr. Jewett. I thmk the only companies that are making this type 
of tube — I don't know any in this country that are doing it. I think 
the International Telephone & Telegraph Co., which operates abroad, 
and 'which has rights under our patents, is making this type of tube 
for service abroad. 

Mr. Patterson. So far as you know, no other company in this 
country is making it? 

Dr. Jewett. No, I don't think so. Of course, I am not a tube 
expert, but I don't know of any tubes on the market which have the 
coated type of filament which is employed in all our telephone tubes. 
Most of them are tungsten fiTament tubes. 

Mr. Patterson. If I had the proper experience and the financial 
structure to manufacture these tubes, would you give me a license to 
manufacture them? 

Dr. Jewett. I think so. I am not in charge of the licensing 
business of the company, but I know that many Hcenses have been 
given. Whether those licenses that have been given are in any way 
80 worded that they couldn't extend to your particular case, I don't 
know. You would have to inquire, but so far as I know, yes. 

Mr. Patterson. Do you happen to know, Dr. Jewett, the general 
-poUcy of Mr. Gifford on that particular pointj as to hcensing? 

Dr. Jewett. No; I don't. 

Mr. PiViTERSON. I don't want to press that question. 

Dr. Jewett. To tell the honest truth, I don't think that we have 
what you would call a fixed policy on the thing, except that our 
business is the telephone business and our actions in the past have 
indicated our willingness to grant licenses broadly, and we have 
granted many of them. I don't see them; you would have to get 
that from someone else. 

Mr. Patterson. Don't misunderstand my question; the A. T. & T. 
like Tiffany to silver, is doing a marvelous job, but the Patent Office is 
very anxious to get your advice and assistance in a lot of these things 
and you in particular with two or three other men can be of great 
service to us. But have you found any trouble in your dealings with 
the Patent Office? Have things been fairly smooth? Have we 
delayed you? 

Dr. Jewett. As far as I know, they have been fine, but my business 
isn't to solicit patents which bring me into contact with the detailed 
operations of the Patent Office. But I have never heard any com- 
plaint of the thing at all and I think that the Patent Office's attitude 
toward getting their work done promptly and well conforms exactly 
to what we want to have done. We are as anxious as anybody to get 
our applications through in the shortest possible time and in the best 
possible fashion. The thing I deprecate more than anything else as a 
user of the system is the thing exemplified in the first recommendation 
of the Patent Committee, of which I was a member, and that is the 
invalid patent. If I could have my way 1 would have nothing but 
vahd patents coming out and I would have a good time. 

The Chairman. You are a fundamental scientist, as I understand it. 

Dr. Jewett. Well, I was a practitioner in the field of the funda- 
mental sciences. Now I don't know what I am. 


The Chairman. Your laboratory is somewhat similar to that which 
was described by Dr. Qoolidge yesterday.^ You conduct your investi- 
gations into matters of principle; that is to say into matters of funda- 
mental science, as well as into matters affecting the practical problems 
which are presented from time to time. 

Dr. Jewett. Yes. 

The Chairman. In other words, your laboratory is not under narrow 
restrictions from the managers of Bell Telephone to confine its efiorta. 
to productive devices alone. 

Dr. Jewett. No ; absolutely not, Senator. I am one of the managers 
of the Bell system. I am one of its officers. I participated in that 
thing, and it is true, I think, that the field of our interest is narrower 
than the field of the interest of the General Electric Co., because we 
are primarily concerned with the communications field. That is one 
application of electricity. The sky is the limit for them in their 

The Chairman. But in the prosecution of your studies would it be 
proper for me to infer that it is almost inevitable that you should 
follow along in much the same channel as that which is pursued by 
General Electric, and that you both might be developing similar 
ideas, mostly in competition with one another? 

Dr. Jewett. Frequently we do, insofar as their interest happens" 
to be in our sector. They are more likely to be doing things in our 
sector than we are in theirs, because their sector has a great big section 
we are not interested in. 

The Chairman. And that does happen? 

Dr. Jewett. Absolutely, and does with every other laboratory. 
In fact, a thing as far removed as synthetic organic compounds, which 
is the business of an outfit like the Du Pont Co. and not primarily an 
interest of a thing like the Bell Laboratories, we find in conflict there 

The Chairman. It was developed yesterday from Dr. Coolid^e 
that discoveries and inventions are made in the General Electric 
Laboratory which are altogether outside the field in which General 
Electric was organized to operate. Now that is true of your laboratory 
too, is it not? 

Dr. Jewett. I think so. I think it is true of every laboratory. 

The Chairman. What happens to the inventions and discoveries 
of that character which are outside the field of communication? 
What do you do with those? 

Dr. Jewett. In general, I should say, and here again you would 
have to go to the people who are actually operating this kind of prop- 
ertv, they are Ucensed to people who are in those fields. 

The Chairman. But you are one of the managers of the company. ^ 

Dr. Jewett. That would be the policy, to make those things avail- 
able in some way. Take a case that I happen to think of offhand, that 
I know quite a httle bit about, submarme signaling, this protection 
of ships at sea and that sort of stuff. That is a kind of business that 
the General Electric or the Western Electric might well be in. It is. 
Take the Western Electric. It is not very far removed from the kind 
of stuff that they make for the telephone business, but it is a specialty 
kind of business. We are not in it. It is a kind of business which is 

'' Supra p. 911 et seq. 


SO vital but so small that it couldn't very well— I mean, you couldn't 
do anything with it competitively, particularly a big outfit. 

Mj recoUection is that we had a lot of inventions that were in that 
field, that could be used in that field, that we and, I think, General 
Electric, too^ made available to the Submarine Signal Co. and the 
United States Navy for their use, gratis or on very reasonable terms. 

The Chairman. How did you make them available? 

Dr. Jewett. By licensing. 

The Chairman. You retain the patent and license for use? 

Dr. Jewett. Yes, because in general. Senator, these patents are 
not labeled "submarine signaling." They are a thing which has 
many uses, and you may license a fellow over in this field and you 
retain the rights over in all the other fields. 

The Chairman. You see, I am impressed with the scope of a great 
laboratory such as yours and such as the General Electric's, with the 
practically inimitable scope of it. You are delving into fields of 
fundamental science, you uncover principles, you might make dis- 
coveries that would deal with fields wholly foreign to communication 
in any form: Now what happens? Does the telephone company, 
by reason of those discoveries and the patent system, project itself 
into fields of industry and commerce which are altogether foreign 
to it? 

Dr. Jewett. In general, not. I think the best answer I can give 
to the question I think is running through your mind is merely to 
cite in two or three sectors what the attitude of the Bell system has 
been in relation to its job as it conceives it. In its own field it is a 
tremendous organization. It is alleged that it is the biggest corpora- 
tion in the United States. I don't know whether that is so or not. 
But 20 years ago the Bell system was engaged in many activities. 
In the first place, it was engaged in a business in the foreign field. 
It liad manufacturing plants when I was chief engineer of the Western 
Electric Co. scattered all over the world. We did a jobbing business 
of general electrical supplies. We used a great many general elec- 
trical supplies, lamps and what-not, and we did a jobbing business 
in the Western Electric Co. 

Along' comes broadcasting. We don't know what the field of 
broadcasting is going to be. We have a feeling that whatever it may 
be; We have played a part in creating the implements by vrhich it 
comes iiito being, and there comes this picture of radio broadcasting, 
looming large on the horizon. We don't Icnow what our place is 
going to be in that, except we have a feeling that transmission of 
speech in connection with that is going to be a vital part. We 
Cannot find out what it is, so what do we do? We create an experi- 
mental broadcasting station, WEAF. We had one down in Wash- 
ington, WCAP. Those were experimental things. As soon as we 
found out what we wanted to know what do we do? We dispose of 
those things; we dispose of the foreign business. Earlier still there 
was a time when the Western Electric Co. was a bigger power ap- 
paratus manufacturer than the General Electric Co. We had a 
great factory in Chicago to make power apparatus. Well, it did not 
fit in with the telephone business and as the telephone business grew 
and the problem of our own job grew, the- whole tendency has been 
to slough off these things which are extraneous, and in a way I would 
say_ that gave the general answer to the question you asked about our 
attitude toward this licensing business. 


Now there come things, and the things which cause us— and I 
presume everybody else — much difficulty as anything else — these 
so-called byproduct results of research. You set out to solve this — 
to go over m this direction, and inevitably, almost, if you do a good 
job you develop byproduct values out of your work. They may be 
quite outside the field of your owti activity, and in the main at the 
time may appear to have nothing but potential value. Every inven- 
tion that I know of that has been made, whether by individuals or in 
laboratories, at the time, on the date which the Patent Office would 
take as the time of the invention, the thing is not anything more than 
an idea. 

It requires a large amount of time and money to bring it to fruition. 
Now we get one of these byproduct things. What are you going to 
do with it? You cannot throw it out the window. You cannot give 
it away, without running the risk of your owners saying, "What are 
you doing? Are you throwing our property away?" You 'don't 
know what the value of the thing is; you cannot establish the value; 
cannot get anybody to establish it. So what you frequently have to 
do, even though you have no intention of going into a type of business, 
is to go far enough along to develop the thing so that it is a mferchant- 
able article. 


The Chairman. Could you give us any approximation of the number 
of patents the Bell system now holds? 

Dr. Jewett. My recollection is that at the time of the F. C. C. 
investigation there was a check-up made and there were something 
like, I think, 15,000, most of which are the results of our own work.^ 

The Chairman. And what proportion of those are strictly commu- 
nication patents? 

Dr. Jewett. Oh, the great — well, strictly communication, you 
mean, confined so that tlie}^ have no other use? 

The Chairman. Let me put it in another way. How many of 
those are byproducts? 

Dr. Jewett. I should say relatively a small number, a few. 

The Chairman. Is the Western Electric your only manufacturing 

Dr. Jewett. It is the onh' manufacturing subsidiary, yes; but it is 
not the only manufacturing supply. 

The Chairman. How about the Graybar? 

Dr. Jewett. The Graybar Co. is this jobbing kind of business, once 
in the W^estern Electric Co., and in the sloughing-off process, getting 
rid of that, the Graybar Electric Co. was created, and the employees 
who had been in this jobbing business really bought the jobbing 
business from the W^estern Electric Co. Except insofar as it mav 
still owe something on the purchase price, it has no connection with 
the Bell system. 

The Chairman. Does the Western Electric Co. now manufacture 
any of these byproduct devices? 

Dr. Jewett. Yes, some; if you want to call things like artificial 
larynx, which Dr. Fletcher and his people developed, a medical thing; 

1 Dr. Jewett subsequently informed the committee that. "The number (15,000) which I gave Is the tefal 
number wliich we were free to use as of 1934. The number owned as of that date was about 9,600— and 
naturally this is a number which varies from month to month because of new and expiring patents, As 
to the others, we held licenses to make and use." See "Exhibit No. 244" entered in the record on February 
S, 1939 and included in the appendix on p. 1158. 


aids to the hard of hearing; they are not connected with the com- 
munication business; audiometers, deaf sets, for which all the aurists 
have use now. Those tiling's which were developed in our laboratory 
in our endeavor to study the mechanism of hearing for the purpose of 
designing better service. They become valuable tools in the medical 
profession and they are in every hospital and in every aurist's office, 
every large one. Those, as far as I know, are manufactured by the 
Western Electric ; whether others are licensed to manufacture, I just 
do not happen to know. 

Mr. Patterson. Dr. Jewett, is any manufacturer of radio tubes 
now licensed to use this long-life Bell patent? 

Dr. Jewett. I think so, yes. My recollection is that in the cross- 
licensing arrangement, with the whole R. C. A.-G. E. group, thej 
have full rights to use them, but it is not commercially to their 
advantage to do it. 

Mr, Patterson. It is not commercially? 

Dr. Jewett. I do not see why it would be. If I were in their 
place I would not. 

Mr. Patterson. I can see how they sell less tubes, that is true, 
but was that in the Hcense accompanying the consent decree of 1932? 

Dr. Jewett. I do not know about that. 

Mr. Patterson. I mean when they were all divorced? 

Dr. Jewett. I do not know about that. 

Mr. Patterson. Thank you. 

Mr. Davis. Are any of those long-life tubes available to independ- 
ent telephone companies, independent of the Bell System? 

Dr. Jewett. Yes, sir. I am not speaking with great certainty, but 
I tliink the present arrangements, either directly or indirectly, make 
practically anything which is necessary in their business available to 
them, but I do not know of any independent telephone companies that 
would have any particular use for long-lived or short-Uved tubes in 
their service. 

Mr. Davis. Is that used only in long-distance telephony? 

Dr. Jewett. Not only in long-distance telephony, but the principal 
usage for them is in connection with long-distance telephony; that is 
where primarily they are amplifying devices, and amplifying devices 
are principally used on longer circuits, and most of these so-called con- 
necting or independent companies are relatively short things. As a 
matter of fact, I think most of them have their toll service handled by 
the Bell System except their very local toll system. 

Mr. Davis. I know that is generally true, but there are some few 
telephone companies still in existence besides the Bell System? 

Dr. Jewett. Oh, my heavens, yes; a third of the telephones are in 
the hands of them. 

Mr. Davis. In line with questions propounded by Commissioner 
Patterson — I just wonder whether these tubes are available for pur- 
chase by those? 

Dr. Jewett. I said to the Senator I am not in charge of the licensing 
arrangements, but I see a good deal of it, and my recollection is that 
most of the telephone business of this country;, either directly from us 
or indirectly through the associated companies with which the con- 
nection has made available to us, either through right to purchase or 
lease or rental, whatever ^ou will, anything which is really necessary 
lo give as good grade service to them as to any of our customers. 


The Chairman. Do you have very much competition from inde- 
pendent inventors? Or, let me put it this way; that does not convey 
the idea I have in mind. Does the BeU system find it necessary or 
advantageous at any time to adopt patents issued to others? 

Dr. Jewett. Oh, absolutely, ever since I can remember, and now 
we are continually either buying patents or more frequently in recent 
years obtaining rights under patents, and increasingly, I think, our 
tendency has been — unless there is some peculiar reason for doing 
otherwise — to be content with a nonexclusive license. Really, what we 
are interested in is freedom to use. 

The Chairman. But that is not what I have in mind at the moment. 
I am wondering what proportion of the patented devices which the 
Bell Telephone System uses were developed within your own labora- 
tories and what proportion came from outside. 

Dr. Jewett. A great lot of them came from within the laboratory. 

The Chairman. What percent, would you say? 

Dr. Jewett. What percentage would I say? I would say three- 
quarters. That is just a guess on my part. 

The Chairman. Not less than three-quarters? 

Dr. Jewett. I would say not less, but that again — I would want to 
check that, if you want to use it. The great bulk of it. 

The Chairman. Would you think that I would be justified in say- 
ing that in large enterprises like the Bell Telephone System and the 
General Electric, Westinghouse, Radio, and the rest, the research 
laboratories which are maintained by these corporations produce by 
far the great majority of the devices which are used? 

Dr. Jewett. I think that is true, if you measure it just in numbers 
of patents. That partly is an exigency of what patents are. There 
are many of these 15,000-odd patents that I have mentioned to you 
which are essentially very trivial things. There are a great many of 
them which are not in use, and that arises — that is true both with 
regard to those that originated with us and those that came to us 
through purchase from the outside. The results from this sort of a 
thing, whenever a patent on an improved device or method comes out, 
it automatically makes one or more patents obsolete. They are 
legally alive, but they are as dead as the Dodo bird. 

The Chairman. I assume you maintain a close scrutiny of the 
patents which are issued by the Patent Office from time to time? 

Dr. Jewett. Yes; we do, and one of the reasons — sometimes we 
are interested, Senator — of course more frequently than not the in- 
ventor, the owner of the patent on the outside, brings his invention 
to our attention, as he does to the General Electric or anybody else 
for purchase or a license under it. If, however, we find something 
which for one reason or another as it issues from the Patent OflEice 
looks of interest to us, then we may be the seeker for that right from 
the inventor. Very frequently we have this kind of a condition. 
While we are interested to get rights, even though we have no specific 
intention to use it at that moment from the standpoint, here is a 
patent or a group of patents which cover a general field. Now, we 
are doing something in a field which is right close by there. We get 
ready to use what we have developed and the question comes up, 
Are we free to use? Nothing is ever put into the Bell System until 
it has gone to the patent department for them to answer, to our 
patent department for them to answer two questions: Is there any- 


thing of patentable nature in this which ought to be protected in the 
United States Patent Office; and second, is there or is there not 
freedom to use? Do we infrinjre somebody's else's patents? 

"Well, if this field of these patents I am taikino: about is very close 
to the one you are working; in, and it isn't terribly important but 
you may want to acquii'c rig;hts in that field for the sheer facility it 
gives you in not having to make this interminable search through a 
whole grist of patents, if you know that in this whole field I have 
freedom to do anything I please and use the best thing tliere is without 
further search it is of some convenience to you. That is not a very 
common case but it does arise. 

The Chairman. One of our witnesses this morning, I think it was, 
told of the incident in the business in which he is engaged, of com- 
petitive effort upon the part of his own company and of another 
company, and of the effort of each when the other developed a new 
device, to develop an.other new device altogether different to do the 
same thing. 

Dr. Jewett. I think that is true as between research laboratories 
in more or less similar fields everywhere. 

The Chairman. In other words, you prefer to develop your own 
device to reach the same objective than to take over a device of the 

Dr. Jewett. That is true, Senator, even where automatically, as 
under these continuing license agreements, we automatically have the 
right to do it. That to some extent is tied up in human characteristics, 
in the characteristics of individuals. 

Dr. LuBiN. I still am terribly upset about the long life of the tube. 

Dr. Jewett. Upset about it? 

Dr. LuBiN. Yes. If I understand you correctly these other 
principles embodied in the long life of the tube have not been adapted 
to radio. In other words, I can't go out and buy a tube which would 
last 50,000 hours as compared with a thousand-hour tube. The 
reason, as I understand you, for that situation being so is that the 
people who make tubes won't make a 50,000-hour tube 

Dr. Jewett (interposing). I don't say they won't. I don't know 
what their business is. My impression is that you can't do that. 
I have never tried to do it. It is very possible that somebody may 
be doing it, but I don't know of it. 

Dr. LuBiN. It is not being done. 

Dr. Jewett. As far as I know it is not. 

Dr. LuBiN. But from the point of view of the physics involved it 
could be. 

Dr. Jewett. Yes; except that there is a little difference, I presume^ 
that the tube which would last 50,000 hours in the Bell System or in 
the telephone plant with its rigid controls of voltage, supervised 
battery supply, and everything of that kind, and maintenance, 
probably wouldn't last 50,000 hours in your radio set or my radio set. 

Dr. LuBiN.'s assume it would last only 20,000 hours, so you 
increase your efficiency by 2,000 percent. Now the reason for it, as 
you understand the situation, although as you say you don't know 
the facts, is that these manufacturers of 1,000-liour tubes by produc- 
ing a 20,000-hour tube would cut down the potential demand for their 
product. They would sell less tubes, and their own personal interest 
keeps them from doing it. What is there, then, to keep anybody else 


who doesn't make tubes today from going into that business and pro- 
ducing a 20,000-hour tube? There must be some reason why they 
don't do it. Do you know the reason? Is it that they can't get patents? 

Dr. Jewett. I will tell you what I think is a very practical reason, 
even though people have the full right to do this thing and facilities 
for doing it. In the first place, I think it probably is true that the 
best interests of the radio industry and the users of that, the radio 
set people, are served where you have uniformity, a certain amount 
of standardization, so you could use different manufacturers' tubes 
in different sets. There is a fundamental difference in the manu- 
facturing concept of most of the people who are in the tube-manu- 
facturing business, the big R. C. A., General Electric people, and 
the Westinghouse Co. 

I have tried to outline that in the Bell System the emphasis has 
been on quality of stuff as it is reflected in service. That has inevi- 
tably forced us in the laboratories in the Western Electric Co. into 
a technique which is based on quality of performance without vast 
quantities, usually, for many things. Now the electric-light business, 
from which most of this vacuum-tube business has sprung, has been 
an art which developed from the standpoint largely of the lowest 
possible cost of the thing which you supply, I mean the cost of electric 
light bulbs has come down, and the technique which they developed 
and which they carried over into the vacuum-tube game is quite a 
different technique from that which we in the Western Electric employ, 
and they would have to learn a new technique, or somebody would have 
to learn this same technique in order to do this long-Hfe coated filament 
type of thing. My experience has always been, in every line, that 
an organization which has lived long under one kind of technique finds 
it extremely difficult to pick up an entirely different technique, and 
there may be some of that in the explanation. 

Dr. LuBiN. The thing that I just can't quite understand is that 
here are people in the United States foregoing an opportunity to 
make millions, to make something which is 20 times as good as any- 
thing on the market, and you wouldn't have to charge much more 
for it 

Dr. Jewett. I am not so sure that they are doing that. 

The Chairman. How about Western Electric? Could Western 
Electric manufacture these long-life tubes for radios? 

Dr. Jewett. Yes; it could, but I am not sure under their licensing 
arrangements whether they are fully free to go into that kind of 

The Chairman. In other words, the cross-Ucensing agreement which 
the Bell has with R. C. A. and the others might prevent you from 
utilizing this very advantageous discovery which you made in the 
radio field. 

Dr. Jewett. In a particular field. 

The Chairman. Do you know whether or not you could license 
that tube, say, to the Zenith, which I think is independent? 

Dr. Jewett. I don't know that, Senator. 

The Chairman. You don't have a cross-licensing agreement with 

Dr. Jewett. I don't know. - 

Mr. Patterson. Let me ask this question. Dr. Jewett, to follow 
up the chairman and Dr. Lubin. Is it your judgment that if the 



Bell long-life tube patent were used in the manufacture of radio tubes, 
that it would provide, say, many times the life, use only a portion of 
the current, and reduce production costs, if the radio people used 

that tube? , , , 

Dr. Jewett. I am not sure that the tube would be as cheap as the 
present short-life tube that you buy. My comparison of costs on 
the tubes themselves was between two tubes of the same breed. 
I suspect — I don't know what these prices are — that the tubes that 
are now supplied in radio sets are cheaper than this tube that I am 
talking about. ^ . 

The Chairman. Well, Western Electric manufactures the larynx 
box for hospitals. 

Dr. Jewett. Yes. 

The Chairman. It manufactures this deaf cell, and it manufactures 
other byproducts which are altogether independent of the communi- 
cation field. Radio, of course, is within the communication field, 
so that the ([uestion presents itself consistently: How does it corne 
that Western Electric doesn't develop and manufacture in the radio 
field a perfectly marvelous discovery which it has made? 

Dr. Jewett. It docs-in that part of the radio business which they, 
are in, which is the furnishing of radio stuff for communication pur- 
poses, but I think, if you want to pursue this further, you ought to 
get somebody from the Bell Co. who is concerned with this phase of 
the thing, but whatever the situation is at the present time as the 
result of the cross licenses which exist in this field of radio, which is 
largely in the broadcasting, they are tied up with a situation which 
goes back to patents of 20 years ago, a situation following the advent 
of the De Forrest three-member device into the field through the 
Telephone Co. I have forgotten when De Forrest made that in- 
vention, which, of course, was subordinate to an earlier invention by 
Fleming in England; my recollection is about 1906 it was invented 
as a wireless detector, and it served its purpose. Actually De Forrest 
I don't think, or anybody, knew exactly, what the mechanism was 
that he had there. But it had all these properties which liaye since 
become so valuable, but people didn't recognize it. It was in 1912, 
when we were struggling hard to complete a promise to have a trans- 
continental telephone line in San Francisco in time for the opening 
of the Panama Pacific Exposition and we were tryhig to find every 
conceivable amplifying device that we could think of that would work, 
that this thing, 6 years after its invention or 6 years after its patenting, 
was brought to our attention as a possible telephone amplifier, but 
it didn't work. But what did happen was that it was obvious to the 
scientific people that the thing could be made to work. They saw 
what the trouble was and they went ahead and did it. Well, we 
didn't think this thing was patentable. All I am leading up to, 
Senator, is that the hnpasse which arose out of a bunch of conflicting 
patents brought about the initial cross licensing thing which in modi- 
fied form over the years is what controls the situation today. 
_ The Chairman. Yes; I perceive that^ and I feel it is probably out- 
side of 5^our line, but would you object if, on behalf of the committee, 
I asked you to make inquiry of the proper person in the Bell system 

> Dr. Jewett subsequontly-Rave the committee other facts showiag that the long-life vacuum tubes would 
not be In economic balance with radio receiv'inc sets whose avorape life is perhaps one-fifth to one-tenth that 
o( those tubes. Soe "Exhibit No. 244" entered in the record on February 8, 1939, and included In the ap- 
pendix on p. 1158. 


or the Western Electric system, and notify the committee whether 
or not this cross-Ucensing arrangement prevents you from manufac- 
turing this tube for the radio field? ^ 

Dr. Jewett. Prevents us, prevents the Western Electric, from, 
manufacturing for the general field? 

The Chairman. The general radio field. 


Mr. CoE. Mr. Chairman, I want to pursue a thought that was 
expressed by Dr. Jewett some moments ago. He said that he would 
be very happy if no patents other than vaUd patents were issued. 

Dr. Jewett, you were a member of the Science Advisory Board which 
recommended, among other things, that there be established a single 
court of patent appeals. Dr. Bush, on his appearance before this 
committee yesterday, made this statement.^ 

The unfortur'ate situation that obtains today is that an individual who is granted 
a patent by the United States Government has no great assurance, as he ought to- 
have, that that patent is valid and will he sustained. Anything that can be done 
to increase the presumption of validity of that patent when it is issued will aid in. 
the introduction of new ideas in industry, because it will shorten and make easy 
the path of the man who has to forge the waj'. 

Do you see any connection between the establishment of a single 
court of patent appeals and the percentage of valid patents issued 
by the Patent Office? 

Dr. Jewett. Most assuredly. I think it has a very direct relation- 
ship. It has been a number of years since I read that report of ours, 
I don't know whether that is mentioned or not, but if my under- 
standing is correct, one of the first and most direct effects that would 
come out of the effect of the establishment of a single court of last 
instance would be the setting of more permanent standards than we 
have now for the guidance of the Patent Office in what does constitute 
a valid patent, and I should assume that unquestionably the estab- 
Hshment of such a single court would tend not directly, but indirectlj^, 
to increase the presumption of validity of the work that comes out 
of your office, because you are not going to be battered around from 
pillar to post with conflicting views as to what constitutes validity in 
different circuits. You have got some final court that tells you at 
least what the judgment of the court is as to its validity. 

Mr. CoE. In other words, in addition to the tendency to reduce 
the cost and duration of litigation, it will have the effect of increasing 
the percentage of valid patents, in your judgment? 

Dr. Jewett. Yes; I am not a lawyer and I am not a patent man, 
but I should assume that if this court is established along the lines 
that we of the committee had in mind, and of course we didn't attempt 
to say who would be on it, we assumed they would be competent 
people, competent men, men of training, and that they would serve 
for long periods of time, like other Federal judges do, they would 
inevitably build up certain standards, just as the Supreme Court has 
built up certain standards, that would become a background of sub- 
stantial proven law, which certainly should make it easier for an 

» In this connection see letter from Dr. Jewett to Senator O'Mahoney, under date of January 24, 1939, 
which was entered In the record as "Exhibit No. 244" at hearings held February 8, 1939, and is included 
in the appendix on p. 1158. 

'Supra, p. 893. 


examiner, looking at somebody's applications, to say whether the 
claims that are asked to be allowed fit in with the pattern which the 
courts have said constitutes validity. 

Mr. CoE. Thank you very much. 

Dr. Jewett, Does that answer your question? 

Mr. CoE. Yes; fully. 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Chairman, if I may: Dr. Jewett, you spoke of your 
system getting out of the radio field, as I understood it. It is a fact, 
is it not, that your system has a very close relation to radio in the 
transmission of radio programs over your wires? 

Dr. Jewett. Absolutely. 

Mr. Davis. You have a monopoly of that field, haven't you? 

Dr. Jewett. Substantially; yes. I think there probably are certain 
cases where the wires of the Western Union or Postal are used, but 
in the main you are correct. It is a monopoly because it is only 
telephone wires that can be used for this purpose. 

Mr. Davis. Wliy can't telegraph wires be used? 

Dr. Jewett. For tliis simple reason. Judge: The Lord, in His 
wisdom, fixed it up so. that whenever you create a telephone ciruit, 
almost without exception you automatically create one or more 
telegraph circuits, but when you create a telegraph circuit, wliich is 
for the transmission of a very much less ligld kind of transmission, 
you don't automatically create a telephone circuit, and while it is 
true that there are some telegraph circuits of more recent origin that 
are capable of handling telephone transmission Avith some degree of 
adequacy, the great bulk of all telegraph circuits are not capable of 
handling telephony adequately, without complete revamping. 

Mr. Davis. Well, if that is true why was it necessary for the A. 
T. & T. and the National Broadcasting Co. to enter into an agreement 
to the effect that the N. B. C. would only use A. T. & T. wires? 

Dr. Jewett, I don't know. Do they do that? 

Mr. Davis. I think that is a matter of record ; yes. 

Dr, Jewett. Maybe so. I don't know. 

Mr. Davis. Do you know whether your company still requires a 
license from a broadcasting company now, in the United States? 

Dr. Jewett. From a broadcasting company? I don't know. I 
don't think so. I don't know just what you refer to. 

Mt. Davis. I refer to the fact that it certainly formerly did. 

Dr. Jewett. Are you referring to the case of where apparatus which 
infringed patents was made by various people? 

Mr. Davis. I refer to the claim of the American Telephone & Tele- 
graph Co. that was made that no broadcasting apparatus was in 
existence that did not infringe on their patents, and consequently if 
the licensee from the United States Government to conduct a broad- 
casting station desired to operate, he would have to obtain a license 
from you. 

Dr. Jewett. I think I know what you are referring to. Of course, 
we furnished broadcasting stations; a lot of broadcasting stations are 
manufactured by the Western Electric. They automatically carry a 
license under patents. The stations of the people affected by the 
cross-licensing arrangement all carry it. I think what you are referring 
to are the things which were in existence at one time, and there may 
be some still, in which apparatus not made by us or our licensees was 
used for broadcasting purposes, and there I think we did have a 



royalty arrangement, and that was reduced at one time to $1 or some- 
thmg of that kmd. So far as I know, there is no such tiling as that, 
and it couldn't obtain in very many cases anywav because so many 
of the stations are furnished either by "Western Electric or K. O. A. or 
General Electric or Westinghouse Co. or other licensees. 

Mr. Davis. They all have licenses from you, you mean. 

Dr. Jewett. They are all licensed to manufacture this stuff. In 
what I said about getting out of the business, I was really talking 
about getting out of the broadcasting business as a service. 


Mr. Davis. \'\ ell, now, of the 15,000 ' patents which are owned by 
your company, which I believe is the number used here. Senator 
O'Mahoney, they are all held by the A. T. & T. itself, rather than the 
subsidiary companies, are they not? 

Dr. Jewett. No; they are not, Judge. The title to the patents is 
in three diflerent positions at the present time. The title to some of 
the licenses which were entered into 50 or 60 years ago with regard 
to the use within the system is in the A. T. & T. Co. ; the title to some 
of them is in the Western Electric Co., and title to those in transit, 
generated in the Bell Laboratories, is in Bell Laboratories. The 
division between the A. T. & T. and Western Electric Co. is the result 
of the so-called 1882 contract, before the Western Electric Co. became 
a part of the Bell system, or the contract was entered into way back 
in those days, which was a contract between tuo independent people 
in which, roughly speaking, telephone-appliance patents ownership 
is in the Western Electric Co., and telephone patents, things like the 
transmitter, receiver, and transmission apparatus, is in the hands of 
the A. T. & T. Co. 

That is the result of a very ancient contractual relationship. And 
there is this third group which I have indicated which comprises only 
patents which were generated in Bell Laboratories, in which the title 
to those patents temporarily is in Bell Laboratories. 

fundamental and subsequent development patents of bell 


Mr. Davis. Were any of the key or fundamental inventions in the 
telephonic art discovered in your laboratory? 

Dr. Jewett. Yes. I am glad you asked that question because it 
bears on a question that the Senator asked, I think a while back. 
I think it is inevitable that the great bulk of what you might call the 
run-of-the-mine patents in an industry like ours will inevitably come 
from your own people, from your running a research department. 
I think that it is equally the case that those few fundamental patents, 
the things which really mark big changes in the art, are more likely to 
come from the outside than from the inside. There aren't very many 
of those. I am getting around to answer your question. 

When I try to tliink of what are the fundamental patents, leaving 
out Bell's original patents which have been in the telephone business 
during its lifetime, which changed the whole picture of the future, 
there are only three of them. One of them came completely from the 

1 Note that this number was subsequently corrected to read 9, 'iCO. See "Exhibit No. 244" entered In the 
record on Feb. 8, 1939, and included in the appendix, on p. 1158. 


outside, that is the vacuum tube type of thing which came clear from 

The second one, technically, according to the rules of the game, 
came from the outside, although that decision was the result of a long^ 
carried-out contest between a man on the inside and a man outside, 
between Pupin and George Campbell, but the result is that Pupin 
slightly ante-dated Campbell so two came from the outside. The 
third came from the inside. 

Mr. Davis. Of course, the Pupin patent on the loading coil is one 
of the fundamental patents. 

Dr. Jewett. That is one of those I consider fundamental. 

Mr. Davis, And the courts held that was a vahd patent. 

Dr. Jewett. They held it was a valid patent and Pupin rather than 
Campbell was entitled to be considered the inventor. 

Mr. Davis. What was the third? 

Dr. Jewett. The third is what is known as the filter patents, the 
wave filter patents which have made possible practically all of radio 
telephony and much of the carrier current type of stuff which we do, 
which was an invention of the same George Campbell. It was the 
result of a high line mathematical attack on the whole problem of 
transmission of high-frequency currents over circuits. 

So that out of the three thmgs which I picture as fundamental 
patents, one certainly came from the outside, a second one came from 
the outside altliough it came almost simultaneously from the inside, 
and the third came from the inside. 

Mr. Davis. The telephone receiver was a fundamental patent,, 
wasn't it? 

Dr. Jewett. Of course, that goes back to Bell's time. 

Mr. Davis. And that was a Bell patent. 

Dr. Jewett. There wasn't any "inside" then. 

Mr Davis. I know, but I want to follow my line of inquiry. Now 
the transmitter, that didn't originate in the laboratories of your com- 
pany, did it? 

Dr. Jewett. The fundamental idea of the transmitter? 

Mr. Davis. That was originated in '78 by Berliner, was it not? 

Dr. Jewett. The fundamental idea of the transmitter is covered 
by a Bell patent. The particular form of microphonic transmitter is 
claimed by Berliner and Edison and others. I don't know who they 

Mr. Davis. Of course recognizing the fact that you have been 
-describing for some time, that refinements have been made, and we 
assume improvements, no doubt, I am talking about the fundamental 
patents, the key inventions, the principles involved, and all of these 
subsequent developments have simply been a development or im- 
provement or refinement of the same key invention. 

Dr. Jewett. No; I certainly wouldn't agree with you on that, but 
I am perfectly willing to agree, if you like, that many of the things 
which came into the telephone business in the first 10 years of its iife, 
15 years, inevitably came from the outside. It was a little bit of a 
thing, there wasn't much inside. When it comes to the period of the 
last 25 years, there are only three of these things. 

Mr. Davis. Are those key inventions, or refinements of them, still 
under patent control? 

Dr. Jewett. I don't know about the filter patents, I don't know 
how they stand because I have forgotten the age of them, but the 


fundamental Pupin patents and the fundamental DeForrest patents 
have expired. 

Mr. Davis. But there are still patents on refinements. 

Dr. Jewett. Oh, unquestionably. 

Mr. Davis. Well, how about the transmitter and receiver? 

Dr. Jewett. The same thing there. 

Mr. Davis. One of them originated in 76 and the other in 78. 

Dr. Jewett. The same is true of everything, Judge. 

Mr. Davis. Is anybody manufacturing telephone apparatus in the 
United States to any degree except the Western Electric? 

Dr. Jewett. Oh, certainly, and there are a lot of transmitters and 
receivers that are being manufactured which are quite free from any 
Bell patents that may exist at the present time. That art is so old 
and so wide open that there is no control from the Bell system on that 
thing except insofar as specific adaptations and modifications are 
concerned. The Kellogg Co., Stromberg-Carlson, and a lot of people 
are making transmitters, and so far as I know they or anybody else 
can make pretty good microphonic transmitters without by your 
leave from the Bell system at all. 

Mr. Davis. You mean for general telephone use? 

Dr. Jewett. Sure. 

Mr. Davis. I didn't know that. 

Dr. Jewett. The art is like making agricultural apparatus. The 
fundamental patents on some of the Deering or McCormick stuff 
have run out, but those companies have probably got a lot of patents 
on detailed improvements of the stuff, but still there are other people 
making agricultural apparatus. 

I don't see how you can escape that sort of a^ situation. If you go 
on in a continuing art, you will have these subsidiary patents, and so 
long as they pertain merely to improvements, until something funda- 
mentally new comes along, while they may increase in number as the 
years go by, in value they tend to decrease because they pertain to 
more and more minute things. Of course when somebody comes 
along— take the telephone transmitter, if some fellow comes along 
now with an idea of a transmitter which is other than a microphonic 
transmitter, v/hich is as good or better than a microphonic transmitter, 
he has then a fundamental idea with regard to transmitters. 

The Chairman. But the original idea? on which the system was 
founded and built up are now open to the public? 

Dr. Jewett. Certainly. Bell's patents expired years ago. 

The Chairman. But there are still in existence patents upon im- 
provements which are substantially as effective in maintaining the 
strong position of the Bell system. , . 

Dr. Jewett. No; I don't think so, and I don't think the position of 
the Bell system is maintained by patents at all at the present time. 

The Chairman. "VNTiat maintains it now? 

Dr. Jewett. I think the thing that maintains the Bell system is the 
fact— I think it would be maintained as it is if there were no patents 
because of the fact that it is one of those few things which people have 
recognized as a natural monopoly. We tried in this country and tried 
in every country to work on a different basis and they have all come 
to this thing. That doesn't mean it is a monopoly that has to be run 
by one person, but rather telephony as it exists is a monopoly for the 
agency operating it. 

124491— 39— pt. 3 10 


The Chairman. Everyone recognizes that in a particular area it is 
much more convenient for the public to have the telephone system 
under one direction, whatever might be said about independent local 
enterprise. But you want us to understand that the patent system as 
such has ceased to be the effective agency in maintaining the Bell 

Dr. Jewett. Yes. I can state my point of view quite clearly. 
Senator, and it pertains only to the Bell system or to things like the 
Bell system which are, we will say, natural monopolies, if there are 
such. I don't think that if you were to abolish the patent system 
tomorrow, or if you were to greatly circumscribe it by its fundamentals 
in some way^ — I am not talking about procedural methods— that it 
would make one iota of difference to the Bell system with regard to the 
work it did itself for the development of communication, because we 
do not do work for the sake of taking out patents. 

Now, that isn't saying, however, that we and the public we serve 
would not suffer immeasurably by that, because what would happen? 
We would be deprived; we don't have to fear other people's using our 
stuff, we are a natural monopoly, we don't care, let them use it if they 
want to. But what we do want is to have the opportunity to get as 
many ideas as we can from the outside and pay for them, and anything 
which tended to dry up the flow of ideas from the outside, which we 
had the opportunity to buy or be licensed under, or what not, would 
tend to circumscribe and shrink down the kind of thing which we do. 

The Chairman. You referred a moment ago to an idea which, if it 
were developed, would be a fundamental departure. Now if such an 
invention as that were made and the Bell system were not in the 
position to obtain the use of it, it would be a very serious matter for 
the system, would it not? 

Dr. Jewett. Absolutely, and it would be more serious for the public. 

The Chairman. Yes, to the public and to the stockholders and 
everybody who is employed by the Bell system. 

Dr. Jewett. Right. 

The Chairman. Mr. Dienner, I think the committee will probably 
allow you to go on for 3 minutes. 

Mr. Dienner. I should like to have you state for the benefit of the 
committee your annual budget for running the research laboratory 
of the company. 

Dr. Jewett. In order to state that, Mr. Dienner, I think I want to 
make it clear to the committee and the Senator just what this is, in 
view of the testimony that Dr. Coolidge gave yesterday.' This 
laboratory of ours is different from any other laboratory in the world 
that I know of in that we have under one common direction everything 
from fundamental science research to the engineering type of engineer- 
ing stuff which any manufacturer would do, and we designate the 
work of the Bell Telephone Laboratories as research and development 
because it is difficult to draw a line. Dr. Coolidge was describing 
what is a part of our laboratory. 

Now the total budget of Bell Telephone Laboratories for the three 
things it does, fundamental science research, tl^e engineering type of 
stuff which is done in these 15 laboratories that he was talking about; 
and the consulting services which the scientists give to the Bell sys- 
tem; those three things involve an expenditure of between 20 and 22 

' Supra, p. 911 et seq. 



million dollars a 3^ear, and of that amount the consulting services 
and the engineering type of stuff, by a liberal or conservative division, 
thing-s which probably everybody would agree to, constitutes more 
than half of the amount. 

The best figure, and I am up against this question all the time, that 
I would give would be that the expense of running the kind of a thing 
which Coohdge was talking about yesterday, and which we call our 
research department, is somewhere between seven and nine million 
dollars, possibly, a year. Now when you contrast that with the 
General Electric you must remember this, or any of these other labo- 
ratories, you must remember this thing that Bell Telephone Labora- 
tories is doing, the research and development work. There are a few 
other rather small ones, the R. C. A. has some. General Electric, and 
Westinghouse, but by and large you can say this with a fair degree 
of accuracy, that Bell Telephone Laboratories is doing the fundamen- 
tal research development work for the Nation, the one place it is 
done, whereas the electrical or chemical industries, or electrical in- 
dustries. General Electric does a big lot, Westinghouse, other people 
do things; so if you wanted, to get a direct comparison of the amount 
of the money spent for research and development in the communica- 
tion field, from the power and light field, you would have to compare 
Bell Laboratories with the sum total of these other places, who are 
doing similar work. 

Mr. DiENNER. I wish you would discuss briefly the concept that 
there are certain complex problems which are encountered in your 
system which are of such extensive and difficult character that they 
would be totally unable to be solved, except by coordinated effort of 
a numher of men. 

, Dr. Jewett. Well, (rf course, Mr. Dienner, that is true of the great 
bulk of the more fundamental problems which we are confronted with. 
Specifically let me take the case of transcontinental telephony, which 
was a big problem 20 years ago. It is just inconceivable that that 
problem could have been solved by- any haphazard approach by indi- 
vidual attack on the thing. It was a thing which had definite objec- 
tives, simple objective, yes. When you came to analyze what needed 
to be done to project the art which now enables you to talk from here 
to here over to this point, find out what had to be done, you found the 
solution of this problem required the solittion of a very large number - 
of problems in widely unrelated fields, and the only way the main 
problem could be solved would be for us to attack all of these prob- 
lems with a frontal attack, with expert knowledge in each company, 
which was on the attacking front, and when thej'' had solved their 
things, bring them together into the common answer. That is the 
process which is used in all laboratories in all fundamental work, and 
there are many things in every field, not only in our business, but 
everywhere else, which in the present state of the science can only be 
solved within a reasonable time by cooperative action of people who 
are skilled in different techniques and arts. 

The same thing is true, even more true, of this development of 
recent years with us by which we put 10 or 15 or 20 telephone conversa- 
tions on a single pair of wires in our endeavor to get enough circuit 
so you can do this with no delay service; all tied up. It just could 
not be done except by a cooperative operation under control. 



Mr. DiENNER. I would like to ask you one important question. 
You are convinced of the necessity for research in large organizations 
of scientists in order to attack the complex problems. Do you see 
any room that is left for the independent inventor with those research 
organizations working? 

Dr. Jewett. Absolutely. I heard som.e of the testimony yesterday. 
I do not agree with some of it. I think that there are certain sectors 
where the independent inventor cannot operate; he never could, can- 
not now, and never will be able to operate. There are certain sectors, 
which I tried to indicate in my answer to the judge over here, the very 
fundamental things where I think the chances — in our case it happened 
to be 2 out of 3, I think in the majority of cases, the fundamental 
idea, the chances are 10 to 1 they are going to come from outside big 
laboratories simply because of the nature of the things. They are a 
creation and brain child of particular individuals who have that ca- 
pacity and knowledge and heaven knows we cannot coUar them all, 
even if we wanted to. 

Now in the other sector where the independent inventor has oper- 
ated, I think that instead of being restricted the opportunities are 
increased because every invention which we or anybody else makes, or 
every publication of new results which we make, gives 10 jumping-off 
places to one that existed before. When it comes to those things 
which are kind of peculiar to the nature of your business, where in- 
timate knowledge of the day-by-day affairs are concerned, the out- 
sider just cannot possibly know about that, and there is no way of 
doing it. We tried one time years ago, when M. I. T. set up a scheme 
'way back in Mr. VaU's tiro.e, of trying to do som.e industrial develop- 
ment as a part of their teaching tools, to give them some problems and 
i' just was a physical impossibility to do it because you could not set 
up the mechanism which enabled a bunch of people over in Cambridge, 
Mass., in an educational institution to have the intimate contact with 
the problems we will say of the Western Electric Co., at Hawthorne, 
111., or the telephone company out in the Senator's State. 

There are certain kinds of things that have to be done inside the 

Mr, Dienner, Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions to ask 
the witness, and unless he has something further to say or the com- 
mittee wishes to inquire further, I should be glad to have the witness 
released _ 

The Chairman. It is now after 4 o'clock and coming to time for 
recess. Are there any questions to be asked by any members of the 
committee? Dr. Lubin? Admiral Peoples? Mr. Williams? 

Representative Williams, I have none. 

The Chairman. Judge, you have completed your questions? 

Mr. Davis. I have nothing except, Mr. Chairman, I should like to 
suggest, with the permission of the committee, that Dr. Jewett, in 
making the reply and giving the information you called for, also advise 
the committee whether the Western Electric Co. makes available for 
purchase by independent companies those long-term tubes.* 

Dr. Jewett. Will you limit it to "makes available in some fashion, 
either by purchase or rental?" 

• See letter from Dr. Jewett to Senator O'Mahoney under date of January 24, 1939, which was entered In 
the record as "Exhibit No 244" at bearings held February 8, 1939, and Included In the appendix on 
p. 1168. 


Mr. Davis. Yes. 

Dr. Jewett. The reason I say that, Judge, I think there are quite 
a lot of arrangements with these connecting companies by which, at 
least in the past, certain things of our manufacture which are used 
generally in the Bell System have been rented to the connecting com- 
pany by the local company, rather than sold. 

Mr. Davis. Make available for use, and also whether they are of the 
same quality as those you describe. 

Dr. Jewett. They will be the same quality. I can answer that 
question right now. 

Mr. Davis. The reason I ask that. Doctor, is because you made 
the remark in the course of your statements that they made available 
to them such as were needed for their purposes. 

Dr. Jewett. For what other reason would they want to have them? 

Mr. Davis. I thought your company might happen to have some 
views on what they needed, from that remark. 

Mr. Jewett. I didn't intend to convey that idea. 

Mr. Davis. If it is other than purchase, I should suggest that you 
state in your reply the terms upon which they are made available. 

Dr. Jewett. May I make just a statement, a sort of confession of 
faith, which I would like to lay before the committee? I indicated 
at the beginning that I have had some interest in this whole patent 
history and system from a philosophical standpoint. It was intensified 
by my having been a member of the science advisory board. I think 
it is a wonderful thing. I don't think there is any question about it. 
I am not very much concerned, as a user of the system, with the 
mechanisms, changes in the mechanisms, the procedural cl anges, which 
ought to be reviewed from time to time, and have been reviewed 
by the Congress ever since the first laws were passed. But I would 
be very much concerned if anything was contemplated which struck 
at the roots, the fundamentals, of the system itself, and it would seem 
to me from some of the questions which were asked and answered here 
yesterday as though there is a thought that it is the inventor and what 
he gets from the jovernment which is the principal concern, whereas, 
I have always conceived that nothing is taken from the public domain, 
when an invention is made; something is added to the public domain 
That is what an invention is, and the public is willing to pay a price 
to have that thing done, and it is to the public interest, it isn't in the 
interest of the A. T. & T. or of F. B. Jewett or anybody else; it is in 
consideration^of those possible changes which affect modern procedure. 
We don't want to give too much consideration to inventors, it is the 
public that should interest us. 

The Chairman. In view of what you have said and in view of the 
testimony which was given here this morning by Mr. Flanders with 
respect to inventions in the machine tool trade would it be proper 
to summarize by saying that as through the years inventions have 
been made and have become pubhc property, thereby increasing the 
domain of public knowledgCj it has become more and more necessary 
for cooperative and collective action to make the new pioneering 
efforts which are necessary to extend human knowledge beyond the 
present frontiers of knowledge? 

Dr. Jewett. I think that is right, Senator, and I would add one 
more thing. What I have heard in the last 2 days and what we have 
talked about today has been civil stuff, principally. There are many 


things in this world which are needed in the national defense which 
can only be done on a huge scale if they are going to be done at all, 
and so long as there is the element of war still in our presence, and 
so long as these people with whom we may be at war don't have the 
same concept of doing things that we do, so long as they are willing 
to set the thing up to do it on a huge scale, to me it would be suicidal 
for us, as a matter of public policy, to take any step which would 
tend to diminish our ability to do things wherever they have to be 
done in the huge way that may be required. There are many things 
in every domain of applied science that you can find where they 
simply can't be done, or can't be done economically, except on a 
huge cooperative basis. 

The Chairman. And as you stated in the early part of your testi- 
mony this afternoon, they cannot be done without planning. 

Dr. Jewett. That's right. 

The Chairman. And without making the production or the man- 
ufacture of devices subordinate to the uses to which they were to be 
put, and as you stated in closing your testimony, these extensions of 
human knowledge are to be accomplished, by cooperative actions of 
groups under control. I think I quoted your exact language. My 
•attention was called to the word "control" because in recent years 
there has been a good deal of tendency in some quarters to criticize 
that idea of control. 

Dr. Jewett. I would like to add just two more things which have 
occurred to me. One seemed to be from some of the questions I 
heard answered yesterday that the only way of extending the benefits 
of a patent to the pubUc was through hcenses. Now, I can conceive of 
hundreds and hundreds of cases where the maximum benefit to the 
public would be in the dissemination of the thing covered by the 
patent without extending the license to anybody. That is one thing. 

The Chairman. One question, of course, which reasserts itself 
over and over again in any consideration of the patent system is the 
effect of patent pools an^l cross-hcensing of patents. Would you care 
to make any comment upon that? 

Dr. Jewett. Of course you are getting somewhat outside of my 
field, but I have this picture, Senator. A patent, to me, a patent 
property, is a temporary form of real property which has limited life, 
it is limited to whatever the state says it shall be limited to ; it is the 
most fragile kind of real property that there is because its value may 
be destroyed overnight and you may have a perfectly' valuable patent 
today, I come along tomorrow and all your work goes out. Beyond 
that when it comes to the use which you make of our real property, 
whether it is a patent or any other kind of thing, the same laws apply 
to it, and the only difference between the two things is that this is a 
very limited kind of real property. Now, you wouldn't allow me to 
go out and buy up all the cows in the United States and monopolize 

The only other thing, Senator, and then I am through with the 
thing, apropos of whsit Coi.lidge Sciid yostcM'day about i)ublicaiion. 
We all do it. Patents are only one form of publication. The Bell 
Laboratories ever since it was organizcii in 1925 — and I am not sure 
but what it was before that— has done this; the Boll Syst(-m gets out 
a technical quarterly called the Bell Technical^Toiirnal. It is a 
higldv sciojiLilic ?n>.>gazino about, ihe si/.e of Harper's M;i2:azino; 


it gets it out 4 times a year, and it has the biggest circulation of any 
truly scientific magazine in the world, it has a circulation at the present 
tirne between 9,000 and 10,000 copies of an issue. We disseminate 
this Ivnowledge; every tiling that is done is passed on to see whether 
it ought to come within the purview- of the Patent Office, and if it 
ought to it goes before the Patent Office. Patents may or may not issue 
on it. Every other thing is published. And we do^it, why? Partly 
for the prestige, yes; partly to satisfy the normal human desires 
of the men who are in the laboratories, but more because we profit 
more in the development of the telephone business for the people of the 
United States by having the base of knowledge increased than we do 
by trying to keep the stuff secret. Wc are perfectly wilUng to pubhsh 
it for the sake of what we get in return. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. Dr. Jewett. We enjoyed 
your testimony this afternoon. 

Before we adjourn, may I ask j^ou, Mr. Dienner, to announce what 
witnesses you have called tomorrow and what their subjects will be. 

Mr Dienner Mr. Chairman, I assume we will sit tomorrow 

The Chairman. In the morning 

Mr. Dienner. Only m the morning? 

The Chairman We will sit in the morning and afternoon unless 
there is some development that I don't know anything about now. 

Mr. Dienner. I should like to call tomorrow, Mr. Farnsworth. 
He will lay before us the case of a young man who with all the difii- 
culties in the world before him was able to come forward with a brand- 
new idea. He will furnish the fundamental theory of the modern 
television which he conceived when he was 14 years old, and his 
difficulties, the difficulties of securing patents, and the interferences 
and difficulties which he encountered in the application stage. 

Then I should like to call Mr. Lawrence Langner, who will give us a 
comparison between the laws of the United States relating to patents 
and the laws of foreign countries. I think that should be very 
interesting, as giving us some idea of what certain provisions in the 
foreign laws are intended for as compared with corresponding provi- 
sions or lack of provisions in the United States laws. 

Then I should like to call, following Mr. Langner, Mr. Carlton. 
Mr. Carlton represents a group of manufacturers of parts of auto- 
mobiles known as parts manufacturers. His testimony will go to the 
peculiar situation surrounding the manufacture and supply of auto- 
mobile parts to the manufacturers of automobiles, and the rather 
restrained use of patents in that situation. 

Then I shoidd like to call one more \\'itness on the general fielcl, 
Mr. Baekeland, George E. Baekeland, of the Bakelite Co., who has a 
very interesting story to tell of how an industry was started first as a 
secret process and then abandoned because of its limitation and 
turned to the patent system as a proper basis for an industry which 
could grow. 

The Chairman. You won't be able to cover all of those tomorrow? 

Mr. Dienner. I shall not be able to cover them all tomorrow. 

The Chairman. The committee will stand in recess until tomorrow 
morning at 10 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 4 •.'•'> p. m., a recess was taken until Thursday, 
January 19, 1939, at \<J a. m.) 



United States Senate, 
Temporary National Economic Committee, 

Washington, D. C. 

The Temporary National Economic Committee met pursuant to 
adjournment yesterday, at 10:30 a. m. in tiie Caucus room of the Sen- 
ate Office Building, Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney presiding. 

Present: Senator O'Mahoney (chairman), Representative Williams, 
Messrs. Henderson, Ferguson, Patterson, Peoples and Coe. 

Present also: Senator Homer T. Bone of Washington, chairman of 
the Senate Patents Committee. Counsel: John A. Dienner, special 
counsel for committee; George Ramsey, of New York, assistant to 
Mr. Dienner; Justin W. Macklin, First Assistant Commissioner of 
Patents; Henry Van Arsdale, Assistant Commissioner of Patents; 
Grattan Kerans, Administrative Assistant to the Commissioner of 

The Chairman. The meeting will please come to order. Mr. Dien- 
ner, are you ready to proceed? 

Mr. Dienner. Yes, Senator; I would like to call as the next witness 
Mr. Philo Farnsworth. Mr. Farnsworth, ^vill you please be sworn? 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are 
about to give in this proceeding shall be the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I do. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 


Mr. Dienner. Mr. Farnsworth, will you please tell us about your 
background and history? 

Mr. Farnsworth. My introduction to television and to the field 
of invention happened so far back that it is difficult for me to remember 
just when. My first technical training came from having charge of a 
farm lighting system and the electric motors and so forth that were 
necessary to keep in repair, and that was at the age of 12. I was 
finally given the responsibility for tliis rather modest amount of elec- 
trical equipment because no one else could keep it running. 

This is only significant in that it gave me a background at a very 
early age of the elements of electricity and gave me an incentive to 
study electrical physics and, through the medium of popular magazines 
a knowledge that there was such a thing as telcArision. 

The Chairman. Let^s chalk one down for the popular magazines. 




Mr. Farnsworth. It also gave me a theme for research wliich has 
continued throughout the years as a guiding light, or as a direction for 
research and development, namely the elimination of all moving parts 
from television equipjuent. That idea I had fairly weW established in 
1921, when 1 was 13 years old, so that the moment I discovered tools, 
out of textbooks I mean, which would enable television to be done 
without moving parts, the invention seemed almost simultaneous, as a 
matter of fact siinultaneously ^vith the discovery that there was an 
electron and a photoelectric effect. 

In 1922 when I was a freslmian in high school I made the first 
invention, my first big invention in television, and it consisted of a 
means for producing an electric counterpart of an optical image. 
At that tune it was a daydream, a daydream only. I had no facilities 
for doing research, I had no money to buy equipment, all I had was 
access to a very modest school librarj', but my sum total of equipment 
which Phad for forming any definite practical idea as to the problems 
in television consisted of a static generator of a physics laboratory 
and an old Braun tube. 

Nevertheless, this daydream, as you might term it, had the basis for 
perhaps the most important invention and certainly the earliest inven- 
tion in the electronic field, namely, that of a tube for electrically 
transmitting a picture without employing any moving parts. 

In the 2 years following 1922, that is 1923 and 1924, I continued to 
do research in libraries and with any type of electrical equipment that 
I had to work with, with the idea of evolving, a complete television sys- 
tem free from all mechanical inertia. 

My family at that tune moved from Idaho, where I was attending 
high school, to the town of Provo, Utah, where I had slightly more 
laboratory equipment at my disposal and continued to develop the 
previous notion of television without moving parts, so that in 1924 I 
had CA olved what is essentially the present system of electronic tele- 
vision. Again I had no money and no suitable laboratory facilities 
to reduce this theory to practice. As a matter of fact it has taken 
15 to 17 years to make that a practical reaUty, but I didn't know how 
long it was going to take then, very fortunately. 

In 1926 I was in Salt Lake City looking for anything I could do 
cither to continue my schooling — my father had died and left the 
responsibility of the family to my mother and myself, and I was hunt- 
ing for work, when T met two California businessmen to whom I 
disclosed ni}^ hopes and dreams of this television idea, who agreed to 
put up a sum of $8,000 to se'e if it was worth anything. I decided that 
was the proper tune to get married, being 19 and quite old, so I got 
married and moved to Los Angeles, where we set up a laboratory, such 
as it was, to explore at least as well as w^e could with $8,000, the 
possibility of tliis television idea. 

_ Aftcj- just about 2 months, 2]^ months, as a matter of fact, of inten- 
sive work, wo had used \ip all of the $8,000 and we had taken the idea 
to the California Institute of Technology and to exi)erts wherever we 
coidd find some who would listen, and I convinced these early backers 
of mine, one of whom is Mr. Kverson, who is here A\ilh me today, that 
at least the idea had some merit, but we had the basis for a nice 
patent, perhaps, but no substantial experimental evidence yet. 


Mr. Everson's step then was to interest — and it sounds quite 
easy — further financial backing in San Francisco, wliich he did very 
effectively and a group of San Francisco businessmen decided th^t it 
might be worth while to take a flyer on this television idea. As one 
of the men put it, it was a darned crazy idea but somebody ought to 
put some money in it._ So they did agree to put up $12,000 more to 
see a little more what it was worth. 

At that time, which was in October of 1926, we established the 
Crocker Research Laboratories in San Francisco for the purpose of 
corktinuhig research on this idea which was essentially to take all 
moving parts out of television. Twelve thousand dollars sounds like 
it should be enough to find out what the idea was worth, but after 
18 months we had spent 60 thousand, and without hstmg tlie problems 
in detail, I think it can be understood that it is very much as though 
someone with a considerable amoimt of knowledge — or it doesn't 
matter really to what extent the knowledge runs — is suddenly cast 
on a desert island, removed from all tools, and given the job of build- 
ing a steam engine. That means building the tools to build the tools 
to build the tools to buUd the steam engine, and our problem of making 
a laboratory was, in the early part of our work, by far the greatest 
problem. Also, the state of the photoelectric art and of electric 
optics at that time was not far enough advanced to carry out properly 
the basic conception of the electron image — scanning, as we have 
called it. 

In 1926 and 1927 the photoelectric materials that we had were 
almost scientific playthings. The photoelectric material available 
were the haloid of alkali metals, particularly ^ sodium and potassium, 
and the construction of photoelectric cells required an amount of 
knowledge and art and technique far beyond that available to me, and 
so I proceeded to get all the help from scientific institutions I could. 
I pestered the ])eople of the University of California and Stnnford 
and California Tech and anj^body who would give me information 
or sell information. But to make a long story short, in the latter part 
of 1927 we demonstrated a television transmission which used appa- 
ratus that did not employ a single moving part. 

The Chairman. You said that you pestered everybody who would 
give you information or sell you iniformation. How much information 
did you have to buy? 

Mr. Farns WORTH. Most of it. 

The Chairman. How did you buy it? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Through the funds made available to me 
through this group of bankers. 

The Chairman. And what type of information was sold? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The technique of forming electron surfaces, the 
experience necessary to blow glass and evacuate tubes and sensitize 
photoelectric surfaces in vacuum, and purification of the alkali metals, 
the electrical circuits necessary for amplification, and so much similar 
material that it practically covers the entire field of physics and 

The Chairman. Were you actually buying the information or the 
prepar.'iuon of the information, the service of conveying it to you? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The services of the scientists or technicians who 
gave it. 

Tlio Chairman. In otlier words, it was informalioiL already 




Mr. Farnsworth. It was information known at that time but not 
known by me. 

Mr. Pattersox. Mr. Farnsworth, was this the first transmission 
of a purely electronic television image? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; it was definitely the first transmission of 
an electronic im.nge, and as a matter of fact I made an effort at that 
time, but failed, to be the first to transmit a television image. I could 
have known then thr.t would be impossible. C. Francis Jenldns had 
transmitted television images prior to that. Earlier that year a 
demonstration was made by the Bell Laboratories of a mechanical 
television system. 

Mr. Patterson. What year was that? 

Mr. Farnsworth. This was 1927. 

Mr. Patterson. In New York City? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The Bell system transmission was from New 
York to Washington. Our transmission was simply a laboratory dem- 
onstration that an image could be converted electrically, entirely elec- 
trophonically or electrically, into the required signals and reconverted 
into an image. 

Mr. Patterson. From New York to Washington? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Was the mechanical demonstration. 

Mr. Patterson. Didn't they have public demonstrations in New 
York City, too, at about the same time? 

Mr. Farnsworth. At about the same time; yes. 

It required about 1 year, then, to convert, to build a minimum 
amount of laboratory technic and to reduce an idea conceived in 1922 
to a practical result in 1927. Incidentally, the first image transmitted 
was about a 60-line image of a dollar sign. That seemed to chmax 
the work, when we could get real money and see the sign of real money, 
so at that time our company was incorporated and we continued to 
do work to perfect tliis idea and to perfect an organization and labo- 
ratory capable of eventually making something practical out of a 
laboratory toy. 

About a year later, in 1928, we had a television transmitting tube 
as sensitive as then theoretically possible. I hate to say what that 
sensitivity was, and by sensitivity I mean the amount of light that it 
was necessary to project on to the tube in the image in order to get a 
useful residt. The notion was obviously impractical for televising a 
subject because the amount of light on the subject would have caused 
it to blow up and burn up immediately, whether tbat was a subject 
or object. 

But, also to just gloss over the immediate years of the ensuing years, 
the sensitivity then, wliich wafe theoretically possible was agreed by 
all the consultants that I consulted were as approximately 100,000 
times less than is available today wdth the same tube and with sub- 
stantially no change in the tube other than improved methods of 
making it. 

Since 1927 one of the major problems has always been to obtain 
sufficient money to continue the experiments. There has never been 
any substantial revenue, ca- almost no revenue, coming in, and it 
speaks weff for the origi;:.d backers of this invention that they have 
now spent greatly in excess of a million doffars without any revenue 
for a cjevelopment wliich has taken 13 years. It will be 13 years in 
May since it started. 


In 1928 and 1929 we began to get recognition for our work and other 
engineers and inventors agreed that it was a difficult problem to 
work out, but would be the ultimate way television would be accom- 
plished, and in 1929 Philco, the Philadelphia Storage Battery Co., 
took a license under patents which we then had issued, and under the 
promise of what our future developments would be. 

But to go back to the point we had reached where we had the 
maximum theoretical sensitivity of our transmitting tube, it has 
been my experience that whenever a stone wall was encountered 
where possibihty of scaling it seems hopeless there is a grand oppor- 
tunity for a good invention, and it happened in this case to call for 
one of the most important developments that we have made, namely 
that of the principle of electron multiplication. Wliat we needed was 
more electrons for a given amount of light. 

It may seem a little radical to expect that electrons could reproduce 
themselves, but this is in effect what they did. We produced an 
electron stream and had it arranged that it was capable of producing 
offspring at the rate of 5 per litter, 5 to 10 per litter, and then to take 
the offspring, and they have the fortunate property of being born 
mature so that in about less than one-billionth of a second they can 
produce — each child can produce, with no question of sex involved, 
either — 5 to 10 more in less than a billionth of a second. 

If you consider how fast that electronic multiplication process 
builds up you can see that in less than one-miUionth of a second it 
would evolve a number of electrons. Each initiating electron will 
evolve 25 with 500 ciphers, probably more electrons than there are 
in the universe. But the problem is not to get the electrons but to 
control the process so that there is a definite proportionality existing 
between the number of initiating electrons and the final output. 
That principle, which is called electron multiplication, now is in 
universal use throughout the world. There are many different types 
of tubes employing the process, and it has added perhaps the most 
powerful way of amplifying feeble electric currents that exists. 

When we divide the number of electrons given out by an optical 
mrage by the number of divisions that are necessary to show fine 
definition in an image, which amounts to perhaps 400,000, the ap- 
paratus begins to count electrons. Even though the electron is a 
mighty small unit it is not small enough, and we begin to count the 
electrons. Now, the electron multipUer minimizes the extent of inter- 
ference produced by this process of counting electrons, and that is 
why it is important in television. Many inventions have come from 
this fundamental principle. They are employed in perhaps 100 
different varieties of tubes. It constitutes one of the very important 
byproducts of television research. 

Mr. Patterson. On that point, I don't mean to interrupt the con- 
tinuity of your thought, but I think it is germane. In getting your 
increased sensitivity did you develop any devices that are helpful 
to the radio industry gener'^lly? If so, will you put it in the record 
and tell of that? 

Mr, Farnsworth. In the field of electron multiplication the device 
No. 1 is simply what might be termed a multiplier electric eye. Ordi- 
narily, photoelectric eyes are measured in milHonths of an ampere per 
unit of light. Photomultipliers are measured in units 1 milHon 
times that big. I have a tube that I will show you that is measured 


in 50 amperes per unit of light, whereas the corresponding tube 
available on the market previously might be measured in 30 mil- 
lionths of an ampere, or over 2 million times improvement in sensitivity 

As yet we don't know to what extent this principle will be important 
in the radio industry, certainly to a very great extent, but in just what 
fields it will be important it is hard to say as yet. Certainly in the 
very short wave region below 1 meter and below 5 meters, it is already 
the most powerful tool in measuring. In measurement of very feeble 
currents such as used in stellar photometry or in various scientific ap- 
plications or in some projected military applications the tube is by 
far the most powerful tool available to the physicist and inventor. 

A particular tube w^hich I have will record the light of a candle 10 
miles away, and it will do so also instantaneously, whereas other 
methods of doing it might require 5 or 6 seconds and maybe that 
many minutes for its measurement. 

Mr. Patterson. Just what do you mean by 10 miles away? I'd 
like to have you develop that for the committee. I have spent 
considerable time in it and I want the committee to hear it. 

The Chairman. Do you mean to imply that the committee doesn't 
understand whet is said? [Laughter.] 

Mr. Patterson. You win, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Farnsworth. The measurement of small amounts of radiation, 
either visible or invisible, is usually made by the heating effect of the 
radiation or alternatively by the fact that radiation produces the 
emission of the electrons from certain suitable materials. Its usual 
practice when extremely small amounts of radiatian are to be detected 
is to allow this process to continue over a long enough interval so that 
the accumulated effect is measurable on the most sensitive instru- 
mei^.ts we have. Now, in the photomultiplier, due to this multipU- 
cation process, although only one electron is released, a million or so, 
in some cases a billion billion, are available for measurement. I say 
that number although it is so astronomical it may not mean much. 
We can in effect detect one electron per second. 

The Chairman. In all of this it is still necessary to have an instru- 
ment at each end, is it not, one at the end at which the image to be 
televised exists, and at the end at which it is to be seen. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; although it is not necessary to have a visi- 
ble image at the transmitter. 

The Chairman. Has the art been sufficiently developed, for exam- 
ple, to enable you to segregate the light of a single star, let us say, 
from all the others? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Only through the use of the telescope. If we 
could measure down to very low intensity stars, stars that would re- 
quire considerable period to photograph, they could be checked and 
the intensity of that star determined to a much greater degree of 
accuracy by direct reading instead of photography. 

The Chairman. By the use of the telescope you could segregate a 
particular star from all the other stars. 

Mr. Farnsworth. With a suitable eyepiece you could segregate 
that from the remainder of the stars and measure its intensity, and 
you could do so and measure perhaps tliousands of stars per hour 
instead of a few. That only indicates the type of application that 
this tube is adapted to. A more common application is in talking- 
motion pictures where the tube acts not only as the photo cell but 


also as the amplifier. It eliminates quite a bit of costly equipment 
in the talking motion picture. We are now making these tubes for 
use in sorting lemons, in sorting beans, and so many peculiar indus- 
trial applications that it is hard to remember that it grew out of 
television research. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Farnsworth, did you have any contact with 
foreign television corporations? 

Mr. Farnsworth. We had, I think, in 1933 or '34 representatives 
from many foreign companies visit our laboratories. One in partic- 
ular, the Fernseh interest in Germany, Vv-hicJi is the combination of 
the Zeiss-Ikon and the German Bausch Co., became interested in our 
work on electronic television and took a license which resulted in an 
exchange of licenses and an exchange of technic between ourselves 
and those in various countries in Europe. The Baird Co. in London 
visited our laboratories and we arranged an exchange of licenses, 
patent licenses, and technic for use in the British Empire, and since 
then we have licensing arrangements in Australia,, until now our 
patents and technic are employed throughout the world. 

Mr. DiENNER. Is it a fact that the British and German television 
interests put the equipment on the market before it was done here 
in the United States? 

Mr. Farnsworth. They have. They have made available to the 
public, equipment that is at the present time v^iy satisfactory. The 
images transmitted are clear and large and sh vv good definition and 
the receivers are very satisfactory. Program experimentation is mak- 
ing fine progress, and they have a television service which is in ad- 
vance of that that we can boast of in the United States. 

Mr. DiENNER. What is the explanation for their use of it before it 
was used here in the United States? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Their problems of application are vastly simpler 
than in the United States. In Great Britain two television stations 
can cover the countr3^ In the United States perhaps the same serv- 
ice would be represented by a hundred or so; it would require a 
hundred or so stations. Then also, their waj' of paying for programs 
in both England and Germany makes available a certain amount of 
money for commercial application of television which must come in 
the United States from individuals, so that the service here is in more 
or less a position of lifting itself by its own bootstraps for awhile. 
We can't broadcast profitably without receivers and we can't go into 
any extensive receiver production without transmitters, and program 
research doesn't get very well under way without transmitters, and 
it is very much again the same problem of building a steam engine 
on a desert island without any other facilities. Fortunately that sit- 
uation is, in pictures, being very rapidly changed now and television 
for the American home is going to be a service before very long. Also, 
this time hasn't been entirely lost. We have the benefit of foreign 
experience on problems of getting television started, so when televi- 
sion does emerge as a commercial service in the United States it will 
be, I think, a better service than is being made available abroad. 

The Chairman. The last figure which you gave as to the cost of 
your research was $60,000. 

Mr. Farnsworth. That is the first 18 months. 

The Chairman. What would you say this research has cos^ as a 


Mr. Farnsworth. It has cost considerably in excess — I can't give 
you the exact figure, but considerably in excess of a million dollars. 

The Chairman. And to raise that sum, it became necessary for 
you to bring larger and larger numbers of persons into the enterprise 
with you. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; it has been necessary not only for the orig- 
inal stockholders to put up money but for those of us who haven't 
had facilities to decrease the percentage of our holdings by bringing 
in anyone interested in helping us continue. 

The Chairman. So that actually this is an illustration of cooperative 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes. It has grown from the status of an indi- 
vidual inventor to that of a highly organized research and efficient 
research laboratory. 

The Chairman. In other words, when this study is finally completed 
in any particular item along the road, it will be a group research. 
Mr. Farnsworth. A group research. 

The Chairman. In which the credit will have to go, of course, the 
major part of it, to the original inventor. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Well, there I want to make it very clear that the 
inventor in a project of this kind can only be a small unit, that the 
successful financing of the venture, its continuation over such a long 
period of years, the patent counsel, the other legal counsel required, 
and the technical staff which must eventually be evolved are major 
items in carrying such a complicated art to completion. 

The Chairman. In other words, your experience illustrates a fact 
which is becoming more and more apparent in the modern world, 
that advance of all kinds, technological advance and scientific advance 
and practical advance, is getting to be more and more the product of 
collective and cooperative effort. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; although we must not lose track of the 
fact that inventions as such, important inventions, are made by 
individuals and almost invariably by individuals with very limited 

The Chairman. You see, there is a concept abroad in the world 
that we are still living in the era of the rugged individualist, to use a 
phrase that has been more or less in common parlance for some time, 
but stories such as you are telling us this morning clearly demonstrate 
that that era is receding rapidly into the past and that we must find 
a way of working together if we are going to achieve really beneficial 
results for all. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; but do you see any difference in this de- 
velopment than in that of any other major invention? 

The Chairman. Oh, yes; yes, I do; because to use a phrase that you 
used a little while ago, it is now necessary for the inventor to develop 
the tools to make the tools to make the tools to make the locomotive. 
So that you must have this cooperative effort, and there was a time 
when the inventor could make the monkey wrench and he made it 
and he didn't need any cooperative effort. 

Mr. Farnsworth. But in technological inventions I doubt if the 
situation has changed much. Edison in his development of the 
electric light required facilities of the same order as are required in 
television. The telephone in its fundamental conception only re- 
quired less facilities for its original adoption because scientific knowl- 


edge had not then advanced to a point where very much of anything 
in the way of a telephone could be evolved. 

The Chairman. Of course Edison was breaking into this field where 
it was necessary to bring together cooperative eflFort and the knowledge 
of others, perhaps not to the extent that you had to do that, but I 
conceive Edison to be a figure in the modem world very different from 
Alexander Graham Bell, for example, who invented the original device 
on which the whole telephone system is based I rather imagine that 
Bell didn't require, for the patenting of that device, anything hke the 
cooperative effort that you have required to develop your idea, al- 
though the progressive improvements of his device require the sort of 
laboratory that was described here yesterday by Dr. Jewett. 

Mr. DiENNER. I think our chairman has put his finger on the 
significant fact that although an invention starts with an individual 
and that individual must somehow arrange to make the tools to make 
the tools to reach the objective, the research laboratory is the human 
tool concept of the picture. The physical tools, the iron and steel 
tools, are only part of the picture. The human tools must also be 
appHed, such as are available, and I think our brilhant chairman has 
caught the modem situation in this particular case history. Here is 
a man who has an idea. He must make the tools on the physical side 
and on the humfln side in order to develop the thing fully. 

Mr. Patterson. Mr. Farnsworth, what is your title in the Farns- 
worth Television Corporation? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I am vice president in charge of research. 

Mr. Patterson. How many patents, approximately, have you 
taken out? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I think the number runs into around 46 at the 
present time, with probably twice that many appUcations entered. 

Mr. Patterson. Out of those 46, and applications pending, how 
many, approximately, are you the sole inventor of? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I should saj^ three-fourths of those. 

Mr. Patterson. You began with this idea that you conceived a 
great many years ago, and you had no money. You borrowed money. 
I would like to ask you, are ycu still in control of your company? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I am not in control of the company but I still 
own twice as much stock as any other stockholder, have twice as much 
interest in the company as any other stockholder. 

Mr. Patterson. You are the largest stockholder? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I am the largest stockholder. 

(Representative Reece took the chair.) 

The Acting Chairman. I came in a Uttle late, and for my informa- 
tion will you please state if you and your associates developed the 
principles upon which television is being worked out? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The early principles of television I conceived 
in the period from 1922 to 1927 are the system now adopted, funda- 
mentally at least, throughout the world, and while our company has 
in no way been completely responsible for the development, neverthe- 
less the fundamental ideas underlying it were the entire basis, for our 
early research. 

The Acting Chairman. There are now other companies m the 
United States who are working on television also? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; there are many, and there are many m 
other countries, but this basic idea of no moving parts is common to 

124491— 39— pt. 3-^ 11 


all systems, with the possible exception of one or two that are being 
used in the world. 

The Acting Chairman. Are there only a comparatively small 
group who are in your company, or has the stock been more or less 
open to the public? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It has in no sense been open to the public. The 
diversification of the stock has come more through stockholders them- 
selves trading around among themselves than it has been otherwise. 
The bulk of the money has been put up by very few stockholders. 

The Acting Chairman. So that the stock is mostly held within a 
comparatively small group of individuals. 

Mr, Farnsworth. It is closely held and the majority of the stock 
is held by a very small group. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Farnsworth, I understand you developed a tube 
which produces radiation somewhat like radium. Is that correct? 

Mr. Farnsworth. We have worked on a tube, the ultimate object 
of which is to produce very short radiation, very short X-rays, while 
not comparable with radium as yet but for the same purpose as radium, 
and also for producing very high velocity electrons. 

Mr. DiENNER. That can be used for X-ray purposes, is that correct? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; it can be used as an inexpensive source of 
very short X-rays, corresponding to tubes of 1 to 5 to 10 milUon volts. 

Mr. DiENNER. Going back to an earlier statement, you explained 
that the television of your conception involved no moving parts, no 
parts which had inertia. Will you please explain briefly what the 
difference is between having moving parts and having merely electron 
movement in terms of satisfactory operation? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It comes down to the nature in which television 
must be accomplished, that is, the picture must be made up of points 
in a plane, the'points having varying intensities, and the picture must 
be broken down and transmitted one point at a time. Then a com- 
plete picture must be transmitted in a comparatively short fraction 
of time, say, 30 times per second, 30 images per second, so that if we 
break down the picture into half a million units and transmit those 
30 times per second, we have some 15,000,000 points of light per 
second which must be transmitted. 

Not only that, but the tearing down process at the transmitter and 
the building up process at the receiver, while occurring at this enor- 
mous rate, must be synchronized so that the receiver and transmitter 
are doing the same thing at the same time, and that tremendously 
high speed of transmission is practically synonymous, it has been in 
my mind, with the lack of mechanical movement. So that in our 
system the fundamental idea is to translate an optical image into an 
electronic discharge corresponding to that image, because the elec- 
tronic image can be deflected and moved and operated on almost 
without any inertia! effects, without any mechanical lag, and makes 
possible this tremendously high rate of information transfer without 
involving too complicated apparatus. 


Mr. DiENNER. And I understand that the patents and patent appli- 
cations which you filed covered that concept and it* application to 

con<:entkation of economic power 99]^ 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; the early application that was filed in the 
early part of 1927 covered the basic idea— it covered two basic ideas, 
conversion of the optical image- into an electronic image and the 
scanning of that rniage in a linear fashion, much as a sheet of paper 
is typewritten — that is the generation of electrical unpulses which 
transmit the image in a proper, orderly fashion. 

Mr. DiENNER. Now in the course of your securing patent protic- 
tion, did you encounter any interferences with other inventors? 

Air. Farnsworth. 'Yes; we have been involved in man}/ inter- 
ferences, the exact number I don't know, but since 1927 there has 
been to the best of my knowledge no time when we haven't been 
involved in interferences. 

Mr. DiENNER. Approximately how many would you say? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I should say 20 or 25 in all. 

Mr. DiENNER. And some of those are still active? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; there are some of the interferences that 
are still active. 

Mr. DiENNER. Tell us about what the first contested interference 
cost you and your backers? 

Mr. Farnsworth. One of our interferences, I think it was the 
second one, cost the company approximately $35,000, somewhat of 
that order, perhaps more and perhaps sUghtly less, but it was very 
close to $35,000. 

Mr. DiENNER. Did you win it? 

Mr. Farnsworth. We won that interference; yes. 

Mr. DiENNER. And you had further interferences beyond that? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; we have had, as I say, continual inter- 
ferences in other matters. 

The Acting Chairman. If I may ask, do any of these interferences 
involve the fundamental principles of your idea? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The interference to which I referred as costing 
$35,000 involved the basic idea of converting an optical image into 
an electrical image and forming a train of television signals to cor- 
respond to the electrical image. 

The Acting Chairman. And that has been cleared up? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It has been cleared up. 

Mr. Patterson. When was the first pubUc demonstration of elec- 
tronic television? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The first public demonstration was at the 
Franklin Institute in 1934. That demonstration lasted about 2 weeks, 
at which time we televised all kinds of scenes from outdoor pictures 
to pick-up of the parkway in Philadelphia, the transmission of night 
club scenes — in fact, we generally raised hob with the dignity of the 
Franklin Institute for a period of 10 days. 

Mr. Patterson. You are talking about the Farnsworth Television 

Mr. Farnsworth. This was the Farnsworth television demon- 
stration. . ,. . . . 

Mr. DiENNER. Have you been involved in any litigation in regard 
to the patents, I mean suits on patents aside -from the interferences? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Not aside from the interferences. 

Mr. DiENNER. The money which was put into that first contest 
that cost you $35,000 had to come out of your backmg and not out 
of earnings, is that correct? 


Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; there were no earnings. It means just 
that much money diverted from research. 

Mr. DiENNER. So interference in your case was a very severe trial 
on the hopeful enterprise which had reached the commercial stage. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes, it was. It meant getting along without 
some engineers, or stopping research on some particular phase in 
limiting our activities to the extent of $35,000. 

Mr. DiENNER. It detracted from your work by compelling your 
attention to the contest, I assume. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes ; it also took time of myself and our patent 
department which could have well been devoted to the problem of 
"development and fiUng of new applications instead of contesting inter- 
ference proceedings. 

Mr. DiENNER. About how long did that interference run, as you 
recall it? 

Mr. Farnsworth. As I recall, it ran approximately 2 years. 

Mr. DiENNER. I believe you stated that you had developed various 
collateral inventions or byproducts of your main pursuit. Tell us 
briefly, if you can, what the general nature orf those is. 

(The chairman. Senator O'Mahoney, resumed the chair.) 

Mr. Farnsworth. They relate to electronic tubes that have been 
required for amplification or for other purposes, for carrying out the 
television process, and invariably where a new tool is developed which 
improves television, it has improved something else, some other field. 
These sensitive multiplier ampMers are one type, the possibility of 
an inexpensive hard X-raj^ source is another, the translation of images 
from invisible light to visible light are another field; the electron 
microscope is a field which we have gone into somewhat. 

Mr. DiENNER. Could you show us some samples of the tubes 
which you have produced and tell what they would do? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I have brought with me the two tubes that are 
important as they are evolved at present in the television transmitter, 
and I have in addition brought along three electron multiplier tubes, 
one evolved for moving picture and bean counting and lemon sorting, 
and the other for photometry where extreme sensitivity is necessary, 
and another that is important in generation of extremely short-wave 

Mr. DiENNER. Would you like to see the tubes? 

The Chairman. I am sure the committee would be interested in 
seeing them. 

Mr. Farnsworth. This is the tube that I described that would 
detect a candle 10 miles away. 

The Chairman. There is another tube in front of the candle, 
isn't there? 

Mr. Farnsworth. No. 

The Chairman. You mean to say this instrument of itself could 
be so operated that it could segregate the light of a candle 10 miles 

Mr. Farnsworth. It could tell you whether you had your hand 
in front of the candle or not. In other words, that merely indicates 
the lower amount of light that is necessary to show measurable effect. 

The Chairman. You would probably have to go out to Utah to 
get the open space to do it. 


Mr. Farnsworth. You have to find some place to get rid of 
extraneous effect, but if you are pointing a telescope at a star you 
have those conditions. 

This is a tube for production of extremely short waves. It is a 
true cold cathode tube. The electrons originate from no place. 
The electron multiplies so high that we don't need to find where the 
first waves come from. 

Mr. Patterson. Will you at the proper time tell us some of the 
proper applications of this tube (referring to the first tube displayed) — 
the potential applications? 

Mr. Farnsworth. This tube is the modern camera tube for direct 
pick-up. This tube promises— it hasn't done it as yet but theoreti- 
cally it is possible to televise a scene with so small an amount of light 
on it that it can't be seen. 

Mr. DiENNER. The image appears on the end of this "potato 

Mr. Farnsworth. No; this is the transmitting tube. The image 
is focused by means of lens onto the photoelectric screen which is a 
part of it. 

Mr. DiENNER. In other words, that looks at the televisor equip- 
ment, so to speak. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; that corresponds to the film in the canlera. 
This is a simple electron multiplier. 

Mr. DiENNER. I believe Secretary Patterson asked what the 
potentialities of the first tube were that could detect the light of a 
candle 10 miles away. 

Mr. Patterson. Yes, that is right, Mr. Dienner, I asked Mr. 
Farnsworth if he would kindly tell us the practical applications of the 
first tube, and maybe some of the potential applications — that is the 
10-mile candle tube, I will call it. 

Mr. Farnsworth. I can only indicate the field of use where this 
is now being applied. First, I will say that many of the fields where 
this is being used is confidential work of other inventors. In other 
words, we have furnished a tool here that they are very anxious to 
apply, but some of them don't tell us what it is for. 

But in any field where an extremely small amount of light is to 
produce some useful effect, it can be used. You might use it for 
opening your garage door but you would only go to the trouble of 
using this tool if you wanted to flash your flashlight on it while you 
are half a mile away. In other words, a very much simpler tube 
would serve this purpose. 

This little tube which I am passing around here is for talking-motion 
picture use, the same sort of tube except not so elaborate and that 
might be used for opening the doors of a railway station, in which 
case it would elim.inate a costly head amplifier that goes along with it. 
Tliis would directly operate the relays which open the doors. 

And both of these tubes are photocells with the amplification within 
them and not on the outside. This particular tube is used for color 
comparator work, for monochrometers, for stellar photography, and 
all of the possible industrial appUcations -that are mcluded in those. 

Mr. Dienner. That includes the lemon sorting and bean sorting? 

Mr. Farnsworth. We designed a particular model here for lemons. 

This tube is the early dissector tube, the fundanacntal idea of which 
was evolved when I was a kid in higb -- cliool, but it is not by y means 


the invention of that high-school age. As a matter of fact, it involves 
20 or more separate inventions and is the final product of a fairly- 
good research laboratory. 

Mr. DiENNER. Before you pass it to the committee will you tell 
briefly how it operates or what it does? 

Mr. Farnsworth. In this tube the image to be transmitted is 
focused onto this silver plate here, which has the property of emitting 

The Chairman. How is it focused? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It is focused through this clear window, the 
window in this end of the tube. 

The Chairman. In other words, that is pointed at the image which 
it is desired to televise? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It is placed behind the lens. An optical lens 
picks up the image, a regular photographic lens, and focuses it pn this 
cathode, this being in the plane of the image as though it were a film 
in the ordinary camera. The electron emission from this cathode 
is dra^vn in this direction by an electric field and focused by means of 
a magnetic lens so that in this plane here we have the electrical 
counterpart of this image here. 

Taking a cross-section of the electrical image there, it corresponds 
in electrical intensity to the light intensity of the corresponding plane 
back here. A small portion of that is picked up by a tiny aperture in 
the shield, this metal shield which you can see through here, and that 
registers then, or records, the electrons from one particular area in 
tliis image back here. Then, by means of deflecting magnetic fields 
we can sweep this over the image in a fashion, any desired scanning 
fasliion. The way we do it is the manner in which you would type a 
page of script, but at a very high rate. It scans the entire image in 
one-tliirtieth of a second, and in that time draws 441 lines across this 
image in the back. 

Inside tliis little shield is this tube, reduced. That is, exactly the 
same number of elements you see in this tube are positioned inside 
this small tube here, and it amplifies the electrons entering the aper- 
ture. The portion of this electron picture selected is amphfied by a 
factor in this tube 100 times before it enters the conventional amplifiers 
that are external to the tube. 

The Chairman. Is this the same principle as that by wliich the 
news associations today transmit photographs, except that they do 
it by wire, and this does it by radio? 

Mr. Farnsworth. They do it mechanically. If they could speed 
up their apparatus 10,000 times they would accomplish practically the 
same result that this tube accomphshes. They wrap a photo negative 
around" a cylinder, very much as the old Edison cylindrical phono- 
praphs did, and transmit the impulses in the receiver and there, by 
a light belt, change the impulses back to light and record it photo- 
graphically or otherwise. 

The Chairman. In other words, the principle, the transmutation 
as it were, of an optical image into an electrical image, and the trans- 
mission of an electrical image either by wire as the news photographic 
associations do, or by radio, as yours does. 

Mr. Farnsworth. With one exception. The news system does not 
convert to an electron image first. It tears the picture down and con- 
verts it into a train of signals wliich go over a wire. We do it ?o we 


can make this wheel draw 441 lines in one-thirtieth of a second, 
instead of approximately that number of lines in 7 or 8 minutes. 

The Chairman. When you draw the line you pick up the electrons 
just as the other machine picks up the impulses. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Picks up the Hght and converts it into electrons. 

Mr. Patterson. What is the name of this tube? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The image dissector tube, or the dissector 

Mr. Patterson. And it is designed primarily to transmit motion 
pictures, but it can be applied to other uses? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It is not the tube we propose for that purpose. 
The other tube is the one we use for direct pick-up. That tube is 
standard equipment in half a dozen different television systems now. 


Mr. DiENNER. Going back to your main problem of getting under 
way, how does it seem possible, without calling on the patent system:, 
to get such an enterprise started? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Why, without the patent situation I don't see 
any hope of starting any such an enterprise. Certainly no one- can 
be expected to subscribe such a large amount of money without hav- 
ing it protected; without having a basic reason for so doing and with- 
out the money, without this order of money, no such development — 
well, there is no point in ever starting any development of that 

Mr. Dienner. And if, after getting your patents, you had to grant 
licenses to others on demand, do you suppose you could have gotten 
the backing? 

Mr. Farnsworth. If we had to grant licenses on demand the value 
of the patent would be so materially decreased that we might just as 
well not get a patent. 

Mr. Dienner. I understand you have relations with other com- 
panies. Have you any cross licenses with any company? 

Mr. Farnsworth. We have a cross-licensing agreement with the 
American Telephone & Telegraph Co., we have licensmg arrange- 
ments with Fernseh and Baird in London. 

Mr. Dienner. You- heard the testimony of Dr. Jewett yesterday 
regarding the electron tube used on the Bell telephone lines.^ A 
question was raised as to why a tube of the same long life and small 
current consumption is not furnished to the public. Will you please 
explain what the facts of the situation are? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The telephone company, I think, made the 
reason for their long life tube very clear; the necessity for reduction 
of operating costs and the fact that the desired characteristics of the 
tube could be so completely specified made possible the long life which 
thev have achieved. 

In radio, therf^ are two points that were brought out, one that the 
tube uses less filament power, less heating power or operating power, 
and therefore results in economy where there are so many of them 
used. That was perfectly true. That is perfectly true, that it did 
at the time evolved use much less power. It doesn't, however, use 

' This subject is resumed on p. 1075, infra. 
« Supra, p. 953, et seq. 


less power than modern radio tubes, of which there are many models 
actually using less. 

The question as to why 50,000 hours of service is not used for radio 
tubes can be well understood if you remember that there are in 
current use from 75 to 200 different types of radio tubes which must 
be kept available to the radio set owners because of the very rapid 
development of radio. Receivers sold 7 years ago or 10 years ago 
must still get tubes in some way, and those tubes, even though rend- 
ered obsolete by later developments, still have to be capable of 

As a matter of fact, radio tubes have been made with life approach- 
ing the 50,000 hours, and certainly could be made available if the 
public desired them. The fact of the matter, in my opinion, is that 
the public demand for such a tube does not exist, for the very reason 
that the rate of obsolescence in radio tube sales is such that from 12 to 
25 new tube models appear every year, and actually, the obsolescence 
in radio amounts to a complete set of tubes a year. I know of several 
models of tubes which, are capable of 10 to 12 thousand hours of 
service. The fact that a longer life tube is not available is in no 
way an attempt to evade public demands. If the public demanded 
a 50,000-hour tube they could have it. As a matter of fact, our 
company is licensed to make that tube and knows how to make it. 
There are perhaps 10 or 12 other licensed radio manufacturers who 
also can make that tube. 

The Chairman. By whom are you Hcensed? 

Mr. Farnsworth. By American Telephone & Telegraph. We 
can manufacture anything directly not competing with telephone 
apparatus under any of their patents. 

The Chairman. Is there any other limitation upon the use of that 

Mr. Farnsworth. To the best of my knowledge, no. The limita- 
tion is simply that we must not compete in telephonic service with 
Western Electric. 

The Chairman. Is there any limitation upon the amount of pro- 
duction or anything of that kind? 

Mr. Farnsworth. No limitation as to the amount of production. 
I should say none. 

The Chairman. Any control as to price? 

Mr. Farnsworth. No control as to price. 

The Chairman. So that you conceive yourself to be free to use this, 
except not in competition 

Mr. Farnsworth (interposing). We couldn't supply telephone 
repeaters, but we have no intention of attempting to produce such a 
tube becausvT the present production of radio tubes, the evolution of 
the radio-tube policy, hasn't been haphazard by any means. It has 
been to meet public demand I don't believe there is any market for 
a 50,000-hour tube, bccaus-^ nobody wants a tube that will last 50 
vears in a radio. Their set becomes obsolete after perhaps 10,000 
houva, and if they want a tube which will last 10,000 hours they can 
get then'.. 

Ml'. DtENNEU. You mean they are on the market now? 

Mf, F.-.rnsworth. They are on the market now. 
^ Dr. LuRiN. In making up such a tube, would any other patents than 
the Bell jio tents be involved? 


Mr. Farnsworth. I doubt if at the present time any patents 
would be involved. That work is almost all expired art. I am speak- 
mg now of art represented by work of Nicholson and Dr. Arnold, and 
vacuum technique, most of which is expired art, so that even the un- 
licensed companies could make such a tube. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Farnsworth, what was the first experience of 
any member of your family with the patent system? 


Mr. Farnsworth. My father, who made a very small amount of 
money and to whom the amount of money which I will mention rep- 
resents perhaps 3 or 4 months' savings, put up in 1924 a sum to the 
extent of $150 to finance an invention of mine indirectly concerned 
with television. That is, I visualized it as a way of getting money 
to go on with my television work. I had contact with a certain 
nationally known patent attorney. The application which I got 
seemed to be in very good order, beautiful drawings, beautiful speci- 
fications; as I regard the patent today, totally useless. It was aa 
idea not worth patenting. It should have been told to me that it 
was not worth patenting, and the fact that it was patentable can cer- 
tainly be said of almost anything you can conceivably think up. There 
is certainly some kind of claim you can get on it. 

I think that that type of practice on the patent attorney's part 
represents a very questionable part of our patent system, and unfor- 
tunately is the part which brings in the inexperienced inventor, and 
the inventor of very meager means. 

The Chairman. You mean that the patent attorneys use their art 
in phrasing claims for ideas to induce inventors to prosecute the patent, 
ideas which are useless and which the patent attorney himself must 
know are useless. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Certainly anyone with any experience could 
know that the patent he obtains is worthless. 

Representative Reece. My experience has been, if I may say so, 
that most of the people who invent something becorne very enthusiastic 
about it, though it may not hold any great promise in the minds of 
others who might have opportunities to look upon it. 

The Chairman. I was going to say that I have a little expei:ience, 
too. Congressman, with respect to the attitude of inventors or those 
who conceive themselves to be inventors. I suppose to every Member 
of Congress there come hundreds of letters from persons who think 
they have ideas that will save the world in one way or another. It 
is ordinarily the thought of these persons that somebody is waiting 
around the corner constantly to steal the idea, and I am sure if an 
attorney told such persons that the idea was impractical those persons 
would immediately come to the conclusion that the patent attorney 
was trying to steal their idea and they would go to somebody el^e; 

I have had dozens of letters which clearly indicated a belief upon 
the part of the person who had conceived the idea that unless he was 
very, very careful, somebody was going to steal it away from him. 
They exercise the greatest caution in being referred to attorneys. My 
letters read, "Can you suggest to me an attorney on whom I can rely?" 
and I am frank to say to you that I know of no attorney practicing 


law in Washington upon whom the inventor couldn't rely to prosecute 
his claim honestly and fairly and exclusively. 

Representative Reece. And you are rather cautious yourself, are 
you not, to keep yourself in a position where you might not be 
suspected of becoming a part of the conspiracy? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I can well understand that. I am accused of 
stealing ideas and inventions and everything else, from inventors who 
are jealous, just afraid that they are going to have their inventions 
stolen^ bui-«o long as weiiave the present interference practice it is 
important that such inventors get a record. If we can save 1 out of 
100 inventors, if some system can be worked out so that they will 
make a record of their Aotion. We will never get rid of the nut 
inventor. That is a confliction in terms. 

The Chairman. I was just coming to the defense of the patent 
attorney. I don't know how you can very well avoid the issuance of 
patents upon useless devices. I doubt very much whether the patent 
attorney as such could be held responsible for it. 

Mr. Farnsworth. No; they unfortunately can't. That is why 
they are able to operate a business approximating fraud, approaching 
fraud. You may not know of any such attorneys in Washington, but 
I do, and so does everyone else who deals with patents. That seems 
a rather strong statement, but there is a distinction between those 
who attempt to give an appraisal of a possible patenting of an idea 
with some possible merit, and those who get a patent, no matter 
whether it is good, b«d, or indifferent. In other words, the search is 
totally useless in such cases. 

The Chairman. Well, if there are fraudulent practices in the prose- 
cution of patents before the Patent Office, that certainly is a subject 
which ought to be thoroughly examined by the Patent Office or maybe 
eventually by some committee of Congress. I don't know that it is 
really part of the functions of this committee, working on a much 
broader subject. 

Mr. Farnsworth. I have said all that I want to say on that 

The Chairman. Fraud in the prosecution of patents is certainl}'- a 
subject of great concern to the public and to the law profession, I 
would say.- 

Representative Reece. If I may venture to express an opinion. I 
should doubt, in my present state of mind, the advisability of the 
patent attorney undertaking to pass upon the utility of a patent or 
idea that was sought to be patented. As was brought out earlier in 
the hearings on this question, sometimes an idea might look utterly 
futile, useless, but turns out to be a very valuable idea. That isn't 
always the case, but sonietimes it is the case, and if an attorney 
assumed the responsibilitj^ of passing upon the utility of a patent, 
and then someone else got a patent on the idea, and it turned out to be 
of value, he would be left in a very untenable position, it would seem 
to me. 

Mr. Farnsworth. I recognize, of course, the difficulties of the 
situation. That is why it is there. 

Tho Chairman. Commissioner Coe, you look as though you wanted 
to sny something. 

Mr. Coe. I will be verv brief, but I think I should make a few 
remarks risrht at this particular moment. I agree with Congressman 


Reece that the function of a patent attorney is to advise an inventor 
as to whether or not he can obtain a patent, and it seems to me that 
the case that the witness is complaining against really vindicates the 
patent attorney, because his judgment turned out to be correct. He 
did get the patent. 

The Patent Office has what I think is one of the most effective con- 
trols overits attorneys of any Federal bureau. We have a Committee 
of Enrollment and Disbarment; we receive and take testimony and 
have hearings on every complaint registered by any inventor or 
patentee against any attorney. We frequently disbar attorneys 
when fraud has been indicated. So at the present time we are 
exerting every possible means in protecting the inventor. 

In the last session of Congress the Patent Office suggested and the 
Congress passed a law that was designed wholly for the purpose of 
protecting inventors against any attorney who misrepresented his 
status or who in any way took advantage of the inventors to their 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chairman, I think we ought to bring out the 
fact that there was a relation between a popular magaizne and the 
present point. Was that the fact, Mr. Witness? 

Mr. Farnsworth. What was that? 

Mr. DiENNER. I think we ought to bring out the fact that there 
was a relation between a popular magazine and the point under dis- 
cussion, and I was asking you whether you would bring that out. 
That is, where did your father learn of the particular attorney whose 
services he employed? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; that was through a nationally advertised 
mail-order attorney. 

Mr. DiENNER. And you think that does not fairly give the inventor 
show for his hard-earned money? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I don't think it does. I think that it presents 
a situation against which the inventor needs to be protected. 

Mr. DiENNER. That is particularly the boy on the farm. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; the inventor with very lilnited means and 
with only a vague idea as to what kind of a thing a patent is, what 
kind of protection he is supposed to get. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chairman, the witness's examination is complete 
from my standpoint. 

The Chairman. Do any members of the committee have any 

Dr. LuBiN. Mr. Farnsworth, I was very much interested in your 
statement a few minutes ago to the effect that if you were compelled to 
license other people to use your patents the value of your patents 
would automatically disappear and there would be no further stimulus 
for o;oing on with your work. I was interested in that comment and 
I msh you would develop the idea. To me it appears that if, for 
instance, you could fix any reasonable royalty that you wanted to fix, 
there still would be a tremendous stimulus to activity, would there not? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes ; but when you say "fix a reasonable royalty," 
what is reasonable becomes so vague as in jffect to nullify the ar- 
rangement; in other woids, to make it unnecessary to license anyone 
who wants a hcense. In other words, manufacture for own use is 
prevented. When yoil undertake a given development you don't 
know whether you will want to give Hcenses on that development or 


not, or make it available to the public yourself, or be entitled to 
manufacture it yourBelf. 

Dr. LuBiN, Do you issue licenses to anybody? 

Mr. Farnsworth. We issue licenses on a uniform basis. 

Dr. LuBiN. Are they available to anybody who wants them on 
that basis? 

Mr. Farnsworth. That is the intent of our policy, to make it 
available to everyone on the same basis. Now there must obviously 
be a few exceptions to that, people who aren't qualified. 

Dr. LuBiN. Would you feel that a system whereby anybody who 
does license patents should be compelled to license anybody else on 
equally equitable terms would be a deterrent to further invention? 

Mr. Farnsworth. If you could interpret what you mean by equally 
equitable terms. The situation gets so much more complicated 
than that when, for example, someone may be interested in a particular 
field and be much better suited to manufacture that than anybody 
else. They may be willing to undertake development on their own 
part and there may be a thousand and one other factors which make 
it appear that you are giving them a preferential license, when, as a 
matter of fact, when all factors are taken into consideration, the license 
is no better. 

Dr. LuBiN. You may not want to commit yourself, and if you 
don't care to let's forget about it, but I would like to ask this ques- 
tion: Would you favor legislation which would compel licensing in 
the event that licenses had been issued to any particular person; in 
other words, once a license has been granted, to make such licenses 
available to other people? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Well, I don't know, frankly, offhand whether 
I would favor that or not. 

Dr. Lubin. I don't want to press it. 

Mr. Farnsworth. That is one I would have to think about. 

The Chairman. You think that a system of compulsory licensing 
would have a tendency to enable large aggregations of capital to com- 
pel individual inventors to subject their devices to the desires and 
purposes of the large aggregation? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; I am afraid it would. That would be one 
of the evils of it, in my opinion. 

The Chairman. In other words, compulsory licensing would 
extend to promote concentration rather than break it down. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; if I could be forced to allow a railway com- 
pany to cut off this corner of my property or that corner of my prop- 
erty, and had no recourse outside the law, I wouldn't have a very 
valuable piece of property. 

alleged suppression of patents in television field 

The Chairman. Mr. Farnsworth, I suppose my experience is that 
of other members of the committee and other members of Congress, 
that there seems to be in the public mind a feeling that if there is any 
suppression of patents, it is in the field of television. Is there any 
basis for that feeling? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I most assuredly think there is not, I don't 
know of any suppression of patents as such in any field, to my personal 


The Chairman. The thought which is expressed most frequently is 
that there is such a large investment in the present radio field, and in 
various fields that are subordinate and contributory to it, that there 
is a desire on the part of those who control radio not to permit tele- 
vision to come into pubhc use as soon as it might otherwise do. Is 
there any basis for that? 

Mr. Farnsworth. No; except in this respect. When television 
standards are adopted it so freezes the art that we must be very sure 
before the standards are adopted and made available to the pubhc 
that we aren't delaying ourselves by years and years and years by the 
very starting of the service too quickly, and I think that anything 
that might be interpreted as a desire to suppress invention or to hold 
it back from the pubhc has been a natural desire to see that it be 
properly organized and the industry properly planned before commit- 
ments are too strong. 

Personally, I think it has been carried to an extreme, but I am 
willing to grant that some holding back is necessary in the interest 
of the public, as well as the interest of the workers in the field. 

The Chairman. There has been some holding back for this purpose? 

Mr. Farnsworth. For the purpose of knowing when we standardize 
on so many images per second and one wave band here and sound up 
on top and vision down below on the carrier, making receivers which 
will pick up all kinds of transmission with one tj^pe of receiver — well,, 
it represents an enormous engineering problem and one which as a 
committee in the Radio Manufacturers Association we have worked 
hard on for 3 years. 

The Chairman. Has the art of television been developed as yet to 
that point where it would be possible to install a receiver in your home 
which could receive various kinds of transmission? 

Mr, Farnsworth. Yes; it has. It has been developed to standards 
which are tentatively agreed on, which will make it impossible for 
you to tell from which kind of transmitter the signal originates. 

The Chairman. What kinds of pictures can be transmitted by the 
present system of transmission and reception on one instrument? 

Mr. Farnsworth. What kind of subject material? 

The Chairman. I am talking now about the reception instrument. 
What kinds of pictures, studio pictures or pictures in the field? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Outdoor pictures of news events, scheduled 
sport events, indoor studio pick-ups, stills for purposes of advertising, 
back projection, and motion-picture film — the whole scope of tele- 

The Chairman. In other words, you can divide pictures which are 
desirable to traiismit into two types, broadly speaking, I would say. 
One is the studio type where the scene is enacted before the camera 
or the lens, and the other the outdoor type in which a scene proceeds 
which is not rehearsed, which may go any way. 

Mr. Farnsworth. The television is incidental to it. 

The Chairman. Now, either one of those can be transmitted 

Mr. Farnsworth. Either one of those may be transmitted by 
Farnsworth today. 

The Chairman. And you have a reception machine which can take 
either one of those. 


Mr. Farnsworth. And the signal sent out is not any different in 
either case. One reception device gets them both. 

The Chairman. Would a picture of a baseball game, let us say, or 
the landing of a distinguished visitor at the dock in New York — 
would that picture be clearly reflected upon the screen of the recep- 
tion instrument in the home? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes. I will be glad to show you what the 
picture does look like. I have photographs of a girl on a bicycle. 
That will be clear there, a totally flickerless picture, a steady image, 
and I have heard it remarked many, many times that the picture 
could not be told from a motion picture if they hadn't known it was 

The Chairman. In other words, a perfectly satisfactory image can 
be shown on the reception instrument. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes. 

The Chairman. Now, then, if that is the case, why is it not on the 

radio manufacturers association television standards 

Mr. Farnsworth. Again we have the tremendous preparation 
necessary to get broadcasting under way and receiver production 
scheduled. Receivers will be sold this year. We hope to go to the 
Federal Communications Commission as the R. M, A, standards 
committee and say "We have reached the standards and are ready to 
go ahead. Do you think it is ready for commercial use?" We hope 
their answer will be "Yes." 

The Chairman. When you say "we" whom do you mean? 

Mr. Farnsworth. 1 mean the engineering committee of the Radio 
Manufacturers Association. 

The Chairman. Would you care to show those photographs now? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; I have those right here. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Farnsworth, might there not be some inter- 
ference with present radio channels in placing television on the air? 

Mr. Farnsworth. There is an enormous problem there of putting 
out these tremendously wide television bands, working them in an 
already overcrowded ether spectrum. The Commission has tenta- 
tively planned to give seven channels. 

The Chairman. So there are interferences in the ether as well as 
in the Patent OfRce. 

Mr. Farnsworth. There certainly are. There are problems of 
trying to find space for this new service with the short-wave spectrum 
expanding so rapidly. 

The Chairman. You referred to the Radio Manufacturers Asso- 
ciation. How many members are there of that Association? 

Mr. Farnsworth. As a matter of fact, our company is not a mem- 
ber. I have been invited to serve on that committee. Any time that 
activity appears in the television field that technical committee 
requests the engineers or the company to participate. 

Mr. Patterson. Who constitutes the Radio Manufacturers' com- 
mittee on standards? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The personnel? 

Mr. Patterson. Yes. 


Mr. Farnsworth. There is Chairman Albert F. Murray, of the 
Philco Radio Television; Mr. Engstrom, RCA Victor; Dr. Gold- 
mark, Columbia Broadcasting System; a member of General Electric 
Co. — I have forgotten just offhand who is the official respresentative 
for General Electric; our own company is represented; the National 
Broadcasting Co. is represented; the Allen Dumont Laboratories 
have recently joined, and in general the attempt is to include repre- 
sentatives of all active work in television. 

Mr. Patterson. Is their decision on standards the last word? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It is not the last word by any means, no, but 
it is so far the only committee that has seriously undertaken the 
problem of getting the various workers to agree on proper procedural 

The Chairman. These are all independent workers? 

Mr. Farnsworth. They are all independent except they are tied 
together on the committee. 

The Chairman. Could one of these workers undertake to proceed 
in marketing the television enterprise without the consent of the 

Mr. Farnsworth. It could, it definitely could, but if it did it would 
be probably faced with production of four-fifths or nine-tenths 
appearing some place else on a different standard, and it couldn't hold 
out. It is purely an informal arrangement but nevertheless still 

The Chairman. In other words, the importance of agreeing upon a 
standard is so great that these independent enterprises are cooperating 
rather than competing. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes. They recognize the very future of tele- 
vision depends upon close cooperation in adopting the standards. 

The Chairman. Now, then, am I to understand tha^. there are 
television compaines whi,ch control the art, several different companies 
which control the art, I mean so far as the use is concerned, for them- 

Mr. Farnsworth. As regards patents, I think you mean now? 

The Chairman. First as regards patents and then secondly as 
regards any other method of control. 

Mr. Farnsworth. I might say there that the principal research in 
this country has been done by our laboratories, the RCA laboratories, 
and the Philco laboratories, that is as regards the production of board- 
casting of television. The Bell Laboratories have been responsible 
principally for the coaxial-cable development, and there are other 
laboratories that are getting into television now concerned with the 
application of it more than they have been in its development prior to 
a few years ago. 

The Chairman. No patent then excludes them from getting in? 
Is that the idea? , i t3/-,a 

Mr. Farnsworth. Their licensing policy, as with the RCA com- 
pany, is included in the radio license, so that all of the licensees for 
receivers, for example, have a license to manufacture RCA television 
receivers. Our only licensees for teleyision receivers are the Philco 
Co. and the Bell Telephone Laboratories. 

The Chairman. How many different types of television receivers 
are there? 


Mr. Farns WORTH. There are just as many as there are workers, 
but essentially they are all the same thing. 

The Chairman. These different receivers, however, are all based 
upon the same patent, are they? 

Mr. Farnsworth. The same system of patents, our own patents, 
the RCA patents, the Bell Telephone patents. 

The Chairman. And then these different receivers are possible 
because of the Ucensing system which enables different companies to 
develop their own particular type. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes ; their own particular application. 

The Chairman. These types are not essentially different? 

Mr. Farnsworth. In any fundamental way they are not different. 

The Chairman. That is, the differences are merely incidental. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Engineering preference. 

The Chairman. The Philco television receiver would not be any less 
effective than your television receiver. 

Mr. Farnsworth. It would not be any less effective unless possi- 
bly they didn't do a good job designing it. There is no fundamental 
reason why it shouldn't be just as good. 

The Chairman. In building. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes. 

The Chairman. But is there any patentee which controls the 
patent by which these television receivers are constructed? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It is not possible to build a television receiver 
without working under our patent; it is not pjossible to build a tele- 
vision receiver, in my opinion, without working under RCA license. 

The Chairman. What is the difference between your license and 
the RCA lictense? 

Mr. Farnsworth. It covers a different — well, you see this art has 
grown up so interwoven that part of the patents belong to RCA, part 
belong to us, part belong to Bell Telephone. 

The Chairman. But the fundamental patent is yours. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Several of the fundamental patents are ours 
and I think several of the fundamental patents are RCA's also. 

The Chairman. Then to get the perfect result, all of these funda- 
mental patents must be worked together. 

Mr. Farnsworth. They must; yes; they must be regarded as a 

The Chairman. What are the restrictions that are contained in 
these various licenses? 

Mr. Farnsworth. As far as we are concerned we are not attempt- 
ing to control an industry, we don't think that is our function, but one 
limitation is that there are no exclusive licenses, we won't grant any 
exclusive license. There is no attempt to fix price. Rates are made 
small because we believe in that, and there is no restriction in an 
attempt to control the industry. 

The Chairman. What restriction on your licensees? 

Mr. Farnsworth. They are restricted because they have to pa}^ us 
a royalty. 

The Chairman. Do we understand, then, that practically the sole 
purpose of your hcenses is to secure a royalty for your company? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; that is the sole reason. 

The Chairman. And you do not use the license in any way to 
restrict iLc dc\ul«.)piiient of tlit; industry? 


Mr. Farnsworth. No. 

The Chairman. Does anybody who holds a license in this field in 
your opinion use the license for that purpose? 

Mr. Farnsworth. In my opinion, no; because if they did they 
would be very foolish to constitute themselves a policing agency. 

The Chairman. Do you wish the committee to understand that 
the development of television is as free as it can be within the limi- 
tation of the general purpose not to bring it into public use before 
the standard has been sufficiently developed to prevent freezing 
the art? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes. It is my contention that the only thing 
holding back television is its own problems of getting it under way. 

The Chairman. Do you know of any person in the television field 
who might not agree with the conclusions which you have expressed 
here in answer to my questions? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I don't know of anyone? I should certainly 
like to know of anyone and I would attempt to convince them other- 

The Chairman. That is, you haven't heard of any complaint from 
any person who knows of any attempt to suppress or restrict the 
development of this art? 

Mr. Farnsworth. No. At leaet nothing coherent. I have heard 
mumblings, perhaps, but no coherent complaint has come from 
anyone that I know. 

The Chairman. Are there any other questions to be asked? 

Mr. Patterson. Mr. Farnsworth, before you leave the stand, you 
testified this morning that since 1926 you have put 12 years of labor 
into your corporation, and approximately a million dollars has been 
spent, and you hope for your profits in the future. Has not your 
incentive to go forward been based on your patent protection? 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes. It has been based on the value of the 
inventions both as represented in technic and in patents, but obviously 
the technic is necessarily more or less a secret part of the asset, whereas 
the patent is the only really legal evidence aside from the result that 
we have,_and our patents measure^the extent of our success. 

The Chairman. It wasn't the desire to get a patent that first 
started you out as a boy of 12? 

Mr. Farnsworth. No; but I regarded a patent as a necessary 
adjunct to it, even at 12. 

The Chairman. Don't you think it is likely that you would have 
proceeded with this great desire you had regardless of the patent 
system as such? 

Mr. Farnsworth. I don't doubt it, but even then the patent 
situation influenced or colored the type of disclosures I made. I 
attempted to keep the whole world from knowing that I was an 
inventor just as long as I could, and I would counsel any young 
inventor to do the opposite. He had better run a chance of having 
his work stolen than not to get more help on it and be more open 
on it. I think that the impression in the whole United States of the 
necessity of secrecy in inventions in the fact that somebody is likely 
to steal this and steal that works backwards. 

The Chairman. The patent system which affords protection to 
the inventor so far as it does afford that protection is the instru- 

] 24491— 39— pt. 3 12 


mentality, as it were, or the means by which discoveries may be 
broadcast and made eventually useful to the whole public. 

Mr. Farnswoeth. Yes, it is; it constitutes the basic guiding 

The Chairman, So you think the patent system should be improved 
so far as it can be improved to give greater protection to the inventor 
for the period in which protection should bo granted. 

Mr. Farnsworth. A streamline situation just as much as possible, 
improve it as much as you can without changing it basically. 

The Chairman. And improve the strength of the patent so that its 
validity may be more certain than now. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Yes; and then make it easier for independent 
inventors of small means to complete with companies who have arrived 
because there is where the valuable material originates. It won't arrive 
in our laboratory from now on; it will be a perfexjtion of art, which is 
very important, but fimdamental ideas which require the patent situ- 
ation most basicalljr and niost urgently are those which originate in 
the small laboratories. 

The Chairman. Out of your experience have you any suggestions 
to make to this committee as to the manner in which the individual 
inventor can be protected as you have just described against the large 

Mr. Farnsworth. Well, only in such small particulars as could at 
least be better handled by the patent attorneys, such as printing of 
certain documents and simplification of interference procedure, and 
so forth. 

The Chairman. Are there any other questions? 

Representative Reece. If you know, I think it would be interesting, 
not that it has anj^ particular bearing on the question, for you to state 
how you became interested in this question. We hear a great deal 
said about the inventor being born, not made. I think it would 
be interesting to know how you happened to get started to think- 
ing along this line, since this is a more or less new field. 

Mr. Farnsworth. Why, it is difficult for me now to make an accu- 
rate guess as to what originally got me started. I invented perpetual 
motion at the age of 6 — I don't know whether that means anything. 
I studied everything I could get hold of in the way of aviation maga- 
zines, and I was reading relativity at the age of 13, and while I learned 
the words I believe at that time I knew just as much about the sub- 
ject as the author who wrote the book because he only knew the words. 
[Laughter.] It is an intriguing art. I believe I had decided before I 
was 12 that I could be an inventor. It was my grand secret and 
therefore I just worked on it, night work, pleasure, which probably 
led to certainly the invention of the dissector tube, which came right 
out of the air in a second as soon as I knew enough to understand that 
an electron was an entity; in other words, with the actual discovery 
in my life of an electron, perhaps more accurately the photoelectric 
effect, I had the basis on which to go ahead. 

The Chairman. If there are no other questions the committee will 
stand in recess until 2 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 12:10 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the 
same day.) 



(The committee reconvened at 2:25 p. m. at the expiration of the 

The Chairman. Mr. Dienner. 

Mr. Dienner. Senator, the witness we now produce is a man of 
wide and expert knowledge of the laws relating to patents on inven- 
tions in the various countries of the world. His testimony will give 
us a new and I believe very helpful light upon questions raised before 
this committee as to the operation of certain provisions of the laws in 
the chief industrial countries in Europe. 

Mr. Langner, will you please be sworn? 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are 
about to give in this proceeding will be the truth, the whole truth 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Langner. I do. 


Mr. Dienner. Will you please state your full name and your pro- 
fessional connections? 

Mr. Langner. My name is Lawrence Langner. I am the senior 
partner of Langner, Parry, Card & Langner, of New York City, and 
I practice as an international patent solicitor. 

I passed the qualifying examination of the British Chartered In- 
stitute of Patent Agents in 1910. That is the body which deals with 
practitioners \>eioTe the British Patent Office, and I came to this 
country in 1911, and T have practiced since that time in the taking 
out of foreign patents for American companies. I also have an office 
in London, in partnership with English partners who represent our 
firm in that country. 

The Chairman. Of what country are you a native? 

Mr. Langner. I am a native Britisher, naturalized United States 
citizen. I was adviser to the committee appointed by Mr. Woodrow 
Wilson to prepare the patent section of the Treaty of Versailles. 

comparison of provisions of foreign and u. s. patent systems 

Mr. Dienner. Mr. Langner, will you please discuss the chief pro- 
visions of the patent systems of the most important industrial coun- 
tries of Europe and compare the same with the provisions of the 
United States patent laws? 

Mr. Langner. I will be glad to do that, but I would like to begin 
by explaining the provisions of the international convention which 
connects all these systems together. We have coming from the 
different countries an exchange of inventions, you might call them 
a two-directional stream, that is a streani of inventions coming from 
Europe, coming from the different countries of Europe, and then our 
inventions going over to those countries. That stream of inventions 
is regulated by what is known as the international convention. Forty- 
five countries of the world, including all of the leading industrial 
countries, are parties to that convention, and the theory behind that 


convention is this: That no country shall give to its own nationals 
benefits which it does not give to the nationals of other countries. 
In other words, an American is treated in England the same way an 
Englishman is treated in England, and over here, we being parties to 
it, the nationals of other countries are treated under our patent laws 
the same way the United States nationals are. 

When you get to these different countries, we have three types of 
patent systems. 

The Chairman. Is the convention any broader than that? 

Mr. Langner. There are certain specific provisions under this 
convention which, for example, allow a man who has filed an applica- 
tion in this country, 12 months priority to file in the other country, 
and he is protected during that 12 months' period from the consequence 
of publication which otherwise would invalidate his patent. 

In other words the other features are matters of detail and of pro- 
cedure ; and every now and again they will agree on some new provision 
because this convention has been going on since 1883. They meet 
about every 6 years, I believe it is, and make changes in it. But the 
thing is a continuous conventional treaty. 

The Chairman. How is the convention constituted? 

Mr. Langner. It is constituted by — it is a treaty document that 
has to be ratified by the Senate, and at these meetings of the inter- 
national convention we send over delegates. The last one was in 
London in 1934 and they formulate new suggestions and proposals. 
It covers not only patents but also trade-marks, designs, petty patents, 
and trade names. 

The Chairman. What sanction is there for the suggestions or regu- 
lations that may be adopted by the convention? 

Mr. Langner. They bring them back, each set of delegates brings 
them back to their own country and they must be ratified by the 
governments of the respective countries before the changes go into 
effect. We have three types of patent systems. I divide them in 
that way, based on the thing that most fundamentally distinguishes 
them, the fact as to whether they are examination patent systems, or 
registration patent systems. The leading industrial countries of the 
world, except France, have what they call an examination system 
that originated in the U. S. Patent OflSce and was copied by other 
countries rather slowly; and in fact it was only in 1904 that it 
was copied in England. It does not exist in France even at this date, 
although a project is before the French Parliament to introduce the 
examination system. 

The second type of system is the registration system where you 
merely file a specification in the Patent Office, no examination is made, 
and the patent is granted without any examination at all. 

The third type of patent system is the Russian patent system. 
That is the only system of its Idnd in which rewards are given to 
inventors. I think in view of some of the remarks made this morning 
about patent attorneys, you may be interested to know that prac- 
tically all the patent attorneys in Russia were shot after this new law 
came into existence, and that is not a joke; that is absolutely true. 

The Chairman. That was an effective way of dealing with that 


Mr. Langner. Yes, sir. Then we understand there is a system 
of rewards for inventors and I have been told, although I have never 
been able 

The Chairman. Diptinguish that from the system that you have 
just described. It is not a reward? 

Mr. Langner. I do not knov/ how I could distinguish it except to 
say this, that we know in one case that has been reported to us where 
the inventor of certain inventions that were adopted in a factory 
was given an automobile and one of the most expensive apartments 
in the town, and the system of reward is that type of economic reward, 
as far as we are able to understand it. I have not found any case 
where a foreign corporation ever got a reward in that sense of the word. 

Now, we have those three kinds of systems, and I would like to 
make this general remark, that I have noticed that the simpler the 
type of industrial civilization and the simpler the country, the simpler 
the patent system. The patent systems of these countries that foUow 
what I call the registration type are extremely simple and they fit a 
more or less backward type of industrial civihzation. The more com- 
plex the industry the more complex the patent system., and it is my 
opinion that as industry grows more complex the patent system must, 
if it is to serve that system, necessarily grow more complex. So for 
instance, we find that the English, German, and American patent "sys- 
tems are the most complex systems, perhaps the American the most 
complex o^ all, in its ramifications; and for instance, 3^ou can go to the 
other extreme and the Chinese patent system is about as simple as 
you can possibly have. That is, the need or necessity for a patent 
system in a country where the standards of living are ver}' low, where 
wage scales are very low, the necessity for labor-saving machinery, for 
that kind of invention, is very sniall. Just about 5 years ago they 
adopted a patent law which only Chinese citizens could get patents 
under, and as far as we know very few patents have been issued. 

The United States patent system differs from practically all the 
other patent systems of the world in two essential particulars. The 
right to obtain a patent is an absolute right for the inventor. That 
does not obtain in any other country. It is always surrounded by 
modifications which I will explain to you in a moment. The patent 
monopoly in the United States is an unconditional monopoly. In 
practically every other country in the world, in fact in every other 
country, it is a conditional monopoly, you are only granted the 
monopoly provided you do certain things, many of which are objection- 
able from the standpoint of the patentee and reduce the extent of his 
monopoly. Because of this, it is my opinion that we provide by this 
imconditional monopoly the greatest stimulus to invention that exists 
in any patent sj^stem. Indeed, I am constantly hearing from Euro- 
peans who come over here or people thnt I meet in Europe that that 
part of our patent system (they have criticisms for other parts of it) 
that grants this unconditional monopoly, in their opinion gives us the 
greatest stimulation to invention as compared with any other country. 

Now, there are a number of provisions which we have in our laws 
as compared with foreign laws or provisions which they have which 
are objectionable which I would like to paint a picture of for you so 
that you can see how we differ. 


In this country, as I have said before, the first inventor, under the 
Constitution, has the absolute right to the invention, Under the laws 
of most of the foreign countries it is the man who first either originates 
it and rushes to the Patent Office or even in Great Britain the first man 
who has found it in a foreign country and brings it into England that 
gets the patent. In other words, it is not the act of inventorship that 
is the condition for the grant of a patent, but the act of inventorship 
and being the first to bring'it into the Patent Office. The result is 
that under the European system, when a man has invented something 
he is under a tremendous necessity to keep that thing secret until he 
files his patent application, because if it leaks out in any way^ if it is 
published first, even if it comes from his own publication, even if it 
leaks into a newspaper, that publication prevents him from getting 
his patent. 

The Chairman. Do I understand that in England inventorship 
really is not an essential qualification so far as the foreign patent is 

Mr. Langner. For example, let me explain it this way. If I see 
an invention over here and I go over to England with it and file a 
patent application before the American does, or before the American 
applies under the international convention which gives us 12 months' 
priority, that is mine even though I -didn't actually invent it; that is 
the idea. I will explain why that is later. It sounds like a very 
bad thing, but as a matter of fact it came from a very old provision in 
the law which I will explain as we go along. 

But the fact is that instead of having the ample opportunity to work 
out an invention to develop it, to get together with other experts in 
order to see how the thing should be developed, you have to rush to 
the Patent Office. In fact, my early training in this idea of secrecy 
was so great that it took me many years to get over that idea that 
we must keep the thing absolutely secret before the patent application 
is filed. 

In this country, as you know, we grant a period that isn't limited. 
We give a man the opportunity to work out his invention before he 
files the patent application. He can get the cooperation and-eellab- 
oration of others, and his patent isn't invalidated if something is 
published or leaks out. He can even test it out by having samples 
on sale before he need go to the expense of filing his patent application. 
That doesn't exist at all abroad. 

Another evil goes along with that, and that is that they file, very 
often, what I call half-baked patent applications; that is, applications 
that just are sketches, hardly enough to really be working exemplifica- 
tions, and the result is that the patents that come out are often very 
Ambiguous because they are mere sketches, and as compared with the 
thoroughly well woi'ked-out patents applications that we file in this 
country they constitute a rather ambiguous document. 

They have tried to overcome that defect in England by the practice 
of what they call filing a provisional application. That is to say when 
a man makes an invention he may just put in a brief description of the 
application. He is given 9 months to file the completed documents. 
That, however, leads to other troubles; disconformity between the 
provisional and the complete results in the patent being invalid, iSO 
you see it carries along with it these other disadvantages. 


Now, you will realize one thing about this European system— that 
it doesn't involve interferences. There is no interference practice 
abroad because it is the man who first rushes to the patent office that 
gets the patent, and it practically never happens that both go in on 
the same day. If you had the invention second and j^ou filed it on 
Ivlonday and somebody else had it first and he filed on Tuesday, the 
man who filed on Monday is the one who gets the patent, so you have 
practically no interfering practice like we have in this country. 

The Chairman. Suppose it were demonstrated the man who filed 
it on Monday really derived his knowledge from the man who filed on 

Mr. Langner. In that case, if it were in fraud of the other man's 
rights he would have a remedy, but not otherwise. You would have 
to prove that fraud. 

The Chairman. Then the purpose of the system is to grant the 
patent to the man who first makes application, provided he is not 
operating in fraud of another person. 

Mr. Langner. Yes; the theory being that merely making the in- 
vention does not entitle you to a patent. It is making the invention 
and then disclosing it to the Government which entitles you to a 
patent, that makes you the first inventor. That theory in my opinion, 
while it eliminates the interference practice, has so many other dis- 
advantages that I would much prefer the complexities of interference 
practice with such simplifications as you can bring into that practice 
than to go what I would call a step backward to this other theory. 

The next place where your patent system is more liberal is in respect 
to the fact that the patent dates from the date of grant. In niost 
other countries of the world the patent dates from the time of filing, 
and however long it may take you to prosecute the patent application 
is counted out of the term of the patent, so if for no fault of your 
own, as I have seen happen in Germany through people filing opposi- 
tions and obstructing the grant of your patent, you are kept in the 
Patent Office, as might happen there, 6 or 7 or 8 years; instead of 
your getting an 18-year patent all you get is the difference between 
the time that it was in the Patent Office and the unexpired term of the 

The Patent Office in the United States is considerably more liberal 
in the amount of time it allows a man to prosecute his patent applica- 
tion. In foreign countries we are very greatly rushed in getting a 
patent application throu^^h. In England we are allowed only 18 
months, and if we don* . get it through in 18 months the patent is 
abandoned. They give us 3 months' grace on top of that by paying a 
fine for each month's extension, but it results in very hurried last- 
minute rush work, and I have known cases where we have lost valuable 
claims owing to the fact that we didn't have enough time to get the 
application through. 

Now, the Patent Office practice in this country is criticized for 
allowing an application to stay too long, but we have the criticism in 
the other direction in some of the foreign countries. 

The practice in this country on reissue is very much more liberal. 
There is no such thing as a reissue practice in foreign countries. 
We do allow corrections of the patent after the patent has come out, 
but we don't allow the generous type of reissue that is allowed in this 


In this country we have no annual taxes. In foreign countries the 
patent system is based on the idea that the Patent Office should be a 
revenue-producing office, and every patent has to pay an annual tax. 
This tax grows progressively higher as the patent grows older. For 
example, in Great Britain the cost of the British patent in Government 
fees is over $600; that is, the man has to pay to the Government for a 
16-year patent over $600. In Germany he has to pay over $2,000. 
That is, I am now talking about the man over here; that is the rate 
of exchange; I wouldn't want to say what a German mark was in 
Germany, but at anv rate in the international market it is costing 
him $2,000. 

This tax system often results in a poor inventor who hasn't very 
much money to pay for these taxes dropping his patent, when if he 
had been able to wait 2 or 3 years he might have had the opportunity 
of exploiting it. 

It is said by people who are in favor of this tax idea that it has the 
result of causing the obsolete or paper patents to drop out as people 
do not bother to pay the taxes on them. On the other hand, it also 
causes a certain number of good and valuable patents to drop out. 

The Chairman. But when the patent drops out, is it thereby 
dedicated to the public? 

Mr. Langner. It then becomes dedicated and it is not possible to 
revive it unless the failure to pay the fee was due to accident or inad- 
vertence. As a general rule they do not regard poverty as a good 
reason for reviving the patent. 

Mr. DiENNER. It is no accident. 

Mr. Langner. No. 

The Chairman. In other words, it means the foreign system re- 
quires the inventor as a consideration for keeping his patent alive, 
to make a certain payment annually to the State. 

Mr. Langner. Yes; in addition to the other taxes that he has to 
pay if he is earning an income. That is the reason that I said just 
now that it is a conditional monopoly, that is conditional on your 
paying that annual tax. 

Representative Sumners. May I ask a question? You speak of the 
difference ui the length of time permitted in England and the time 
permitted here in which to prosecute the conclusion of your applica- 
tion for patent. Is the Patent Office in England, or whatever country 
you may have had in' mind, so organized that they are always pre- 
pared to proceed when the applicant is ready to present his applica- 

Mr. Langner. In replying to that I would say that they are not 
always. It depends on the state of the work in the particular division 
of the Patent Office. Some are more behind than others and I think 
that it has to do with the fact that shorter terms are allowed; that is, 
when the examiner issues an objection he gives an Englishman only 
2 months in which to reply and a foreigner gets 3 months. So if you 
don't reply in the 2 months or the 3 months, you have to pay a fine' for 
a month's extension, and then if you don't reply then, you pay another 
fine, and after a while, after that has happened once or twice, they 
give a final term and then if you don't reply you are rejected. 

Representative Sumners. What I am trying to get at for the 
specific value of the thing is whether or not any delays which may occur 
in our procedure beyond those which you observe in the foreign 


countries are due to the lack of proper equipment governmentally, 
in order to expedite the determination, or is it due to, perhaps, too 
much leeway which is given by us to the applicant? 

Mr. Langner. Well, I think it is largely due to the leewav of 6 
months which is given in this country, and I don't think that itls due 
to comparatively any worse workings on the part of the United States 
Patent Office as compared with the foreign patent offices. 

Representative Sumners. This period of 6 months which we give, 
which results in a longer time between the application and the con- 
clusion of the effort to get the patent: Could that in safety, or rather 
in justice to the applicant, be reduced, in your judgment, or would you 
like to express a judgment about it? 

Mr. Langner Well, I feel that the system that exists abroad is a 
better system. You start off with a shorter period and you give the 
Commissioner the right to prolong it if there is a good reason for it. 
In other words, you don't simply say to him, "It is 6 months." You 
say 2 months or 3 months, as the case may be, with the right to 
extensions if you can show good reason for the extensions. 

Representative Sumners. One other question while you are inter- 
rupted, if I may ask it. You say that there is a tax levied against the 
patent, that that tax is progressive as the age of the patent extends. 
Can the patentee escape the tax by abandoning the patent? Is there 
any arrangement under which he can declare an abandonment and 
escape the tax? 

Kir. Langner. He has a perfect escape, wliich consists in not pay- 
ing the tax, and then the patent is dropped. 

Representative Sumners. Is the tax levied against the patent or 
against the person? We in tliis country do not have the possibility 
of escaping taxes so easily. We could not in this country just not pay 
the tax. What I am trj'ing to get at is, is the tax levied against the 

Mr. Langner. I would say it was levied against the patent, because 
the patent expires automatically if you don't pay the tax. 

Representative Sumners. That is the question I asked you. 
Thank you, sir. 

The Chairman. May I ask whether the patent appUcant abroad 
must bear the burden of delays in the Patent Office? 

Mr. Langner. No. 

The Chairman. So the term doesn't begin to run against the 
appUcant until he receives notice of action by the Patent Office. 

Mr. Langner. I think I have misunderstood your question. Of 
course if the Patent Office waited for 6 months, or 10 months, before 
it started action, that is counted off the term of the patent. 

The Chairman. So the burden is on the patent applicant for any 
delay that may be 

Mr. Langner (interposing). Made by the Patent Office. 

The Chairman. Made by the Patent Office. 

Mr. Langner. And it is subtracted from the term of the patent 
all the time, wliich is a bad feature compared with the practice in this 

Representative Sumners. May I ask one question. Does the fact 
that delay operates against the time of the appHcant tend materially 
to stimulate the applicant in speeding up the conclusion of his appU- 


Mr. Langner. I don't think that that contributes nearly as much 
as the shorter terms that the patent office provides and the fact that 
you are apt to pay a fine if you don't file within the period of the term. 
I tliink that that has more to do with it. You will reahze that under 
our opposition practice we have a practice that also delays applica- 
tions going out of the patent office, just as you have with your inter- 
ference practice. 

't Mr. DiENNER. You are on the wrong side of the fence — you mean 
in Europe. 

Mr. Langner. I beg your pardon, I meant in the European practice, 
which is the practice that I practice and so I call it "our." The 
opposition proceedings are proceedings which exist in practically all 
of the countries which follow the first type, that is the examination 
system. They exist in Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Denmark, 
Czechoslovakia, practically all the industrial countries. When the 
patent application has been allowed it is laid open for public inspec- 
tion, that is to say the documents are either printed or available in 
the Patent Office, and a period of 3 months is allowed during which 
anyone who wants to make an objection against the grant of that 
patent may do so, and that results in practically giving everyone in 
the country who has an interest to do so, an opportunity to attack 
that patent before it ever comes out; that is, they can come in there 
and show prior patents, they can attack its validity, they can bring 
in, as they very often do, alleged prior uses, and they can subject 
the patentee to practically what amounts to a litigation proceeding. 

The Chairman. Isn't that interference practice? 

Mr. Langner. No, sir; for tliis reason. It differs from interference 
practice in this way. The interference practice here is a contest 
between two parties ab to who really owns the invention. That is 
what an interference practice is. 

This practice, this opposition practice, has nothing to do, generally 
has nothing to do — there might be a case which I will explain in a 
minute — but generally speaking has notliing to do with the question 
of ownership of the invention. It simply has to do with the fact that 
A has filed a patent application; it is laid open for public inspection, 
and B thinks he ought not to have it, and so B comes along and says 
he ought not to have that because it is old; I can show you some pat- 
ents that are like it. In other words, it gives them an opportunity 
to attack the decision of the Patent Office in granting the patent, 
and that 

The Chairman. Now, A. is about to get his patent. B undertakes 
opposition proceedings on the ground that he, B, has a prior patent 
which covers the same art? 

Mr. Langner. Not necessarily; it could be that, or it could be 
that the thing was in some workshop or that it was being used some- 
where, or that it was illustrated in a magazine. It does not have to 
be necessarily his, or, as I should say, in 9 cases out of 10 

The Chairman. The distinction that you make is — I am stating 
this intending it as a question, though it is not in that form— is that 
the opposition practice appears rather on behalf of the pubhc than 
upon behalf of another inventor. Is that right? 

Mr. Langner. No, sir; I do not think that is correct, either. It 
is practicallv the attack is made in the same way that an attack is 
made in an infringement suit. You attack the patent in every way 


that you can possibly knock it out before it ever comes out of the 
Patent Office. 

The Chairman. Then in other words this opposition practice 
probably arises when a person wants to use the device without recog- 
nizing the obligations which come from that? 

Mr. Langner. Yes ; and in 9 cases put of 10 they will take, in certain 
countries, 3 or 4 devices, none of which are really the same thing, and 
say that there is no invention in combining those 3 or 4 things together 
and getting this device. 

Representative Sumners. Now when you have a practice of that 
sort where any person, where all persons are given at least constructive 
notice, and ftny person may appear in opposition, alleging, setting 
up any ground, any recognized ground for an issue to the patent, 
does that at all affect the right to ui^e those same objections in any 
suit in a court after the patent has been issued, or may there be suits 
in courts where that procedure obtains after the patent has been 

Mr. Langner. Yes, sir; the mere fact that the patent is granted 
does not estop the opponent from later on urging those same patents 
before the courts. 

Representative Sumners. Well, is there resort to that tribune — if 
we may so designate it, and I believe we may, from your description — 
because of the fact that it is less formal and more economical and more 
easy to get at than to wait and go into ordinary court? 

Mr. Langner. Yes; it results in certain abuses in this sense; it is 
an inexpensive way of attacking a man's patent before he actually 
has it, and it results, for instance, in some instances where a very 
large industry which makes a practice of opposing every patent that 
comes into that industry, and putting onto the applicant for the 
patent at a time when he is still in a state of financial difficulties that 
go with promoting ah invention, the burden of fighting against them 
for this patent, at a time when he is really not ready to do so. 

Representative Sumners. Now suppose there is an adverse decision 
to the applicant. Would his remedy be to go into court and do what 
we would call in this country attempt to mandamus the agency of the 
Patent Office and compel the issuance of a patent? 

Mr. Langner. No, sir; there is not that right in these foreign coun- 
tries. I would like to explain that part of the system to you. •■ 
. Representative Sumners. Am I interrupting your order of pro- 
cedure? . . 

Mr. Langner. If I could have just a Uttle time to explam it to you 
I think I could give you the picture. Take for instance the German 
patent system, from the decision of the opposition department the 
appeal is taken to what they call the "Senate" of the Patentr Office, so 
that both the opposition itself and the appeal is heard right inside 
the Patent Office. There is no opportunity of going out to the court. 
In England — — 

Representative Sumners. Would you mdicate before you go 
further the constituent elements of the senate so we can have the- 

picture? ^^ o • 

Mr. Langner. It is made up of three— the patent office Senate is 
made up of three men who are the examiners of that particular di\dsion 
of tlio Patent Office. 


The Chairman. Offhand, I should say that was probably a very 
good system, Judge. 

Reprtsentative Sumners. I don't like th:; name, but it is all right. 

Mr. Langner. In England there is aii appeal from the patent 
office to a court. Now, the opposition system, however, is not as 
simple as it sounds. One of the practices that happens, and that I 
have run across several times in my experience, is this. You will 
get a letter from a competitor saying that they are going to file an 
"oppo-sition unless you will give them a license on practically a nominal 
amount; or I have known at least 12 cases in my practice where they 
say a free license. In other words, "unless you give us a free license 
under this patent we are going to oppose." 

They will come and show you what they are going to use. They 
say, "We are going to put in this patent and that patent and the 
other patent, so you better give us a free license or else we will make 
trouble for you." 

Representative Sumners. Is that penalized in any sort of way in 
the countries where that practice obtains? 

Mr. Langner. No; it is not. 

Representative Sumners. It is legitimate if you can make him do it?- 

Mr. Langner. Yes; it is done as a common practice in some of 
these countries. 

Representative Sumners. That is very interesting. 

Mr. Langner. To my way of thinking, I regard the opposition 
practice as one of those things that superficially seems like a good 
thing, but actually when j^ou go into it it is not a good thing at all. 
It puts the man without resources in a position where he can ])e at- 
tacked by the man who has t.he resources to do it. 

The Chairman. The interference process, in other words, is infi- 
nitely superior to it from the point of view of the inventor, even with 
all its defects. 

Mr. Langner. Yes; on account of the thing I told. 3h:»u about 
earlier; that is, the fact that he has this time to go ahead. 

The Chairman. Because if the inventor, under the interference 
process, eventually gets his patent, he has protection. 

IVIr. Langner. He has that protection; he doesn't have to defend 
his patent at a time when he is not really ready to do so. 

Representative Sumners. Is this proceeding before the Senate a 
public proceeding, a proceeding of record? 

The Chairman. If you don't like that word, don't use it. 

Mr. Langner. Call it the appeal department. 

Rei)rcsentative Sumners. I don't mean to be facetious. Tliat is 
better. What I am trying to find out, is that proceeding a proceeding 
of record? Is there a record made of the proceeding before the 
Senate, and is there any appeal from that record to any other agency 
of the Goyernnient, or do you have to start de novo if anything else 
is (lone witli reference to a' question of the patent? 

Mr. Langnkh, The files of the Patent Office in every country of 
the world outside of the United States are not open to the public'and 
under the German practice 3'ou are only allowed to se« those files if 
you are involved in litigation under the patent, and therefore those 
are not open to the general public. 

After we get through the opposition period, a patent is granted. 
Now, under the European system, and in some countries for limited 


periods but in other countries throughout the entire life of the patent, 
anyone can bring what they call a nulHty suit, or a revocation suit. 
In Germany that is limited to 5 years after the grant of the patent. 
In England there is no limitation. You can at any time bring an 
action to revoke that patent, which again means that the patentee 
may be put to the expense of defending his patent without there 
being, perhaps, any real reason for it, and again perhaps under 

The Chairman. If a patent should be revoked, is there any retro- 
active effect upon the patentee? 

Mr. Langner. In what sense? 

The Chairman. Well, as for royalties that he may liave received 
from some licensee. 

Mr. Langner. No, not if the patent was in force at that time. 

In addition to that, patents in most of these countries are subject 
to what they call the compulsory license provisions. Those com- 
pulsory license provisions have to do largely with questions relating — 
that is, they arose in our jurisprudence owing to the fact that paients 
were used in many of these countries to prevent the development of 
an industry by importing the goods from abroad. 

I would like to explain that to you in further detail, but I have 
prepared myself to go into that quite fully with you, to explain those 
compulsory license provisions, but before I do that I would Uke to 
run through the general explanation of the foreign systems, and then 
come back to this compulsory license. 

The Chairman. That will be quite satisfactory. 

Mr. Langner. So that you can go into it in further detail. 

Now, when you add up these different things which exist and which 
harass an inventor in the foreign countries, you will see what I mean 
when I say that we give the finest patent, that is we uncondi- 
tional monopoly as compared with their conditional monopoly, and 
I feel that the result of that is reflected in the tremendous interest 
that exists in the United States as regards invention as compared with 
the interest that exists in other countries. I have made a note here — 
I mean I can speak from my own experience, coming from the other 
side with a certain amount of knowledge of inventions— that I found 
the entire attitude over here a great deal more stimulating, there was 
a great deal more interest, more excitement about new inventions, 
and it is intersting as a matter of historical fact that many other 
foreigners have come over to this country and under the stimulus 
of the patent system have become some of our leading inventors. 
I have made a note of some of those men. One of them was Pupin, 
whose name has been mentioned here, who came over here from 
Serbia. Another man was Alexander Graham Bell, who came from 
Canada, I believe. Another man was Steinmetz, who as you know 
was one of the great inventors— they called him the wizard of Sche- 
nectady, the man who built up through his inventions the great 
General Electric Co. In my own experience I have run across a 
number of European inventors who have come over here, and I be- 
lieve under the opportunities and stimulations in our law have made 
extraordinarily interesting inventions. You have all noticed this 
great improvement m refrigeration in trains, that is the air condi- 
tioning systems. There was a Belgian who came over here, Dr. 
Henney, a number of years ago, who invented the nonpoisonous 


refrigerant — he did that in Columbus, Ohio — which is used in all these 
trains now. Before his invention, practically any refrigerant was 
poisonous, so that if there were a leakage in the carriage with the 
\vindows all closed, I was going ^o say you would wake up in the 
morning dead. But under the development of that nonpoisonous 
refrigerant, which is called Freon, you have the possibihty of bringing 
air conditioning into the home, into the theaters, into closed places 
where it was never possible before. That was the invention of a 

The Chairman. In other words, you are saying that our system 
has attracted to this country foreign mventors and we thereby get 
the benefit of their brains because of our system. 

Mr. Langner. Yes, sir. I think that throughout the world the 
word "American" is almost associated with the word "inventioti." 

Representative Sumners. Somewhere are you going to discuss the 
ease or practical ease with which foreigners have access to results of 
the inventive genius that have assembled themselves in America? 

Mr. Langner. I will talk about that in a minute when I get to 
this particular part about the use of our patents in export trade. 
I am going to cover that in a moment. 

We have liere, as I say, an unconditional monopoly; we have 
the differentiation between our system and all others. There are, 
on the other hand, certain features in the foreign practice for 
which I would Uke to say a good word, as you are considering the 
whole of the patent system. First of all, among the good features of 
our foreign patent practice I would Uke to refer to the claims that 
we use. I think a great deal of improvement could be made in the 
American* form of claim. The European form of claim which we use 
in our European specifications is much simpler, it is much easier to 
Understand, and I beheve that a great deal of litigation which goes 
on in this country today is due to a rather complicated method of 
drafting claims which could be improved by using the very simple 
method that we draft claims in England, especially in England. We 
very often have turned over to us something Uke 30 or 40 American 
claims, perhaps, and when we get through drafting the foreign claims, 
there wUl be only 5 to 10, and they \vill cover in considerably simpler 
language the same invention that is covered by this large number 
of American claims. 

I must explain to you that the reason why claims are drafted in 
that way in this country is due to literally thousands of decisions of 
the courts on claims, and therefore, when I say that it would be better 
to have our iorm of claim, I don't know how you are ever going to 
get it 

The Chairman (interposing). When you use the word "our" 

Mr. Langner (interposing). I mean the British form, remembering 
that I am always practicing before those patent offices and not before 
the American. 

The Chairman. I wanted to have it in the record. 

Mr. Langner. Yes. The British form of claim differentiates from 
the American claim in that a man is allowed to use entirely his own 
language in drafting the claim; he is not called upon to claim a com- 
bination of elements, and this simplification makes it much easier for 
the patent office to examine the patent application, it saves time in 
the prosecution of the patent application, and it also reduces the 


amount of litigation because the claims are not nearly so ambiguous. 

The next point where I think the foreign practice is better than the 
United States practice is in respect of the fact that we have two dif- 
ferent classifications of inventions. We have the patent and petty 
patent, or, as it is called in England, that is the corresponding method 
of protection in England is called the design; it isn't called the design 
patent, it is called the registered design. In this country you haVe 
the patent and the design patent, but the design patent in this coun- 
try covers an ornamental design, whereas the design registration in 
England can cover a function such as the shape of a tool, something 
that isn't ornamental at all, and in Germany the petty patent and in 
many other countries where they have petty patents, any little device 
which isn't important enough to warrant the granting^ of a regular 
patent can be protected under the petty patent. 

The Chairman. \Miat is the difference in the term? 

Mr. Langner. The term is usually much less and the scope or the 
interpretation placed by the courts on these patents is very much 
more limited. Actually in the British registered design you have to 
put the two side by side and come to a conclusion as to whether one 
has been copied from the other. I believe the fact that we have no 
special provisions for such protection in this country throws a load on 
the patent office to have to take care of inventions of a minor charac- 
ter as well as of a major character; the same system has to take care 
of minor inventions as well as major inventions. That load might be 
reduced by introducing something in the nature of a registered design 
system. In fact, many attempts have been made, I myself have as- 
sisted in many attempts that have been made to provide a better 
design system in this country, and those attempts have always failed. 
We have never been able to succeed in getting them through Congress, 
largely due to the opposition of the drygoods stores w^o complain 
that they never would know whether they were infringing one of these 
petty patents or not, and they were always very convincing in their 
argument. But the fact remains that I believe the patent system 
suffers from that. 

The last part of what I had to say, before I came to compulsory 
licenses, was the question of what our inventions accompHsh for us 
in the export trade. Naturally as I take out these patents in these 
foreign countries I inquire into the reasons for the protection they 
afford. They are taken out in these foreign countries for perhaps 
two main reasons. ^ One is that where we are doing business abroad, 
we are sending out business machines, typewriters, calculating ma- 
chines, cash registers, and so forth, automobiles, and we want to pro- 
tect our article so that the German manufacturer or the EngUsh 
manufacturer isn't able to cop^ it immediatiely and go into competition 
with us. In other words, it is a great selling point for our goods to 
have a protected inventive feature, and I think we have kept ahead 
of the whole world in the export markets through our patent system 
and through the fact that our American machinery is the best of its 
kind, and the most ingenious and up-to-date. 

Now yoa have to remember that we are competing against much 
lower standards, that is goods made under conditions of much lower 
standards of living, and very often lower-priced goods. Nevertheless, 
our goods sell in those markets and I think sell very largely, our spe- 


cialty goods, on the basis of the inventive features which they carry 
with them. 

Another interesting aspect of our inventions abroad which I have 
noticed is that one reason why our inventions have helped our export 
markets is because they embody with them what I call democratic 
ideas. When I first came over to this country I met Mr. Kettering 
who has been before you, and I took out the patent in foreign countries 
on the Delco self-starter. This will illustrate what I mean about 
democratic ideas in invention. Mr. Hunt, one of the engineers, and 
myself went over to England and we tried to introduce the Delco 
starter among British and other companies. Mr. Hunt went to one 
of the big Enghsh companies and said, "We have this electric starter 
for automobiles and we would like to have you put it on your car." 

So the man said, "You know, it will cost 20 or 30 pounds more. 
Why should we put it on the car?" 

Mr. Hmit said, "Well, if you have this starter on the car, when the 
car stops the owner won't have to get out and crank the engine, he 
can put his foot on the pedal and start it." 

The man said, "You know, the people who use our cars have their 
own chauffeurs, they wouldn't dream of driving a car themselves, 
you see." 

"Well," Hunt said, "if the chauffeur gets out and cranks the car 
it might backfire and break his arm." 

So this man said, "I don't know that that would be very much of 
an argument. You know our chauffeurs are all insured." 

Hunt was baffled but not beaten, and so he said, "I'll tell you, you 
will sell a lot more cars if they have this starter on, because with this 
starter on the car women can drive." 

The man said, "Women drive? God forbid." 

The idea didn't exist at that time that an automobile might be 
something that was owned by a farmer or a workingman or used 
by a woman, and it wasn't until our cheap American cars got onto 
these foreign markets that they began to competitively put electric 
starters on automobiles. 

What I have said in regard to that exists in a way that very few 
people have realized. Here we have a country where we have raised 
the standard of living of the masses of the people. A farmer can 
afford to help his wife out by giving her a little washing machine or a 
vacuum cleaner, or some little electrical household device or some 
mechanism to make her work easier. Mr. Kettering invented the 
Delco light system, a little farm lighting plant. Now, when we took 
out the patents on that device, that little lighting plant, and when 
we came to take out the English patents, we had cited against us the 
only art that the British industry knew about, and that was lighting 
plants for lighting country houses, big country estates, where they 
had to generate electricity in order to take care of some duke's estate 
up in the highlands, his hunting lodge or something of that kind. 

Now, those inventions of ours brought our goods into markets 
like Australia and South Africa where there were farmers, like our 
farmers, who had the condition of long distances; and the English 
cars and the English goods which were made for the gentlemen of 
England, so to speak, couldn't compete with us in those countries 
and we were years ahead of them. 


So I feel that it is extremely important for our export trade that we 
keep up our patent system in the way we h^ve; as much as we possibly 
can, keep this stimulus. 

Now, we are coming into a new era of competition in foreign coun- 
tries. We are going to have to compete, and are competing now, 
against the barter system. We are also going to have to compete 
against what I call the government-subsidized, totaUtarian manu- 
facturer. We are already reading in the papers about a Volkswagen 
which is going to be sold for 900 marks. We are hearing about a 
Volksradio which is being sold for 14 marks. The governments of 
those countries that feel that they should subsidize artificial rubber 
substitutes, and so forth — we are going sooner or later to meet that 
competition in foreign trade. 

I feel very strongly that the one thing that we have always had and 
that we have always beaten the Europeans at is invention. We have 
always been able to put out somethmg that is 3 or 4 or 5 years ahead 
of what they get, and when they come along they come along that 
much later. 

The Chairman. What is the effect upon the International Conven- 
tion of the totalitarian plan of subsidization? Or to simplify the 
question, have you anything to say about whether or not in Germany, 
Italy, or Russia any effort has been made by the government to com- 
mandeer American patents within the boundaries of any one of these 

Mr. Langner. No, sir; there has been no effort made, and in fact 
we have in a number of instances witliin the last 2 or 3 years, Ameri- 
cans have obtained patents against the opposition of large German 
industrial companies. They get together afterward and make a 
license on them, perhaps, but there has not been anytliing of that 
nature in the patent relation. You will realize that every country 
is vulnerable in that respect. 

The Chairman. But if this subsidization plan is pursued an inevita- 
ble consequence would be the suppression of patent rights to foreign- 
ers, would it not? 

Mr, Langner. I do not know that it would necessarily be so. 

The Chairman. Unless that was protected by treaty? 

Mr. Langner. They are now, you see, and of course you must 
reaUze that, as I am going to explain to vou shortly; every industrial 
country is in a bad position if it treats the nationals of another country 
badly, and therefore there is a great balance against such a possibility. 
In fact, as I am going to explain to you now, perhaps I am ready to 
come to that point, in connection • 

The Chairman. Before you get to that may I ask whether or not 
ther« — there are two questions running through my mind; first, 
what your experience is with the Canadian law; and secondly, whether 
the patent systems of European countries have been used or are 
being used by industriahsts in those countries for the purpose of 
cartilization. That is to say, control of industries for monopolistic 

Mr. Langner. Well, I will answer as ikr as the Canadian system is 
concerned it is half-way between the European and the American. 
It is very much like the American patent system as a whole. On the 
question of cartilization, in Germany, for example, and sortie other 
countries there is undoubtedly a tendency to concentrate industiy 

124491— 39— pt. 3 13 


into large groups. I do not believe the patent system has contributed 
to that nearly as much as I believe it has been encouraged by the 
governments. In other words, I do not believe that is a phenomena 
of the patent system, although the patent system is undoubtedly 
involved in it because there is a good deal of cross licensing in that 
country; that is the division of patent rights and so forth between 
different companies. 

But I would say that it was a deUberate governmental pohcy. 

The Chairman. In other words, the Government poHcy, rather 
than the utiUzation of patent law, has been the cause of the growth 
of the cartel system. 

Mr. Langner. I would say so. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

Mr. Langner. Now, when you come to the compulsory license 
question, in which I know you are very much interested, I am going 
to be the second person to explain the statute of monopolies to you. 
I think you got a little wrong information yesterday on that subject. 
I don't think Dr. Jewett quite understood what was meant by that 
statute, but in order for you to understand the compulsory license 
I think you should go back to that part in our history, and I will give 
you the picture. 

The Chairman. Our history is — which history is that? 

Mr. Langner. The history of all patents — American, English, and 
so on. It all stemmed from the early English patent system. 

The statute of monopolies prohibited monopoly of any kind except 
in respect of inventions and manner of manufacture. It is generally 
a popular misconception that the purpose of that statute was to 
encourage psychological invention. It was not the purpose of that 
statute at all to encourage psychological invention, which was some- 
thing that was hardly known at that time. It was the purpose to 
encourage the bringing in of new industries to England from other 
countries, and by invention — the use of the word invention at that 
time was, "invent" had the meaning of "bringing in." The period of 
the patent was taken from two periods of apprenticeship, each period 
being 7 years, so that the idea was that they would attract the Flemish 
weavers or they would attract printers from Germany or other in- 
dustrialists to come over to England, which was at that time indus- 
trially speaking just a beginning country, and bring their industries 
over there and teach two sets of English apprentices the industry so 
that the industry could go along. 

That conception continued for around 100 years, and gradually 
became replaced as mechanical invention began to grow with the idea 
of psychological invention, which gradually developed into the fihng 
of a patent specification and the gradual dropping out of the British 
practice of this idea of manufacture going along with the grant of a 

I may tell you that as a young man I was very curious to see what 
patent No. 1 was in the English Patent Office library, and patent 
No. 2, so I went over there and took a look at them. Patent No. 1 
was the manufacture of playing cards; patent No. 2 was for the printing 
of a map of London by a French designer who had printed a map of 
Paris that looked just'hke it, so when you hear that you realize that 
that statute of monopolies was a little different from what is often 


Now, this idea of manufacture went out of the British patent 
system completely, until the year 1883. Then it was brought back 
again for an entirely different reason. 

At that time, or perhaps a few years before, the German chemical 
industry began to develop and this chemical industry — well, an 
Englishman had invented the original coal-tar dyes, but the German 
chemical industry had got hold of it and with their methodical methods 
of scientific research and so on had begun to spread out and become 
a world dominating chemical industry, and this thing became such a 
peril to the British chemical industry that a jgreat deal of agitation 
broke out on the subject. 

To give you the atmosphere under which compulsory licenses were 
introduced and the v.'orking of compulsory licenses, I would like to 
read to you something that was written by Joseph Chamberlain, father 
of the present Neville Chamberlain. He did not believe in appease- 
ment, by the way. He said: 

It has been pointed out especially in an interesting memorial presented on 
behalf of the chemical industry that under the present law it Would have been 
possible, for instance, for the German inventor of the hot blast furnace, if he had 
chosen to refuse a license in England, to have destroyed almost the whole iron 
industry of this country and to carry th^ business bodily over to Germany. 
Although that did not happen in the case of the hot blast industry, it had actually 
happened in the manufacture of artificial colors connected with the coal products, 
and the whole of that had gone to Germany because the patentees would not 
grant a license in this country. 

In other words, the fi.rst British compulsory license law was directed 
against the prac.tice of the Germans in taking out patents on the 
chemical industry in England and using those patents to kill the 
British chemical industry. 

The Chairman. When did Joseph Chamberlain make that state- 

Mr. Langner. I believe in 1882 or 1883. I can perhaps find the 
exact date. 

The Chairman. That is an approximation. 

Mr. Langner. Yes. It was in introducing the act of 1883. 

The Chairman. In other words, Joseph Chamberlain sponsored the 
compulsory licensing bill in the British Parliament. 

Mr. Langner. In the British Parliament; yes. 

The procedure under those laws, before the Board of Trade and 
later before the Privy Council, was pretty much of a wash-out. It was 
very expensive. It cost as much as $20,000 to go through with it, 
and the same condition continued from 1883, in spite of this com- 
pulsory licensing law, until 1907. 

The Chairman. If I understand you correctly, then, Chamberlain 
sponsored the compulsory Ucensing bill in the belief that without it 
British industry might be exported to Germany or elsewhere, and it 
was to prevent the exportation of British patents and industries de- 
veloping under those patents that he sponsored this measure? 

Mr. Langner. Yes, sir. . . . 

The Chairman. Was he justified, in your opinion, in that activity 
at that time? 

Mr. Langner. I think perhaps it would be more correct to state 
that already the German industry had estabhshed that condition that 
the British industry was suffering under, and this law did not help 
to solve the problem because the procedure was far too expensive, 


and in 1907 they tried to cure the procedure by a new law, and that 
law was introduced by Mr. Lloyd George, and I will tell you what he 
said in introducing that new law. 

He said: 

The object of the patent laws is to reward ingenuity and by so doing to en- 
courage invention and to promote British industry. Unfortunately, however, 
they have been used in many respects to discourage the British inventor and to 
destroy many British industries. What is happening at the present moment? 
Out of 14,700 patents issued last year, 6,500 are foreign. I do not object to that, 
but a good many of these patents have been taken out not for the purpose of 
working the patents in this country, but for the purpose of preventing their being 
worked. That I consider to be an abuse of a privilege conceded by British laws. 

The British inventor who takes out a patent is very often a poor man who has 
been able to get his patent financed up to a certain point. After he has started 
and set ^p works and purchased machinery there comes a powerful foreign syndi- 
cate which has found there is something in his patent which they imagine is 
covered by an invention they have alieady patented, for these patents are very 
often in exceedingly vague terms. This syndicate then brings to bear the whole 
machinery of their powerful organization to crush the inventor. 

He <?oes on to say: 

Big foreign syndicates have one very effective way of destroying British indus- 
try. They first of all apply for patents on a very considerable scale. They 
suggest every possible combination, for instance, in chemicals, which human 
ingenuity can possibly think of. These combinations the syndicates have not 
tried themselves. They are not in operation, say, in Germany or elsewhere, 
but the syndicates put them in their patents in obscure and vague terms so as to 
cover any possible invention that may be discovered afterward in this country. 

This again was aimed at the German chemical industry. 

Some of you gentlemen niay remember that at the same time that 
agitation was going on in England a great agitation was going on in 
this country against the German chemical industry for the very same 
reasons. That resulted in the negotiation of a treaty between this 
country and Germany which treaty is still in existence. It was 
renewed after the war. And the purpose of that treaty was to en- 
deavor to meet this situation which, in England, was met by the 
passage of these working laws. 

Under that treaty an American does not have to work in Germany. 

The Chairman. May I interrupt to ask what the principal features 
of the Lloyd George Act were? 

Mr. Langner. As compared to the earlier one? I will be glad to 
do that. The Lloyd George Act was much more drastic. It provided 
not for compulsory licenses under these conditions, but for revocation 
of a patent if the invention was being mainly manufactured abroad, 
and again it came before the courts of England for a number of years. 
A number of patents — not very many — were revoked, and gradually 
there grew up in the courts certain practices which made it almost 
impossible to get a patent revoked. One of those practices was that 
the burden of proof was on the applicant for revocation to prove how 
much the invention was being manufactured abroad, and it was 
awfully difficult for him to show that it was being mainly manufactured 
abroad. It was very hard to establish that it was mainly manufac- 
tured abroad. Again the remedy of revocation was very bad, because 
while these English manufacturers wanted to have the field clear, 
once the patent was revoked they didn't have a patent to work 
under, so that it was difficult for them to invest money in that process 
when all their competitors could also invest money in the process 
and come into competition with them, so that for that reason again 


the British patent laws were revised in 1919 — 1883, 1904, 1907, and 
1919 — and a new compulsory hcense law was provided which again 
attempted to meet this problem, but to do so by putting in as an 
alternative to revocation the grant of compulsory Ucenses. So that 
only in the case where compulsory license was not a sufficient remedy, 
could the patent be revoked and that law is in effect right at the 
present time. 

The Chairman. Do you think that is an effective law? 

Mr. Langner. Well, tliat law has — I can give you some figures 
about that law. The purpose of the law, as I have explained before 
is to prevent — largely, not entirely, but the main idea beliind the law 
is to prevent foreigners from coming into England and supplying the 
demand irom abroad while using the English patent to prevent the 
development of British industry. Now since 1919 to date, wliich is a 
period of around 19 years, only nine cases have come up for decision. 
Of these nine cases six v/ere applications of a British company for 
licenses against a foreign or British company in which the grounds 
for a license wejre general!}^ that the invention was being manufactured 
abroad, and not in Great Britain. The other three cases were where 
British companies applied for compulsory licenses under patents 
oviTied by other British companies. Of the six cases where a British 
company asked for a license under a patent, where the invention' was 
manufactured abroad, in five cases nonexclusive licenses were granted 
and one case was refused. In the three cases where British com- 
panies applied for licenses under patents granted to other British 
companies, in all three cases the licenses were refused. 

That is, that up to date this law has only been effective in England 
in the case where the patent was being used to benefit a foreign 
industry at the expense of the British industry. 

Representative Sumners. Have you discussed the basis of com- 
pensation, how compensation is arrived at in a case of compulsory 
issuance of license? You have to pay sometliing for it, don't you? 

Mr. Langner. Yes; the question is argued before the British 
Controller, corresponding to the Commissioner of Patents, and he 
finally comes to a conclusion. I have not gone through the decisions. 

Representative Sumners. Any statutory provision? 

Mr. Langner. No; it is within the discretion of the Controller 
with an appeal to the court to fix the amount of the license. 

Representative Sumners. But in the determination of the question 
I assume you have expert testimony, or whatever testimony would 
seem to bear upon the question, as to what ought to be compensation, 
but there are no statutory standards or standards fixed by any agency 
of the Government? 

Mt. Langner. No standards of that kind. 

Representative Sumners. A moment ago or several times you have 
spoken of the invention being manufactured abroad. Would that 
apply to machinery with which the commodity is produced, or through 
the commodity itself? 

Mr. Langner. If the commodity itself is patented it would refer 
to the machine and if both of them, as sometimes happens 

Representative Sumners. To make it clear for the record, suppose 
it is a process for manufacturing cotton goods, would the British law 
become effective, become operative, if the machinery only was manu- 


factured abroad— I would like to change my question. In a proceed- 
ing where this provision of the law is brought into operation, would 
the question as to where the cotton cloth is manufactured be affected 
by the place where the machinery is manufactured? 

Mr. Langner. Well, -sir, it would depend on what the patent itself 
covered. . . 

Representative Sumners. Assummg it covered machinery. 

Mr. Langner. If jt covered the machine then you should manu- 
facture that machinery in England. If you manufactured the 
machinery in America and supplied the English demand only by 
importation, a condition arises under which an English manufacturer 
could ask for a Ucense. 

Representative Sumners. If you manufactured the machinery m 
America and sold the machine in England for instance as cheaply as you 
sold it in America, you still would come under the inhibitions or 
regulations of that law? 

Mr. Langner. Well, if it constituted what they call an abuse of the 
monopoly rights. You would have the right to say in your defense 
that perhaps the demand was so small that the machine would cost a 
great deal more if it were manufactured in England. You would have 
several rights of defense because you are allowed to give reasons why 
you have not manufactured, but generally speaking you are in a 
difl&cidt position if you have used your English patent to supply the 
market entirely with machinery from America. 

Representative Sumners. I do not like to press it, but I would like 
to be very clear on this point. Assuming that in one particular 
country they did not manufacture the cloth, to make the illustration. 

Mr. Langner. They did not manufacture? 

Representative Sumners. Assuming that in a particular country 
they did not manufacture cloth, did not manufacture cotton cloth at 
all, but did manufacture the machinery with which you manufactured 
the cloth, and that machine was sold generally in the markets of the 
world at an equal price, freight being considered, everywhere. Would 
that state of facts justify possibly a successful procedure under the 
English law? 

Mr. Langner. Where is the machine manufactured? 

Representative Sumners. Assuming in any country, not in Eng* 
land, but in any other country and in that country they manufacture 
the machine; they manufacture no cloth at all; they only manufacture 
the machine with which the cloth is manufactured, and that machine 
may be bought freely in England at the same price it may be bought 
anywhere else in the world, freight being considered. 

Mr. Langner. And it is a patented machine? 

Representative Sumners. And it is a patented machine and the 
machine of course is patented and made in order to produce, pri- 
marily, cotton cloth. 

Mr. Langner. Well, I would say that if that sale was niade and it 
could be established it was hurting the British machine industry o'f 
that type; that is, you were putting the British manufacturers out of 
business with that foreign-made machine, that this law, unless there 
were exten\iating factors, this law would apply and a British manu- 
facturer might get a compulsory license. 

The Chairman. In other words a manufacturer of machines in 
Great Britain would be authorized under this law to file a proceeding; 


against a foreign holder of a British patent to make the machine to 
require a compulsory license? 

Mr. Langner. If the manufacturer was supplying the English de- 
mand only by importation. 

The Chairman. That is the point; that is the question. 

Mr. Langner. And there was no factor such as extreme expense 
which sometimes comes up, where there are only two or three — — 

The Chairman. So that if the foreign holder of a British patent to 
make such a machine as Congressman Sumners has described was 
granted an exclusive license to warrant a British manufacturer to make 
that machine, a competitor of that licensee would be authorized under 
this act to bring his proceeding to compel the issuance of a Hcense to 
him also? 

Mr. Langner. I do not understand that, sir. Would you mind 
repeating that? I do not think that is the case. 

The Chairman. I will admit it was probably a rather involved state- 
ment. I assume that a foreign manufacturer of machines has secured 
a patent in Great Britain for his device and has granted an exclusive 
license to a British machine manufacturer, then would not a British 
competitor of that licensee be authorized under this act to bring his 
proceeding against the foreign patentee for a compulsory license? 

Mr. Langner. No; absolutely not. 

The Chairman. He would not? 

Mr. Langner. Not if that British licensee is manufacturing in 
Great Britain. 

The Chairman. That is exactly what I mean. So that the British 
compulsory licensing which you describe does not operate where one 
license is granted within Great Britain. 

Mr. Langner. Providing that licensee is not abusing the monopoly 
rights, which means that he is supplying the demands of the British 

The Chairman. But suppose he were supplying it at a price which 
his competitor regarded as a competitive price, and wliich the com- 
petitor felt he could beat? 

Mr. Langner. I don't think he would get very far with that. The 
competitor would have to show that in order for the competitor to be 
able to secure a compulsory license, that patent had been used to the 
general abuse of British industry. 

Now we have some cases which are very illuminating on that point. 
We have three cases in England where one British company tried to 
get a license from another British company. 

The Chairman. Of course, specific cases would be much more illu- 
minating than hypothetical cases. 

Mr. Langner. I am going to try to give them to you because I 
think you would be interested in them because they relate to these 
same tubes you were examining this morning. Two out of three of 
these cases applied to such tubes which are called valves in England. 
The third case related to gramophone records. In that case, they have 
over in England cooperative stores which are chain-store cooperatives 
which sell at a lower price than regular stores, and the Columbia 
Gramophone Co. refused to supply these particular stores because 
they were then able, with these benefits, to undercut their other 
customers. This particular group of stores brought an application- 
for compulsory license and the court turned them down. The court 


refused to grant them a license because they claimed that the company 
was supplying these records through recognized stores and that they 
have a perfect right not to give a license to somebody if they didn't 
want to. , . 

Representative Sumners. Would it interrupt for me to mquire so 
we can go along together — , is this license the license to buy or the Hcense 
to manufacture; I mean the privilege to buy or the privilege to pro- 

Mr. Langner. They wanted the privilege to manufacture a com- 
peting record, you see. 

The next case — as I explained there were two cases relating to 
valves — was a case which was brought by a German conipany by the 
name of Loewe for a license from the British Marconi Co., which 
corresponds to the Radio Corporation in this country. They came 
over to England, this German company, and they wanted to put up 
an establishment in England and they asked for a license. The 
Marconi Co., which had a policy of granting licenses under such con- 
ditions, got into an argument with them as to the amount of the 
royalties, and during the arguments they applied for a compulsory 
license. The court held that the British Marconi Co. had not refused 
to grant a license, and they threw the case out, telling them to go back 
and settle the matter among themselves, and no license was granted. 

The third case is the most interesting case of all and I think will be 
the most interesting to you, because this dealt with the pooling of 
patents in a sense, perhaps even to a greater extent than has ever been 
thought of in this country. In that case the Marconi Co., on these 
valves or amplifying tubes, refused to grant a license to a certain out- 
fit, a manufacturer called the Brownie Radio Co, They had an 
argument over terms of the license and the radio company refused to 
.modify its conditions that it had with its other licensees, whereupon 
the Brownie Co., an English company, brought an action for a com- 
pulsory license. You must remember that in this case there was no 
question of the goods being manufactured mainly abroad. These 
goods were being manufactured in England and there were plenty of 
British manufacturers manufacturing the goods, but they were all 
manufacturing under an agreement with this Marconi Co. I think 
the case is so interesting that I would like to read to you from the 
judge's decision because it is about the only decision that we have in 
England on this question of pooling of patents. 

It is very short. 

The Chairman. What was the complaint of the Bro\vnie Co.? 

Mr. Langner. These people had refused to grant them a license 
and the Marconi people in ti.rn took the position that they did not 
want to do business with thi:^ man they refused. 

The Chairman. Was it the position of the Brownie Co. that if it 
got a license, it would put the device on the market at a lower price 
than the Marconi Co. and its licensees would make it? 

Mr. Langner. I don't believe that was so; no, I don't think that 
was involved. 

The Chairman. Then was it merely a question of Marconi not 
wanting to recognize th's particular manufacturer for purely personal 
or arbitrary reasons? 

Mr. Langner. I believe they were engaged in making a very cheap 
set; they had been manufacturers of wliat they called crystal radios, 


and they had stuck to that until this other system, that is, the tube 
system, had come in, and then after staying out for quite a* while 
they wanted to come in and take a license and the same license was 
offered to them which was offered to the other people and they refused 
and said that the terms were unreasonable, and applied for a com- 
pulsory licepse on more reasonable terms. 

The judge, in deciding the case, made this statement: 

First, is it in the public interest that a license should be granted? I put this 
consideration first because each of the parties who have argued the matter before 
me have put this forward as the first and paramount consideration. The learned 

that is the commissioner who decided the case in his department 
decided it in favor of the Brownie Co. — 

Representative Sumners (interposmg). Is that the court of last 

Mr. Langner. This is the court of last resort in this matter. [Con- 
tinues reading:] 

The learned controller has answered this question in the affirmative on this 
narrow ground. The Marconi Co. has secured what he calls a supermonopoly 
by aggregating in its hands all the vital patents controlling the manufacture of 
broadcast loudspeaker receiving sets, that is, valve receiving sets, and has licensed 
a large number, over 2,300, of manufacturers were engaged in the vast trade of 
manufacturing such valve receiving sets, and has therefore precluded itself from 
proceeding arbitrarily to grant any license to a particular manufacturer, while, 
as the controller puts it, granting licenses to his competitors. 

Do you get that point? 
The Chairman. I hope so. 
Mr. Langner (reading): 

The learned controller goes on to state that such an arbitrary exercise of 
monopoly rights seems to be contrary to every principle of public policy. I 
cannot agree with this view. In the first place, the Marconi Co. is entitled to 
such monopoly rights as flow from the ownership of the patents it has acquired; 
such rights are no greater and no less by reason of the fact that the patents were 
acquired by assignment or purchase rather than by original application or by 
reason of the fact that the patents are contained in a number of grants instead 
of a single grant. It is admitted that a patentee is entitled to work his invention 
either by himself or his licensees. He may limit the number of his licensees and 
he may select such licensees at his own free will and pleasure, subject only to this, 
that he must not abuse his monopoly rights. If the patent is in fact being worked 
in such a way that the public demand is being supplied to an adequat^ extent 
and on reasonable terms, no one can complain, and public interest does not in 
such circumstances require that a particular manufacturer who desires to manu- 
facture and sell the patented article should be granted a license so to do. Indeed, 
the public interest may itself require that the number of licensees shall be limited, 
because it may well be that the public interest is best served by insuring a steady 
supply of the patented article by preventing the flooding of the market and a 
drastic reduction of price by wholesale- competition. The question to be deter- 
mined in the present case is not whether any license should be granted but whether 
a license should be granted to a particular person. In my view there is nothing 
on the evidence or in the circumstances of this case to establish that it is in the 
public interest that a license should be granted to the applicant, the Brownie Co. 

The Chairman. That, of course, was the contention of the Hart- 
ford-Empire Co. when the glass industry was before us.^ 

Mr. Langner-. I don't know about that particular point in this 
country, but in England, even with a compulsory-licensing law, the 
court (and this is the court of last resort on this point) has decided 
that the mere fact that a man has given 15 licenses doesn't mean that 
he is iorced to givQ 16, 17, or 18. 

> See Hearings, Part II. 


The Chairman. As I recall the language of the court, it was to the 
effect that the patentee under the British compulsory-licensing law 
has the right to limit the number of licenses, so long as he doesn't 
abuse his patent monopoly. Now, what constitutes abuse? 

Mr. Langner. Well, I don't think— may I go back to the beginning 
of your question — that this is under the British compulsory-licensing 
law. This is under the British law; it has nothing to do with com- 
pulsory hcense. Under the British law they have set up a group of 

The Chairman. I misunderstood, I thought that Brownie Manu- 
facturing Co., whatever its proper name is, had applied to the con- 
troller, who is the Commissioner of Patents for Great Britain, to 
compel the Marconi Co. to grant them a hcense. 

Mr. Langner. Yes. 

The Chairman. I thought that apphcation was under the com- 
pulsory-Ucensing law. 

Mr. Langner. That part is correct The setting up by Marconi 
of its group of licensees was not under the law; that was what I was 
trying to explain; that was not unAer the law. 

The Chairman. Oh, I see. 

Mr. Langner. Now, as to what would under those circumstances 
constitute an 'abuse of the monopoly rights I have no way of telling, 
because since .1919 there has never been a case of this kind where they^ 
have held there was an abuse. 

The Chairman. I mean so far as the language of the statute is 
concerned it is wholly a judicial question? 

Mr. Langner. Yes. 

The Chairman. As to what constitutes abuse? 

Mr. Langner. As to what constitutes abuse, and they have never 
held that as being done in England. I would like to add this: that I 
beheve, as I have explained to you, that the purpose of this compul- 
sory hcense law in England and in other countries has been to try to 
handle a different kind of abuse rather than this rather modern con- 
ception which didn't really exist in those days. If you will remember, 
in England at that time the whole pohcy of the country was free 
trade and they had no tariff system; they were trying to cure some- 
thing that their tariff allowed; it allowed these chemicals to come in 
from other countries and goods to come in on a free-trade basis, and 
they were in a very difficult positjpn as free traders; they couldn't 
put up a tariff; they tried to ma6e the patent law handle the tariff 
situation, and in the taxes on patents they were trjdng to make the 
patent law handle a revenue situation. In both of those cases they 
subtracted from the patent monopoly. Now, what is the effect 
from a practical standpoint on this? It seems to me the effect is this: 
that you have so many restrictions on the patent that when you try 
to make the patent take care of the tariffs and take care of revenue 
you reduce the incentive to invention and you reduce the research 
that is done. I don't think that we can find in the European coun- 
tries anything like the amount of research that goes on in this country, 
with perhaps the possible exception of the German chemical industry. 
There is nothing like the amount of research being done. 

Representative Sumners. In the Enghsh pohcy they recognize 
the right of the patentee to a monopofy, insofar as domestic pohcy 
is concerned, as I understand the testimony, but do not permit him 
to use that power of monopoly to abuse and hurt the public interest. 


Mr. Langner. Well, the words" public interest" isn't the expression: 
"abuse the monopoly rights" is the word. 

Representative Sumners. But they give him a monopoly. The 
purpose of a patent as recognized insofar as domestic poUcy is to 
give him the monopoly. 

Mr. Langner. Yes. 

Representative Sumners. But the right and power which the 
government gives to the patentee may not be used oppressively insofar 
as the general public of Great Britain is concerned. Is that about the 

Mr. Langner. Well, it depends on what you mean by the word 
"oppressively." That has so many- interpretations. 

Representative Sumners. Sell it for an extortionate price. Would 
that get it down somewhat more narrowty? 

Mr. Langner. There are no decisions'on the subject. There has 
never been a case. 

Representative Sumners. Can you give us some idea as to their 
philosophy, what motivates their policy? If you will pardon me, we 
understated that insofar as the major policy, the major motive, if I 
may use that expression, resulting in compulsory Ucense is to prevent 
somebody froni the outside coming in and taking the business. Maybe 
you wouldn't like to say that, but I express it that way. 

Mr. Langner. Yes. 

Representative Sumners. Now, then, as among Britishers is it the 
policy to grant as an incentive to the inventive genius, a patent, 
which patent shall be the right to the exclusive use and privOege of 
producing that article, but they mustn't go so far as to, as we say in 
America, hold up the public? 

Mr. Langner. Well, sir, when you speak of charging extortionate 
prices or any of these pther features, as I have said before, it is 
difficult to answer you because we have had only three court decisions, 
but I want you to bear in mind that the fact that we have had only 
three court decisions is a very significant fact. If it had been con- 
sidered by British lawyers that they would have been able to get a 
compulsory license on the ground that the price that was being 
charged was too high, I think you would have found far more cases 
than you have found in 19 years. In other words, I cursorily think 
that that would not be an abuse of the monopoly, the mere fadt that 
you were charging a high price, because, after all, that is the way 
you are getting your reward from your invention; if you charge too 
nigh the public won't buy from you, and therefore you get your own 
punishment without a compulsory license. 

Representative Sumners. But wouldn't you make the policy work 
at cross-purposes by driving the British buyer to a foreign market to 
get his conmiodity? I don't want to argue, I am just trying to get 
the picture in my own mind, and I assume my colleagues here would Hke 
to have it. Here we have a situation where something is said about 
compulsory license, and the only definite explanation we have is that 
the purpose of that law is to prevent somebody frona beyond the 
realm getting the money. But is there no domestic policy, no policy 
that is of concern to those who fix its public policy and who grant 
the right of exclusive use to prevent an abusive exercise, if I may use 
that expression, and I use the word "abusive exercise" in charging 
what would be far more than a fair profit in manufacturing? Is there 
any policy? 


Mr, Langner. No, sir; I think there is no such poUcy. I think 
that if somebody went to an EngUsh lawyer and said, "Do you think 
we could get compulsory license under those conditions?" the English 
lawyer would say "No." 

Representative Sumners. Let me state it again. You have some 
general policy against monopoly in England, 1 suppose. Do you or 

Mr. Langner. That is corresponding to your antitrust laws? 

Representative Sumners. Yes. 

Mr. Langner. Yes. 

Representative Sumners. "Would you be able to go into an English 
court — let me state it this way: If you went into an English court, 
alleging the fact which would constitute an abuse of what we call our 
antitrust laws in. this country, would the defense be good that the 
goods were being manufactured and sold by a licensee of the patent? 
I think that is about as clearly as I can put it. 

Mr. Langner. I really couldn't answer that question. 

The Chairman. 'Can you give any exaniple of a ease in which you 
as an expert in patent law would be willing to advise a client who 
came to your office that you could secure for him or that you would 
be willing -to prosecute for him a case under the compulsory licensing 
law upon the ground of an abuse? 

Mr. Langner! I would have very great difficulty in advising him 
except in the case where the goods were being manufactured abroad. 

The Chairman. In other words, so far as your opinion goes, the 
compulsory licensing law in England does not set up any abuse that 
the 'controller or the courts would recognize except in the case Where 
the goods are being manufactured abroad and there is no British 

Mr. Langner. No, sir; I didn't say that, I simply said that the 
decisions that we have had to date under that law as to what consti- 
tutes an abuse of monopoly all indicate that the controller only con- 
siders these foreign abuses; when I say controller, the controller and 
the court, only considers that and he has thrown out every other. 

The Chairman. That was quite clear. We understand there have 
been very few decisions, but what I am trying to ask you is: Can 
you give us your opinion as to what would constitute an abuse which 
ought to be recognized by the court, under the present state of British 

Mr, Langner, No; I could not give an opinion on that. It would 
be purely hypothetical. There are conditions that are complained 
of in this country in relation to pooling of patents that would come 
under antitrust legislation in this country that might conceivably 
lead to somebody saying, "Here is something going on and we want 
a compulsory hcense to cure it," but that has not happened. It 
might. I couldn't tell you how you would get off under the British 
law under those conditions. 

The Chairman. You as an expert in international patent law 
cannot now think of an abuse which m your opinion would be cogni- 
zable by the courts under this law in Great Britain. 

Mr. Langner. I would have difficulty m thinking of such an abuse. 

The Chairman. We are fortunate this afternoon in having with 
us the chairman of the Senate Committee on Patents, Senator Bone 
of Washington. He has just indicated to me that he would like to 
ask a question. 


Senator Bone. Our own court has banned unreasonable competition 
in restraint of trade. Is there any parallel between that judicial con- 
cept and the attitude of British courts toward the problem you 

Mr. Langner. I am not familiar with the British legislation corre- 
sponding to our antitrust legislation. 

Senator Bone. Our court has referred to unreasonable restraint. 
I wonder if there would be any connection in the international ap- 
proach to this problem. 

Mr. Langner. If I may explain my point of view in regard to this 
situation, I believe that the English sj^stem has gone wrong in the 
sense that it punishes the patent owner for what I might call a tariff 
offense, if you like, by subtracting from liis monopoly. I think that 
it has gone wrong in putting taxes on it. I think in this country 
that we should not subtract from the patent monopoly for an anti- 
trust offense. I think if patents in this country are being used for 
unreasonable restraint of trade, that the remedy lies not in breaking 
down the patent monopoly, not in reducing the incentive to inven- 
tion, but in strengthening your antitrust laws to prevent the unrea- 
sonable use of patents, if I may express myself that way. My experi- 
ence with the European practice leads me to say, don't punish a man 
under the patent law for offenses that he commits under the anti- 
trust law. 

Senator Bone. Do you think that the ultimate price of an article 
to the general public ought to furnish some standard of whether or 
not it is a reasonable exercise of the patent monopoly, because after 
all isn't that the suprem.e test what the general consumer public have 
to pay for an article? 

Mr. Langner, Not always, sir. If I may say this to you, millions 
of dollars, as has come out here today, are gambled on m invention/. 
That produces a new article, let us say, which is sold to the public 
that has to return not only the investment but in order that the 
risk is worthwhile it has to return a little more than that in order 
to keep the profit incentive. Now if you are going to say that the 
price at which it is sold to the pubhc is the only thmg that has to be 
considered I would say yes, plus something that makes that gamble 
worthwhile for the inventor, and for the people back of the inventor, 
and the public does not actually have to buy that invention neces- 
sarily. It is in very few fields that the invented device is the only 
device in that field. Probably the mvented device is a better device, 
that is it is nice, it is more ingenious, it is cleverer, and you are usually 
willing, in order to get the latest thing, to pay a httle more for it, 
so for that reason, sir, I don't entirely agree with your idea. 

Senator Bone. I am not suggesting that as a remedy. I am merely 
inquiring to explore this field. 

I wanted to ask you another question, suggested by one of your 
answers. Assume that there is a British patentee and another citizen 
of Britain apphes for the use of that patent, it being a purely domestic 
patent, does your compulsory licensmg system over there permit one 
citizen to apply for the use of the patent of another citizen of Great 

Mr. Langner. Yes, sir; it does. , x ^ 

Senator Bone. Precisely as they would apply for the use of a patent 
of a German? 


Mr, Langner. Yes; it does, but in these 18 years only three have 
done so, and of those three not one was given a license. That is what 
I was trying to explain. 

Senator Bone. That must be a very vague thing if lawyers cannot 
understand it any better than that. 

Mr. Langner. It is surrounded by so much protection for the 
patentee and the judges are always so loath to let someone come in 
under it, and as I explained to you, I have given you the three cases 
in detail and my feeling about the situation of what you can learn 
from it is that we have a system here which is the greatest stimulator 
of invention in the whole world. The reason that it is the greatest 
stimulus for invention is because it is an unconditional monopoly. 
Now, if people take tliis wonderful patent that we give them and by 
conspiring together, by schemes and plots, they do something with 
that that they should not do, make that the wrong thing, make that 
the thing that you do. Don't subtract from the patent itself. It is 
like this, which is a good illustration. Supposing I have developed a 
fine shovel, and you buy it from me and then you use it to hit some- 
body with. Now don't make a law which says that every shovel shall 
have a hinge in it so that when you aim it to hit somebody the shovel 
will have a bad aim. Just make a law that does not allow a wrong 
use of it. Now that is the way I feel about compulsory licensees. 

Senator Bone. I have one more question. Does the official in 
Britain whose duties roughly correspond to those of our Commissioner 
of Patents, have a continuing jurisdiction where the use of a patent 
is granted to an applicant? That is to say, can he from time to time 
change the royalties dependent upon mass production, consumption 
upward, and what not, or is his order with respect to the royalties res 
adjudicata, so to speak? 

Mr. Langner. No, sir; I think that is always subject to change, 
and I would like to explain one other feature to you and that is under 
the British law if you want to avoid paying half these taxes, we have 
a curious provision which is not very often used, and that is a patentee 
may go into the patent ojffice and write on his patent "License of right." 
Now, if he writes "License of right" on his patent he only has to pay 
half the taxes, and that means that anybody can get a license. 
Well, how does the thing work out, practically? Practically, no pat- 
ent lawyer in England ever — there may be one or two concerns in 
England that ever advised their clients to do such a foolish thing. I 
have right here with me a case where — I will tell you about it; I do 
not need to refer to it — an application was made to strike out the words 
"License of right" from the British patent and the reason they gave 
was this. Somebody was willing to back this invention but they 
would not put the money up to put up a factory unless that license of 
right was stricken off the patent. Somebody opposed it, and the 
British controller held that the words should be stricken off because 
that was the only way they could get this money invested behind the 

Wliich goes to prove what I have been saying to you, that if you 
want to get people to invest in a patent, give them an absolute monop- 
oly and make them behave afterwards. 

The Ch.\irman. Commissioner Lubin, do you want to ask a 


Dr. LuBiN. I was very much interested in these three cases that 
you cite. Am I correct in assuming that these were three cases that 
came before the courts and adjudicated? 

Mr. Langner. Yes. 

Dr. LuBiN. Now is there any record of any decisions madfr by the 
controller relative to applications for compulsory licenses where he 
has ruled in favor of the applicant and the person who owned the 
patent had not appealed to the courts? 

Mr. Langner. In certain of those decisions no appeal was made to 
the court but not in the cases where it was one British concern against 
another concern. They were mostly cases of foreign manufacture. 

Senator Bone. In other words, there were no instances where people 
have made application for compulsory hcense and had the apphcation 
granted that have not been appealed to the courts? 

Mr. Langner. No instances where one British firm asked for a 
license from another British firm. There were only three cases, and 
they all went up to the courts. 

Senator Bone. In your opinion, does the fact that you have a com- 
pulsory hcense system in Great Britain lead manufacturers to grant 
licenses more freely because of the fact that then after this they do 
not — the case may go to the controller and eventually to the courts 
and they might have to grant a patent? 

Mr. Langner. I think it has a certain bad effect. I think that 
when a man who has an invention is approached, he feels that if he 
does not give the license — and it may be to a very big company that 
wants the hcense — he is always afraid that if he does not give it to 
them very cheaply he may be hauled up to Court. On the other hand, 
as time goes on we are beginning to see more and more that this law 
is a dead letter, which is perhaps raising the courage of the individual 
small manufacturer. 

But it is a cloud on the title; that is, it does make the man afraid, 
especially the httle man, that he is going to be hauled through expen- 
sive htigation if he doesn't give a hcense. 

Dr. LuBiN. Of course, it may also have the effect of having a big 
man give a little man a license if he knows the little man can force 
the fight. 

Mr. Langner. Yes; but the little man isn't in such a good position 
to fight. 

Dr. LuBiN. I was very much interested in your approach to the 
problem of licenses and patents as a device for solving problems that 
should be solved in other ways. You mentioned the case of the 
Sherman Act and using patents for revenue purposes and things of 
that sort, and you recommended that in the event of the abuse, let's 
say, of our monopoly laws, we should approach the problem not through 
the patent end but through the Sherman Act end. We have heard a 
lot here in recent weeks about people taldng out patents apparently 
for the purpose of keeping somebody else from improving another 
patent. The term used was "fencing in," people making an improve- 
ment on an existing patent which they didn't own, taking out a patent 
to prevent the competitor from improving his own patent. 

There you don't have collusion in the sense you describe it. Is 
there any way of approaching that problem through any device other 
than the patent law? 


Mr. Langner. Well, sir, it seems to me that if it is an unfair trade 
practice you have laws that deal with unfair trade practices. It 
isn't the fact of inventing and taking out a patent that is the wrong, 
it is the fact that it is then used to hurt a competitor, which is the 
way the patent is used, not the patent itself. 

Dr. LuBiN. Well, it is the absence of use of the patent. 

Mr. Langner. Yes; and I think that it might come under the 
general classification of an unfair trade practice. 

Dr. LuBiN. Do you feel that foreign corporations come here to 
take out patents in order to prevent American manufacturers from 
using certain devices and methods? 

Mr. Langner. I think there may be a certain amount of that in 
the chemical industry, but you would have to practically go into 
each individual substance, because as you know, the chemical in-, 
dustry has so many ramifications that very often a substance is 
produced in Germany because Germany is the most economic place 
for that particular substance to be produced, ^ and by tariffs we can, 
generally speaking, force the bringing in of industries where, if the 
price is too hi^h, American goods will compete. 

Dr. LuBiN. One more question, if I might ask it. I was very 
much interested in what you said about the place of invention in 
American life, particularly as it affects the standard of living of the 
American people, and more particularly the part that our patent 
laws play in stimulating invention in America. You have said that 
people have come here because of our patent laws and developed 
new inventions^ and the American has been more ingenious in part 
because of patents. 

I don't think there is any denying the fact, but how important do 
you think that factor is as compared with the fact that the American 
standard of living, the American attitude toward life, is such that if 
you do invent something, you can sell it? You talked about the 
electrical refrigerator, air cooling of cars; the fact that we have an 
installment system, we have an advertising system that stimulates 
demand — isn't that much more important than the fact that you 
can get a patent on a product you have? After all, with a poorer 
patent system you still would have the stimulus to do things here 
that you don't do in other countries because you know you can make 
money by it, whereas in other countries the standard of living is 
such that there is no incentive for doing it. 

Mr. Langner. It is like "Which came first, the chicken or the 
egg?" I claim the standard oi living in this country is such because 
of the patent system and inventions. Through our mass-machinery 
methods and so on we have been able to pay our workers much higher 
than other countries and to hold up that price in world markets with 
our goods, therefore, I say that it is, "Which comes first?" 

N ow, following that comes the fact that we have the money to 
buy these things from our inventors. 

Dr. LuBiN. The same inventions, the same technics, the same 
machines, aie available in other countries. Despite their patent 
system, people can use our methods. 

Mr. Langner. And they usually do, 7 or 8 or 9 years afterward, 
but they don't originate them. It is much easier to sell an American 
invention in Europe than it is to sell a European invention. I will 
tell you why that is: Because when an Englishman comes to an 


English firm with an invention it is usually just an idea, but when 
an American goes over there he has 2 or 3 years of development work 
behind it, and the EngHsh company doesn't hg^ve to spend ail that 
money on development work. 

The Chairman, We had some testimony here at one of the earlier 
sessions, Mr. Langner, which indicated that in one industry, at least, 
there was an uitemational agreement of cross-licenses which was in 
effect being used as a substitute for the tariff, not as a revenue-produc- 
ing measure but as a measure for excluding the products of another 
country.^ The testimony had to do with the. glass industry, and we 
were told of an agreernent between certain manufacturers in Italy and 
certain manufactures in the United States by which the exportation of 
ItaUan manufactures into the United States was limited.^ In your 
experience, as an international patent lawyer, have you had any 
examples of that kind? 

Mr. Langner. That is very common, sir, in the sense that most 
Americans who license abroad don't want those goods shipped into 
the United States. Now we have quite complicated license agree- 
ments; for instance, I have just been looking at one recently in con- 
nection with airplanes. An airplane must be free to fly in every other 
country. The same is true of automobiles. They must be free to 
travel in other countries, so they have to work out a system of licensing 
by which they license to manufacture in one country, but to use them 
in all countries. 

The Chairman. In other words, by our American patent system we 
have developed an arrangement, a condition, under which the holder 
of a 17-year monopoly from the United States Government, that is to 
say from the people of the United States, may issue a license to a 
foreign manufacturer to use that device, that patent, for the manu- 
facture of the device in a foreign country, provided he doesn't export 
it to the United States. 

Mr. Langner. That is, the American patent system itself does that. 
You see, although he has given him the right, under the Itahan patent, 
to manufacture and sell in Italy, the moment that device comes into 
the United States it becomes an infringement of the American patent, 
if it is a patented device. If it is an unpatented device, it is not an 

The Chairman. But if it is the same device, licensee A has a patent. 
He grants a license to B, an inhabitant of Italy, let us say, or an 
Italian corporation, to manufacture this device, which is covered by 
his patent. 

Mr. Langner. In the United States. 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Now, is that same device, manufactured under that hcense which 
is issued by virtue of the American patent, an infringement of the 
patent which brought it into existence? 

Mr. Langner. That license could never have been issued under the 
American patent, because the American patent doesn't extend to Italy. 
It must have been issued under the Italian patent, and the moment 
those goods, if they are patented, leave Italy and come into the 
United States, they constitute an mfrmgement of the United States 

1 See Hearings, Part II, p. 660 et seq. 
124491— 39— pt. 3 14 


. The Chairman, ^o that if manufacturer A in the United States, 
holding American patents, enters into an arrangement with manufac- 
turer B in Italy, who has an Itahan patent for a siniilar, if not an 
identical device, and they agree with one another under a cross- 
licensing system to control exportation between the two countries, 
what, in your opinion, is the effect of that upon industry and employ- 
ment and economic conditions generally? 

Mr. Langner. Well, it might be that under those conditions a 
much more cheaply made European article would be imported into 
the United States, and there I would say the tariff would be the thing 
that should take care of it. 

It might be, on the other hand, that if the situation were reversed, 
a great many American-made bottles would go into Italy, wliich would 
increase employm.ent in this country. It would depend, it seems to 
me, on the way that thing was worked out in practice, but I feel a 
tariff can always correct that particular evil and should be adminis- 
tered to correct it. 

The Chairman. You spoke of cross-licensing systems in the air- 
plane industry. Can you think of any other industry? You said it 
was rather a comm.on practice. 

Mr. Langner. I wasn't speaking of cross-licensing. I was speaking 
of the fact that it was com.mon practice in the airplane and automotive 
industries to limit the right of manufacture, but to allow the goods to 
be moved freely into other patented territory without infringing 

The Chairman. That is rather a liberalization than a restriction. 

Mr. Langner. Yes; it is. 

The Chairman. I was thinking of restrictions. Do you know of 
any restrictions? 

Mr. Langner. Do you mean in international agreements? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Langner. No; I don't, not any that I can recall offhand. 
Practically every agreement that we draft that deals with licensing 
limits the patent to the country — that is, the use of the invention to 
the country — in which the patent exists. 

Senator Bone. Assuming and conceding the propriety and justice 
of giving the patentee the rights he has enjoyed under our patent laws, 
it is very evident that he couldn't realize anything out of his control 
of a patfent unless the people bought it. He wouldn't even dare 
gamble, and therefore the public generally has a stake in that patent 
as much as the owner and holder of a patent, for without their patron- 
age his patent wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on. 

Approaching it with that viewpoint, which immediately thrusts 
into this picture the question of public interest 

Mr. Langner. I will tell you my idea about it. The way prices are 
brought down is by competition, bj'^ free competition, competition of 
inventions, one against another. You have heard testimony here 
about liow that works out. Price raising under patents can only 
take place, in my opinion, that is general price raising, where, for 
some reason or other, the competitive system no longer exists, and I 
think that invariably you can divide such types of price raising under 
two groups: No. 1, the case wliere price raising is done, maintenance 
of pricing, under a perfectly valid patent, a very- good patent ; and the 
other case where perhaps it is done under a patent that isn't valid, 


I think that if price maintenance is made under a perfectly valid 
patent you are going to suffer for 17 years somewhat of the incon- 
venience of having to pay more for that article than you would have if 
there were free competition, hut in return for tjiat you liave obtained 
from the inventor this tremendous investment in energy, in individual- 
ism, which after all we are trying to continue under our system of 
government, you have this thing that encourages people to put up the 
money, and under those conditions my feeling is that if it is a good 
patent and a good invention, that man should be alkwed to charge 
perhaps more than he would With competition. Howe^ ^r, if there are 
systems set up whereby a number of people get t( c^ether under 
patents that are ambiguous or not what they should be,^patents that 
there is so much question as to the validity of, and make agreements 
that they are all going to sell the articles at their own price, you have 
your remedy under the antitrust laws. 

Senator Bone. If you concede the right of the owner, the holder of 
a patent to retain in all its purities the monopoly the law gives him, it 
seems to me your antitrust laws are nullified to that extent. I 
practiced law all my life, and I can't follow those two thoughts in their 
parallel columns and reconcile them, because if the law on the one 
hand gives a man a monopoly right, T-want to be realistic e.nough 
that we mi^ht as well throw the antitri^ ' laws out of the ,w'"ndow 
if we are going to recognize the right of a lAen to do what he p. "^ases 
with his patent. This is not an argument; it is one of the reL5ons 
why this inquiry is being conducted. 

Mr. Langner. My reply to that is this: That where we have 
decided, that is, the framers of the Constitution in their wisdom 
decided, that in order to encourage invention and the promotion of 
the useful arts and industries, that there should be this monopoly for 
17 years in order that after that the pubhc might have it for perpetuity, 
that Is the bargain, and it seems to me that you don't have to throw 
your antitrust laws in the wastepaper basket at all. That monopoly 
is all right. That is where that man is going to get his reward. 
There is nothmg the matter with that. 

The Chairman. Wouldn't it be proper, if I may interrupt you, to 
say that the patent monopoly does not arise by virtue of — I don't 
want to use the word "virtue" — a combination or conspiracy, which 
is the thing the antitrust law prohibits? 

Mr. Langner. That is exactly it, and if patent monopolies are 
used as part of a conspiracy, that is another matter entirely. 

The Chairman. The antitrust law would apply in the case where a 
patent was the basis of a conspiracy or a combination in restraint of 
trade, and there is nothing in the patent law that prevents the opera- 
tion of the antitrust law in such a case, that I know of. 

Senator Bone. One would not have to conspire where he has the 
whole thing in both of his hands? No. 

Mr. Langner. Then I say he has not committed a wrong. 

The Ch.'^.irman. As the witness has stated, and if I understand his 
position, it certainly is mine, it is decidedly in the public interest to 
hold out to inventive genius the certainty, as far as our patent laws 
go, that that genius will be rewarded by a complete monopoly for a 
limited period of years, in order that we may get the benefit of every 
invention that may possibly be devised, but at the same time it 
seems to be, I think, general agreement, certainly among the wit- 


nesses who have appeared to date, that no device should be permitted 
to extend unduly the period of the monopoly, and that is the reason 
why the Commissioner of Patents has recommended that there should 
be a specific hmitation to 20 years, and that devices which are used 
for the purpose of extending monopoly are not in the public interest. 

Senator Bone. You heard Mr. Coe's testimony, where so many of 
these things have been projected over 40 years. ^ Would you consider 
that an abuse of the patent laws? 

Mr. Langner. Very definitely, and it is not possible for that to 
happen in foreign countries. 

Senator Bone. Evidently there has been some laxity in this country, 
in that respect, under our statutes. 

Mr. Langner. No, I do not think it is laxity; I think it is due to 
the fact that in our great desire to preserve the rights for the inventor 
we have allowed complicated procedures of interference to grow up, 
but in the 25 years since I have been in this country it has been get- 
ting better all the time. Mr. Coe has done a wonderful work in 
getting patents out of the Patent Office much quicker than used to 
be the case and wdiat was common practice when I first came to this 
country, 25 years ago is the exception to the rule today. I thinlv I 
am correct in stating that. 

Senator Bone. I am assimiing of course that whatever the cause of 
this it must rest ultimately on the wording of the statute, attributed 
to Mr. Coe and his Department, but to the wording of the statute 
which permits that sort of thing to continue, if it be a wrong. There- 
fore our inquiry, it seems to me, might legitimately be directed to- 
ward the wording of the statute so if there be abuses we can correct 
it so the courts could not authorize or permit or seem to countenance 
that sort of tiling. My own questions are not intended to indicate 
my own state of mind; I want information about this business, but 
I suspect that our beloved ancestors in this countiy could hardly have 
contemplated this technological age in which we live and envisioned 
the possibilities of monopoly and abuses none of which I assert here, 
but obviously they are here or we would not be having this inquiry. 
But they could not possibly have envisioned the tremendous growth 
in our industrial life, the use of machinery, the scientific achieve- 
ments and gadgets of this age, else probably they might have had 
somewhat a different slant to it. 

Mr. Langner. I think they thought very clearly on one point, and 
that was they thought very clearly on the fundamental idea of how 
you should encourage an invention, and I think, they thought much 
better than most of the people who had to do with the formulation 
of the European patent systems. I think that is evidenced by the 
results and those results are due to those men who thought out the 
Constitution and their ideas were good. 

Senator Bone. Have you contemplated the drafting of any sug- 
gested amendments to the act? 

The Chairman. Mr. Langner was invited here, Senator, to com- 
ment upon the foreign laws and not so much to make suggestions with 
respect to our own. 

Are there any other questions, Mr. Dienner? 

Mr. Dienner. No, Senator. 

> Supra, p. 853. 


The Chairman. Any other questions by members of the committee? 
Do you care to state now who will be your witness tomorrow morning? 

Mr. DiENNER. We shall put Mr. Carlton, C. C. Carlton, on the 
stand. He is an automobile parts manufacturer and will present the 
picture, typical picture, of that industry. Then we hope to have 
further Mr. Baekeland, who will present the picture of plastics, the 
plastics industry. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Dienner. ?vlr. Langner, the 
committee is very much indebted to you for your testimony this 
afternoon. Wo thank you for appearing here. The committee 
stands in recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. 

(Whereupon, at 4:4o p. m., a recess was taken until 10 a. m. Friday, 
January 20. 1939.) 



l"iNiTED States Senate, 
Tempoiiahy National Economic Committee, 

Washington, D. C. 

The Temporar}- National Economic Committee met pursuant to 
pursuant to adjournment yesterday, at 10:30 a. m. in the Caucus 
room of the Senate Office Building, Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney 

Present: Senators O'Mahoney (chairman), and King; Repre- 
sentative Keecc; Messrs. Patterson, Peoples, Thorp, and Coe. 

Present also: Senator Homer T. Bone of Washington chairman of the 
Senate Patents Committee. Counsel: John A. Di<>rmer, special coun- 
sel for committee; CJeorge Ramsey of New York, assistant to Mr. 
Dienner; Justin W. Macklin, First Assistant Commissioner of Patents; 
and Henry Van Arsdale, Assistant Commissioner of Patents. 

The Chaikman. The committee will please come to order, 

united states patents held by foreigners and foreign patents 
held by americans 

The Chairman. When Commissioner Coe was on the stand a few 
days ago, at the oj)ening of this phase of the hearing, he was asked 
by Di . Liihin and I think some of tl>e other members if he would be 
good enough to compile some figures from the Patent Office on the 
number of patents held by foreigners. The Connnissioner indicates 
that he is now ready to jH'esent that material, and if 3^ou will be good 
enough to wait just a moment, Mr. Dienner, I thhik we will ask the 
Commissioner to put that material in the record now. 

Mr. CoE. Mr. Chairman, as indicated, interest has been expressed 
by members of the committee in the number of patents this country 
grants to citizens or residents of foreign countries. In order to answer 
the question, as well as others which might arise, I would like to 
introduce several tables into the record. 

The first table shows the number of patents granted by the United 
States to residents of foreign countries for the 8 years 1930 to 1937. 
The annual averages are also given. Looking at the last column it is 
seen that out of the average number of 48,697 patents that we grant 
each year, 6,421, or 13.2 percent, are granted to residents of foreign 
countries. Just to mention a few of these countries— 2,375, or 4.8 
percent of our total, are granted to residents of Germany; 1,273, or 
2.6 percent of our total, are granted to residents of England; 632, or 
1.3 percent, to residents of France; 493, or 1 percent, to residents of 


Canada; and other countries receive a smaller nimiber of patents. 
These are all set out at length in the table. 

(The table referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 210" and is in- 
cluded in the appendix on p. 1150.) 

Mr. CoE. The second table shows the number of patents which 
are granted by some foreign countries to citizens or residents of the 
United States. Figures are not avilable for all countries and only 
11 are given m this table. As seen from the last or average column, 
Canada grants 6,161 patents to United States citizens. 1'his is 06.5 
percent of all patents granted in Canada. England grants, on an 
average, 2,685 patents to Americans, which is 14.6 percent of their 
total patents granted. France grants 1,540 patents, or 7.7 percent, 
and Germany 1,355, or 6.6 percent of their total. The other coun- 
tries grant a smaller number of patents to Americans. 

(The table referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 211" and is in- 
cluded in the appendLx on p. 1151.) 

Mr. CoE. The third table is merely a balance sheet listing in parallel 
columns the patents granted by a particular country to Americans 
and the patents granted by the United States to residents of that 
countiy . The differences between these two figures are stated and 
from these it is seen that Americans receive more patents in foreign 
countries than those countries receive from the United States, except 
in the case of Switzerland and Germany. Germans receive 2,375 
patents in this country and Americans receive 1,355 patents in 
Germany per year. - 

(The table referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 212" and is- 
included in the appendix on p. 1151.) 

Mr. CoE. The fourth table is a list of the number of patents granted 
by a number of foreign countries (those which grant over 1,000 patents 
per year). These figures are annual averages for the 8-year period' 
1930 to 1937. This table also indicates the number of patents which 
some countries grant to foreigners. Thus, Germany grants 20,621 
patents per year and of these 5,327, or 25.8 percent, are granted to 
foreigners. France grants about half of its patents to foreigners. 
Great Britain grants shghtly more than half of its patents to foreigners; 
Italy, 63.8 percent. Canada grants a very high proportion of its 
patents to foreigners, namely 90.3 percent. A few other countries 
are noted on this table. 

(The table referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 213" and is 
included m the appendix on p. 1152.) 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Commissioner, 

Are you ready to proceed, Mr. Dienner? 

Mr. Dienner. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman. We are now ready to call 
Mr. Carlton, Mr. Carlton, will you please be sworn? 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are 
about to give in this proceeding will be the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Carlton. I do. 



Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Carlton, please state your full name and your 
business connections. 

Mr. Carlton. My name is Clarence C. Carlton. I am vice presi- 
dent and secretary of the Motor Wheel Corporation at Lansing, Mich. 
I am president of the Automotive Parts and Equipment Manufac- 
turers Association, a trade association representing a large part of that 
industry. For 27 years I have been engaged as an official connected 
with the parts industry. During that time it has been my duty to 
supervise patents, their securing, prosecution, and management, and 
I have also been connected with sales practically all of that time. 

The Motor Wheel Corporation is a manufacturer of wheels and 
automotive stampings. Wheels, as we talk about wheels, consist of the 
wheel itself, which you demount from your automobile, which consists 
of a rim and, at the present moment, a disk; the attaching parts that 
hold it onto the hub ; the hub with its bearing liners inserted therein, 
and the brake drum attached thereto permanentl3^ So that a set of 
wheels consists of two front hubs, with brake drums attached; two 
rear hubs with brake drums attached; bearing Imers are pressed in 
ready for the bearings, which are attached to the axle shaft; the wheel 
with its rim attached permanently; and the attaching parts, either 
cap screws or bolts and nuts to hold them on. 

So when I mention wheels hereafter, I shall also consider that 
wheels mean all of those things that we are talking about. 

At the beginning of the National Industrial Recovery Act it became 
necessary, almost, for industry to get together and find out who they 
were, and this mdustry didn't know much about itself, and so a meet- 
ing of the leaders of the industry was called and we found that we 
didn't know the members of our industry, how many of us there were 
or who we were or where we were located, and this organization known 
as the Automotive Parts and Equipment Manufacturers Association 
was organized in 1933, and I was selected as the executive vice 
president of that association, and Mr. Charles Davis, president 
of the Borg- Warner Corporation of Chicago, became its first president 
and I succeeded him a year later as president and have been ever 
since, the president of that association. 

The Chairman. What do you call the association? 


Mt. Carlton. The Autofhotive Parts and Equipment Manufac- 
turers Association. The word equipment gets into the name because 
of the manufacture of shop equipment and service tools that go along 
with the automobile. 

Mr. Patterson. Can you name just four of the companies that are 
in the association so I have them clear in my mind, three or four of 
the outstanding companies? 

Senator King. While you are giving that, will you give us the 
number of organizations that are members of the association, if you 

lO^Q c(>X(i:ntuati()N oiM':(;ono.mi(' powkk 

Mr. Cakltox. Yes; we have 375 member plants at the present 
time who employ 200,000 employees. I can ^ive you some of the 
leading mxmes of the people in just one moment. Possibly the best 
way to answer your question, Air. Patterson, would be to give the 
names of tlie board of directors because those people would probably 
be representative, inasmuch as they are elected by the membership 
at large. The board of directors consist of Mr. C. S. Davis, president 
of the Borg- Warner Corporation of Chicago; Mr M. C. DeVitt, 
vice president of the Champion Spark I^iug Co., of Toledo; Mr. i uiL'h 
Weed, Carter Carbtire tor Co., of St. Louis; Mr. C. E. ^\ils()^., vice 
president of the General Motors Corf)oraiicrn, Detroit. Mr. I). W 
Rodger, vice president of the Federal-Mogul Corj)ornti(in, of Detroit; 
Mr. C". C. Bradford, president of the Baton Products Co., of Cleveland ; 
Mr? Dan Kelly, vice president of the Electric Autolite Co., of Toledo; 
Mr. E.F. Deacon, president of the Climax Engineering Co., of Chicago; 
Mr. J. E. Otis, Jr., president, Stewart-AVarner Co., of Chicago; Mr. 
J. P. Mahoney, vice president of the Bendix Corporation, South Bend, 
Ind.; Mr. Charles Getler, president of the IToudaille-irershey Corpo- 
ration, Detroit; Mr. F. C. Crawford, president, Thompson Products 
Co., Cleveland; Mr. E. A. Hall, president of the Hall NIanufactuiing 
Co., of Toledo. 

Mr. Patterson. Thank you; that satisfies me as to your quali- 

Mr. Carlton. The parts industry, of which I shall speak today, 
consists of three main divisions, the original equipment division, 
whose products are sold to the manufacturers of automobiles; the 
replacement parts division, whose products, a re sold either as service 
parts or replacement parts for J,hose parts of an automobile which 
wear out; and the accessory division, which manufactures convenient 
gadgets which the car owner-purc4iases after he has bought his auto- 
mobile, which add to his convenience and comfort. 

I will not discuss at all the shop equipment and service tools divi- 
sion, an^d so we will discuss really the automobile parts division rather 
than referring to the equipnient division today. 

The function of this association of which I am president is to collect 
statistics on employment, wage rates, and sales, and make all of these 
statistics available to all members of the association in every possible 
division and classification. We^• maintain a legal department. We 
advise our members on all types V>f national and State legislation 
aflecting our industry, and we maintain a labor relations department. 
We have no. business and no connection whatever with sales or costs 
or selNng prices. 

I am not authorized officially to speak for this association, and 
naturally I am not authorized to speak for any other company than 
my own. But 1 feel that after 27 years in the industry and having 
been president and executive vice president of the association for 6 
or 7 years, I do have a very intimate knowledge of what is going on 
in the association, and at a very recent meeting the entire subject 
of patents and their relations to this industry was discussed very 
fully, and I was very happy to find that my personal ideas coincided 
fully with the ideas of all of the members of the industry. 

I might say, therefore, that I am sort of an unoUicial representative 
of this association here today, with their full knowledge and consent. 

The 375 members of this association are located in 23 States of the 
Union and in 139 cities. If a circle is drawn with its center in Detroit, 

ooncp:ntration of economic power 1Q47 

Mich., a circle 600 miles in diameter, 73.6 percent of the number of 
manufacturers in this mdustry and 97.7 percent of the employees of 
the industry are located within that radius. 

Senator King. Which would be the outer rim w'esfw\ard, beyond 
Chicago, of course? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes; it extends beyond Buffalo, beyond Pittsburgh, 
beyond Chicago, beyond Milwaukee, north of Lansing, Ivlich., south 
of Cincinnati. 

The majority of the members of this association, of these 375 
members, employ less than 100 employees. We represent employers 
of as few as five and we represent employers with as many as 10,000 

You would be interested to know that in the election of the board of 
directors for each $100,000 of sales, or fraction thereof, a member 
has one vote. Those votes are audited by Ernst & Ernst, and it is 
interesting that every year since the association was organized, if each 
member had had just one vote regardless of size, the result of the 
election would have been exactly the same. I mention that in order 
to show you that there has been a perfect unanimity of opinion and 
that no large group of employers, or no large manufacturer or group 
of manufacturers, is in any way dominating this industry. 

The last available sales figures for this association are as of June 
30, 1937. The figures reported at that time to this association showed 
sales of $800,000,000 by the members of this association. I wouldn't 
have you believe that all manufacturers of automotive parts belong 
to this association, because there are at least as many more who do not 
belong to the association as those who belong. Those who do not 
belong, however, are practically all replacement parts manufacturers 
who depend for their business upon going through catalogs and deter- 
mining what parts of the three leading automobiles wear out first, 
and duplicating those parts and selling them -to garages and service 
stations as replacement parts. 

Senator King. Have you any figures showing the proportion of 
sales made by this second organization, the proportion of the eight 
hundred million? 

Mr. Carlton. That eight hundred million are the sales of this 
particular association, Senator King. 

Senator King, \^^lat are the sales of the other organization? 

Mr. Carlton. I can only guess at that. Duruig the N. R. A. 
days we tried to estimate the sales of the entire industry, and we felt 
sure that it- was a billion dollar industry, and therefore, I believe that 
it is possible that the sales of those members of the industry who do not 
belong to tliis association may total $200,000,000. 

Senator King. Then, of course, with the increase in the use of 
automobiles, there would be an increase in the demands for parts, 
and therefore, there would be an increase in the output of the second 

Mr. Carlton. That is right. Of this $800,000,000 of sales, 83.5 
percent are original equipment sales, and therefore it can be said 
that this. parts association of which I am president sold last year 
$650,000,000 worth of parts to the manufacturers of automobiles and 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Carlton, do any of those manufacturers of parts of 
automobiles which you mention in effect compete with the parts manu- 


factured for or by the automobile manufacturers themselves, members 
of your association? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes, sir; I think our largest competitor is our own 
customer. At least our potential competitor is always our own cus- 
tomer. There are some parts of automobiles that are not made at 
all by the manufacturers of automobiles and trucks. There are other 
parts that are made, some by one and some by the other. 

I know that you will be interested in Imowing what parts of auto- 
mobiles are manufactured by the member^ of this association. 

I am sorry that I have only two copies of this list available and I 
wouldn't attempt to read into the record a list of these parts, but I 
would like 

Mr. Davis (interposing). Mr. Chairman, may we have that in- 
serted in the record without reading? 

The Chairman. Without objection that will be done. 

Mr. Carlton. I was going to offer these as exhibits to be added into 
the record because the names of over 300 parts of automobiles that 
are manufactured by the members of this association are on that list. 

The Chairman. Looking at the title of this exhibit which you have 
just handed for inclusion in the record, it reads "Parts of an automobile, 
excluding the body proper and automotive equipment." Do you care 
to qualify that title any further? I understand that you were giving 
us a list of parts which were made by parts manufacturers rather than 
by automobile manufacturers. 

Mr. Carlton. No. Many of those parts, are made by the automo- 
bile manufacturer. Senator. 

The Chairman. This, then, is merely a .list of the various parts 
which go into the construction of the automobile. 

Mr. Carlton. But there isn't one part on that list that is not also 
made by a parts manufacturer. They may make a part of those 
things (hemselves, or one manufacturer may make none and the other 
one may make all, and it is all mixed up in that way. 

(The list referred to was m^arked "Exhibit No. 214," and is included 
in the appendix on p. 1152.) 

Mr. Carlton. In giving these sales figures and talking about this 
irdustry I would have you know that rubber and rubber tires are not 
in this group, they belong to the rubber association. I would also 
have you know that bodies are not in here, they belong to the auto- 
mobile manufacturers association. 

Senator King. Some of the parts manufactured by members^ of 
your association are likewise made by the automobile companies 

Mr. Carlton. That is right, very many of them. 

I think you would be interested to know that we have recently 
made a survey to find out how much engineering, experimental work, 
experimental samples, research and development cost this industry, 
the members of this association, in the year 1937, and that figure 
amounted to more than $20,000,000 in the year 1937. The tool and 
die expense of this industry in the year 1937 amounted to more than 
$20,000,0uJ. In other words, this industry in research, development, 
engineering, tools and dies spent more than $40,000,000 in the year 

The pay roll of the industry in 1937 was in excess of $250,000,000. 

Senator King. You mean your association? 



Mr. Carlton. The members of tliis association only. It is prob- 
able that you are wondering why we spend so much money in ex- 
perimental and development work. The parts manufacturer selhng 
to the manufacturer of automobiles and trucks is a servant to his 
customer. The parts manufacturer must hve by his wits. He can 
only be successful in holding liis business so long as he can continue 
to improve liis product. He must make his product better constantly, 
Ughter if possible. His customer, the automobile manufacturer, may 
bo able at any one given moment to make the product that he is 
buying from the parts manufacturer as cheap or as well, but ue must 
be convinced that the parts manufacturer because of his specialization 
in one product; because of the fact that he has a large volume of 
business gathered from a large number of manufacturers of automo- 
biles and trucks, because of those things he can make it cheaper and 
he can afford to specialize, be can afford to do all of this research, all 
of this experimentation. As long as the parts manufacturer main- 
tains tliis position of research and experimentation constantly, then 
he has a successful business. The minute he lets down then he is 
going to lose liis business, because, as I said before, his greatest po- 
tential competitor is liis own customer. 

The parts manufacturer, in my opinion, and I believe it is the 
unanimous opinion of our industry, could not afford to engage in this 
very large amount of development and experimental work without 
the protection afforded by the patent system. 

Looking over the large number of parts manufactured by the in- 
dustry, it is evident that practically all of the companies manufactur- 
ing those parts started because of patents. Speculative capital was 
attracted to these new parts industries when they were new, because 
investors were convinced that here was something that could be sold 
in a large volume to the automotive industry, and that they could 
secure protection long enough to secure the return of their capital 
and make a fair profit on it. So in the beginning of practically all 
of these various parts industries the patent was the nucleus around 
which they were built. 

It is not unusual for a parts company to spend a half-million or 
even a milhon dollars, and well over that in many cases, in the develop- 
ment of a single new part or device. The patent affords the parts 
manufacturer the opportunity to get his initial developrnent and 
tooling expense back before his competitors start copying his device. 
The parts manufacturer doesn't ask for a continuous monopoly, 
because experience has taught him that his industry changes so 
rapidly and competition is so mtense and so fierce in the industry that 
nothing that he patents today is going to continue in the forrn in 
which he patents it. It would be foolish to insure speculative capital, 
for example, that if he puts his money into this given part in this 
industry, that for 17 y^ars we are going to continue to make this part 
in this given form, because we know that we must progress and that 
competition is going to build something better, and therefore we must 
build something better or we will have no business in a very few years. 

AH we want is a hesitation period, a head start, as we used to say 
when we were boys, to give us a chance to get the experimental and 
developmental money back. 


Senator King. I suppose the mortality in your industry is very 

Mr. Carlton. It has been exceedingly great. It has settled down 
now to a much more stable business than it has been. 

A patent granted to a competitor in tiiis industry has proved to be 
the greatest incentive possible to other competitors. For example, if 
one of my competitors tomorrow'Should bring out a wheel which would 
revolutionize the wheel industry and threaten to put the company 
with whicii I am connected out of business, that in itself would be the 
greatest incentive in the world for us to use every possible means to 
get around that patent and to devise something quickly to save our 
very lives and our physical existence, and I am sure we would do it. 
We have been faced with that situation time after time. We have 
lived through the days when all wheels were wood, as you remember 
on your automobiles, where we had investments of several million 
dollars solely for wood. 

Then you remember how we all switched to wire, and we switched 
to wire along with it. Then you saw the switch to steel and we 
switched to steel along with it. We obsoleted equipment and equip- 
ment and equipment, and we learned to do new things and to do them 
better, so I say that patents granted to somebody else are the greatest 
incentive to force the other fellow to do sometliing new himself. 


Mr. Carlton. Patents, then, as I say, instead of becoming monop- 
ohes, become incentives to produce other inventions. 

The Chairman. How many diilerent ways are there of meeting the 
new competition winch arises from such a patent? I am asking you 
now from your experience. 

Mr. Carlton. Well, I think those ways are endless. They have 
to be endless or you would give up. 

The Chairman. What has been done. Could you give us one or 
two examples of just what has been done to meet a particular situation? 

Mr. Carlton. Well, a few years ago a new brake drum came on 
the market. You can remember only a few years ago, if you got 
seven or eight or ten thousand miles from a set of brake lining, and 
mentioning brake lining, I should have said that that also is not 
within this industry. There are a lot of sales; I should have said 
that the fabric upholstery in your automobile isn't in our sales either. 

You can remember that if you got 10,000 miles on a set of brake 
lining without having your brakes relined at a considerable expense, 
that was something. Then along came cast-iron bi'akc drums, and 
they wore better. Then along came another type of drum. 

A few years ago we brouo;ht out what we believed to be a real 
invention in brake drums. We were practically forced to bring that 
invention out. We had to have something better. We had to have 
it or we weren't going to hold our business. We were going to lose 
all of our brake drum business, and that is a terrific lot of business. 
Of course we had a nice replacement business in brake drums. That 
replacement business is gone now, because the drums last almost the 
life of your car. They do, today. 

We spent over $2,000,000 in the development and in highly special- 
ized machinery which can't build anything else but this braise drum, 

co^'•:I■:^■^]{ATI(>^• of kcoxomk; poavkk 105 j 

and in a building, tlie bnildins: cost onl}^ a little over $300,000 to 
build that one item. 

The Chairman. That is one method. That method I should 
describe as the invention ol another and better device. Another 
method would be to purchase an outstanding patent. 

Mr. Carlton. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Another method would be to license a new, an 
improved device. 

Mr. Carlton. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. You have followed all three of tho^^e proceedings, 
have you? 

Mr. Carlton. We have done all three of those. 

Another method is to find a better method of manufacture, so you 
can manufacture more cheaply than the other lellow. 

The Ch.\irm.\n. Do you have in this industry which you have 
described, in this association, a cross-licensing system? 

Mr. Carlton. Well, not in the association at all, as an association, 
because we are competitors in the wheel business; they are in the 
carburetor business; they are in all these lines of business. There are 
cross-licenses existing among groups of competitors. 

The Chairman. All right. Now let us take the carburetor manu- 
facturers, for example. Do they cross-license their devices? 

Mr. Carlton. I don't know about that. I know about the wheel 

The Chairman. All right, let's ask about the wheel business. 

Mr. Carlton. All right. 

The wheel business is an old industry. The company with which 
I am, and its predecessor company, started in 1903. The Motor 
Wheel Corporation owns over 500 patents. I asked our competitors 
how many they owned, and I know that they ovvm well over 500 
patents. We never sued anyone, with all the patents that we own, 
except once. A fellow got a little nasty and we sued him and we settled 
it out of court and we gave him a license, and they went out of business 

If those people in that wheel industry, with those thousand patents, 
started suing each other, the management ought to be discharged, 
because they would ruin themselves financially. You take a thousand 
patents and start clubbing each other over the heads with them, all the 
people in the industry would be broke, so common sense dictated just 
one thing, to stop this monkey business of fighting each other, and I 
will give you a license and you give me a license, and we will stop any 
further law s'uits in this industry. 

Those licenses are just simple cross-licenses, nonexclusive licenses, 
in which we license a competitor, but we retain the patents ourselves 
and the rights to license anyone else that we please, and he does the 
same thing. 

Mr. Patterson. Mr. Carlton, does your association have any 
kind of an arbitration board where, once you see that some of these 
companies are about to go to war, you step in and try to help them? 

Mr. Carlton. No, we do not. There are groups within the asso- 
ciation that get together and try to do that among themselves, but 
we have such a varied lot of different kinds of competitors, and they 
are so very independent, that each fellow wants to be independent 
and he doesn't want any association or anybody else to tell him 



The Chairman. Well, now, these Hcenses are nonexclusive. Do 
they carry any restrictions of any kind? 

Mr. Carlton. No restrictions of any kind. 

The Chairman. They are open hcenses? 

Mr. Carlton. Wide open, nonexclusive licenses. 

The Chairman. What provision is included in the Ucense by way of 
consideration for the granting of the license? 

Mr. Carlton. No royalty. 

The Chairman. No royalty? Then what do you receive by way of 
consideration for the granting of the license? 

Mr. Carlton. A Ucense from the other fellow. 

The Chairman. It is merely an exchange of licenses with the other 

Mr. Patterson. A quid pro quo. 

Mr. Carlton. Exactly. 

The Chairman. So that every license from the Motor Wheel 
within this association is available to all the competitors on equal 
terms, nonexclusive, without restrictions, absolutely open and no 

Mr. Carlton. That pertains only to passenger car wheels. When 
you get into truck wheels, it is a very varied industry. 

The Chairman. With respect to passenger car wheels, have I stated 
it correctly? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. With respect to the other types of wheels, what is 
the difference? 

Mr. Carlton. With respect to the truck industry, that is a varied 
thing — cast-iron wheels, and so on. 

The Chairman. What you mean to tell us is that in that industry 
you do not grant these nonexclusive, open licenses. 

Mr. Carlton. In that industry, when it comes to a demountable 
pressed steel wheel, so far as I know, the same people that make pas- 
senger-car wheels are making those wheels, and those people are cross- 
licensing the same as they are on passenger-car wheels, but when you 
get into all these other types of wheels I know very httle about them. 
We know very little about them; we don't make them. 

The Chairman. When you made that qualification it was only be- 
cause you didn't know what the facts were, and not because you knew 
it was different from this other phase? 

Mr. Carlton. That's right. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Carlton. I would like to finish the story of this brake drum 
thing because I know it is very interesting. 

Having spent this $2,000,000, we couldn't go ahead with the thing 
until we got this patent through, because we couldn't venture 
$2,000,000 to build an article which is selling for approximately 60 
cents, and that 60-cent price is competitive with another article which 
our competitors are building — it is different, but it accomplishes about 
about the same tiling, so if you are going to sell an article for 60 cents 
and spend $2,000,000 to develop it, you have to have some protection 
there to be sure the other fellow isn't going to step in and take it 
away from you before you get your $2,000,000 back nnd a little profit 
on the $2,000,000 if you can get it. 


The Chairman. Now with respect to the manner in which you use 
this patent or the manner in which you grant these Hcenses, I should 
have said, do you grant them to any apphcant? 

Mr. Carlton. You are now talking about this cross-licensing on 

The Chairman. Yes; your licenses on wheel patents. 

Mr. Carlton. It just happens that in this passenger-car wheel 
business there are only 3 manufacturers that have survived. I 
can remember within my time in the industry when there were 18, 
and they have fallen by the wayside financially until there are 3 
left, and I have explained the situation within those 3, and that is all 
there are. 

The Chairman. Now suppose that another group were to form a 
new corporation to engage in the manufacture of motor wheels in 
competition with you. Would you freely grant a license to such a 
new group? 

Mr. Carlton. I will now speak for my company only. There is 
no agreement between the 3 people as to what they would do. A 
licenses B, B licenses C, and each fellow acts as an individual, but 
within this industry, where these three people are today, we are 
terribly overtooled and overbuilt or have over-production. We have 
a capacity to build mare than 5,000,000 sets of this material, and 
in 1939 we are looking forward^to maybe a 3.K million car year. 

Now I am very positive that our company wouldn't license another 
fellow to get into this business when there is an overproduction. 
Why allow another fellow to get in? We would do everything we 
could to keep him from getting in with all the patents we had, and 
my guess is the other fellows would ACt about the same way with 
their patents. 

The Chairman. Of course you would be entitled to do that, because 
a patent is an exclusive right; but I was curious to know whether there 
was any understanding in the cross-licensing system by which you 
would exclude any but those who v/ere in the system for using or re- 
ceiving a license? 

Mr. Carlton. There is no understanding to that effect. 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Carlton, you spoke of there being within your recol- 
lection 18 manufacturers of these car wheels, and that that number 
has been reduced to 3. How many of those 18, if any, were merged 
with or acquired by one of the 3 remaining companies? 

Mr. Carlton. Several of them were. For example, I think, Judge, 
you remember that the Motor Wheel Corporation purchased the physi- 
cal assets of two of these companies because we were sued and we 
bought ourselves out of difficulty. 

In the beginning of the steel-wheel situation in 1923 we got into 
trouble. We started the manufacture and we thought we developed 
something, and one of these companies sued us and we took a license 
and were paying a very high rate of royalty. Then another company 
sued us, and then that company sued the one we were paying royalty 
to, and neither one of them had any business, had no customers to 
amount to anything. Each of them had about one customer, anti 
they had a very small volume of business, and financially they were 
both broke, and so they were suing us for a livelihood. 

The Motor Wheel Corporation, smce 1920, has spent over $2,000,000 
in patents. Now, we acquired those patents by buying the physical 

124491— 39— pt. 3 -15 


assets of those two companies and also buying some other patents 
directly, but we didn't acquire anything when we acquired the com- 
panies. I know one company, the net liquidated amount we got out 
of it was $72,000. That is what we had in physical what-have-you 
that we got, but we did get the patents, and we bought ourselves out 
of a lawsuit and out of trouble. 

From the other company we got some patents, oh, several hundred, 
and I would hate to pick one patent out of them and say it was very 
good, but there were so many of them that they scared you to death. 

Now, t^ answer the rest of your question, another company pur- 
chased at least one — at least one other company was purchased by 
one of our competitors, and the rest of them went out of business be- 
cause of financial difiiculties. 

A large number of those. Judge, went out of business when the wood 
wheel went out of business. When the wood wheel vanished they were 
tooled to make nothing but wood wheels, and when, they no longer 
could convince the public to wear that kind of bonnet — and that is 
about what it is, the public is changeable about the way wheels look 
about the way women are with their hats — they couldn't afford to 
tool up to go into wire wheels. 

Incidentally, there was a serious patent on wire wheels, and we took 
a license under that and paid very high royalties for some length of 

Some of them just folded up and liquidated and went out of busi- 
ness. More of them did that than failed. They quit. Some of them 
died of old age; some of them died of stagnation, because they couldn't 
keep up with the parade. 

That is about what happened to the rest of these fellows, until it 
got down to three who are in pretty good shape today to stand the 

The Chairman. That was before the stabilization of which you 
spoke a little bit earlier? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes. 

The Chairman. Now, under the present understanding, what is the 
position of future patents? 

Mr. Carlton. There are a large number of these licenses. There 
is no agreement among these three companies that says we will give 
you a license under everything we have. It started back in wood- 
wheel days, when we got into an awful jam about rims, and we got 
sued by an outsider, as we call him, and then we bought his patents. 

You would be surprised; we paid $750,000 for some patents just on 
a rim that goes on wheels. Then we licensed everybody that wanted 
to be licensed, everybody who wanted a license on rims, and we gave 
him- a paid-up license without any royalty. 

Then it went into mre wheels, and then it went into brake drums, 
and then it went into the processes of manufacturing. I don't know 
how many of these licenses there are, but they have accumulated, but 
each one of them is an individual license froni me to you in return for 
a license on the same thing from you to me, without any restrictions 
whatsoever or any conditions or any royalties. 

The Chairman. In other words, you don't have a general cross- 
licensing agreement. 

Mr. Carlton. No. 

The Chair]^n. It la merely an understanding. 


Mr. Carlton. Then in some of these licenses there is this pro- 
vision about new patents, which says that "The license gives you 
everything that I now have and all that I shall in the future invent 
for 15 years, but if at any time I make what I consider an outstand- 
ing invention, that I feel is revolutionary, and I don't want to give 
it to you, I shall then notify you of that invention and it is then my 
privilege to withdraw it from the cross-licensing agreement." 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Carlton, at this point you might well tell us the 
effect upon the quoting of prices by a competitor. Assume that he 
had a license which he got through compulsion or otherwise, not in- 
tending actually to use it. What would be the effect of that? 

Mr. Carlton. Well, Mr. Dienner, that has been a wicked practice 
in this industry. I have known people within this industry who were 
so anxious to be free and easy with their patents that competitors 
have come to them and said, "I sort of like that thing you make; I 
would hke a license imder it." They agree upon one and agree upon a 
royalty, and this has actually happened: The competitor who got 
the license didn't want to manufacture it. It costs a lot to tool up 
to make it. He had a device which he was selling. YHiat he wanted 
to do was to quote on the other fellow's product. Having got the 
license, he quoted a low price, a lower price than the article should be 
sold at, and he made a monkey of the other fellow's product and 
boosted his own product. 

In one case he got some business and he couldn't manufacture it 
and he couldn't deliver. Then he asked for time to tool up. At the 
end of the year the original fellow got the business back. 

There is great danger in a free idea of just handing the other fellow 
a license unless you know he is going to use it. Of course that could 
be stopped by a very high minimum royalty which would be so high 
that he couldn't afford to pay it unless he was serious and was going 
into the manufacturing business, but in this industry, wherever there 
are licenses granted, the rate of royalty has been very low, because if 
you are going to stay in business in this industry your profit area is 
very small. The profit area in this original equipment business you 
can easily determine by looking at those companies that are listed 
upon the national exchanges. In 1937 you will find they ran as low 
as 2 percent, and, I think, none of them higher than 10 percent. Does 
that answer your question, Mr. Dienner? 

Mr. Dienner. One more point. Assume that there were a sys- 
tem of compulsory licenses, how would that operate on this quoting 

Mr. Cahlton. What is that? 

Mr. Dienner. Assurhe that there were a system of compulsory 
licenses, namely, that another competitor could come to you and 
demand a license, what would be the effect of such compulsory license 
law or provision on this practice of quoting? 

Mr. Carlton. Well, it would be just the effect that I now mention. 
It would be ruin to the fellow's business if it got in the hands of a 
vicious competitor. 

Senator King. Mr. Dienner, I haven't heard the suggestion made, 
and perhaps it is because of my lack of information or inquiry, that 
there should be compulsory hcense for patents which are being used. 
The suggestions which I have heard made were that if a patent was 
not used, within a reasonable length of time, and there was no evidence 


that the patentee intended to use it, then application might be made 
to the court under proper restrictions, to Ucense the patent. 

The Chairman. Senator King, I merely wanted to bring out prac- 
tically the full picture of where the compulsory Ucense certainly 
should not extend. 

Senator King. May I ask one question, hardly pertinent to what 
has been stated. I assume from what you have said, however, that 
with all of these changes, this mortaUty that has occurred, there has 
been a general improvement in the products which have been manu- 
factured by your association as well as by organizations not within 
your sssociation. 

Mr. Carlton. Yes, sir; Senator, and to my very best knowledge 
and belief, there is not one part of an automobile manufactured and 
sold today by a parts company which is not better from every stand- 
point than ever before, and w|juch is not being sold to the manufacturer 
of automobiles and trucks at a lower price today than it has ever 
before sold in the history of the industry. A wheel, for example, 
today, is being sold for 20 percent less than a wheel for the same car 
was sold 5 years ago. 

Senator King. In "view of the small profit you have indicated, 
from 2 to 10 percent, and the great mortahty, I marvel that there 
should be capital available for the automotive industry, especially 
the parts. People must have a good deal of the gambling spirit, it 
would seem to me, to invest in an enterprise, in an industry, where 
the mortality was so great. 

Mr. Carlton. That is true, Senator, and it is true that very few 
new companies are coming up in the parts industry today. It is 
very rare that a new company starts. On the other hand, we deal 
in terrific volume of business, and once a company is started and 
acquires that volume, a percentage of net return at the end of the year 
of 5 percent will net the investor a very fair return, and parts compan- 
ies have made a fair return on their money over a period of years. 

Senator King. That is, some companies. 

Mr. Carlton. Yes. 

The Chairman. The survivors. 

Dr. Dienner. Mr. Carlton, you have mentioned the fact that parts 
now sold are generally of better character and lower price than they 
have ever been. How is that possible? How are you able to do that? 

Mr. Carlton. You are able to do that by better manufacturing 
methods, and particularly by constantly improving your product so 
that it is more easy to manufacture. For instance, a wheel today is 
manufactured on machines that produce greater quantities of wheels 
in an hour, and that wheel can be produced of material which can be 
purchased at lower cost than formerly. The wheel is just a type of 
wheel which can be made lighter^ than every before. 

Mr. Dienner. Do you thijik that patents had anything to do with 
this situation? 

Mr. Carlton. They had a very great deal to do with the situation. 
The development has been constant and everlasting, and the improve- 
ment patents are the protection that we have, and without those 
continuing improvement patents, our customers and those people 
that look upon our industry and see us make money in 1 year might 
step in and take our business away from us. 

Labor rates have increased constantlj^ in this industry until we have 
a situation today that seems very unusual, in that the wage rates 


paid the factory workers today in this industry I am very safe in 
saying are 20 percent higher today than they were in 1936. 

That means that wage rates today are higher than ever before in 
the history of this industry, and still our product is being sold at lower 
prices than ever before in the history of this industry. 

Representative Reece. May I ask, Mr. Chairman, what percentage 
of the business of your industry is with the motor manufacturers? 

Mr. Carlton. I have that figure in the very beginning; as I remem- 
ber, it is 83 and a fraction percent of the business of this association 
that is directly with the manufacturer. 

Representative Reece. And one other thing. Are all of the more 
important parts patented devices? 

^Ir. Carlton. All of the parts are patented. I wouldn't say that 
there are fundamental patents covering all of them, but there are 
improvement patents, hundreds of them, covering every part, and 
it is upon those improvement patents and many fundamental patents 
tiiat this industry relies. 

Mr. Dienner. Right at that point, Mr. Carlton, is there any patent, 
fundamental patent, on an}- part which is supplied on an automobile 
wliich would prevent somebody from supplying that part either in 
one form or another, to your knowledge? 

Mr. Carlton. That is a very interesting question. I have looked 
into that very thoroughly, Mr. Dienner, and I find that there is no 
one part of an automobile all forms of which are covered by a single 
patent or by a group of patents so that any one company has a 
monopoly on that one article. Now that means, saying it the other 
way, that a purchasing agent of an automobile company has competi- 
tion today offered him on every single part that he wants to buy. 
He may want to buy a Carter carburetor, and that is protected, but 
he can buy a half dozen other kinds of carburetors. That is the way 
it goes down the line. He doesn't have to buy that one kind of a 
carburetor, so that there is competition for every one of these various 
items, and that is really a very healthy situation all down the line. 

The Chairman. Would it be proper in your opinion to draw as a 
conclusion that the effect of the patent system when it is not diverted 
by means of closed patent pools is to maintain competition? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes, sir; very decided^ so. 


The Chairman. And would it be proper in your opinion to say that 
if the patent system were abandoned or were abolished, the effect 
upon competition would likely be bad? 

Mr. Carlton. Very bad, and result in a lessening of incentive; it 
mi.^cht result in some stagnation. 

1 would like also just to mention one other phase that has come 
up so many times in this association. Patents are valued so much 
more by the small manufacturer than they are by the large manufac- 
turer. "^The large manufacturer has built himself a terrific volume and 
l3y that volume possibly he is able to buy materials cheaper, he is 
able to set up one continuous line and he can run that one item without 
end, he may be able to set up a machine that will run it a year without 
ever changing his dies. Die changes are very, very expensive on 
these complicated dies. And he has that great advantage over the 


small fellow, who has a very small amount of business here and there. 
Now the advantage that the small fellow has is a trick method of manu- 
facture that the big fellow doesn't know about or that he can't afford 
to put in, or he has a patent on some Httle device that he can make a 
fine little living on. I have been surprised at the small manufacturers 
of this industry who employ 10, 20, 30, 40 men, and how well they do 
and how at the end of the year their percentage of profit is better, 
way higher, than the fellow who does business in millions, and so I 
thank that if anything happened to tliis patent system the fellow \^ho 
would be hurt more than anyone else would be the smaller manufac- 
turer! The bigger man gets his volume, and the more volume that 
he has accumulated and the more volume he is assured of the less he 
values the whole patent system, in my experience. At least I am sure 
that is true of this industry; I wouldn't want to translate that into 
any other industry except this one with which I am so familiar. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Carlton, one more important point I think you 
ought to cover. Do. you know of any instance in yo\ir industry where 
a patent improvement has been deUherately withheld from the public 
or shelved in order to prevent its use? , 

Mr. Carlton. No; I have never heard of anything of the kind. 
At a recent meeting of a large number of the members of this industry 
somebody brought that question up and they were all on their feet 
at once and everyone said, "Well, we have got over-capacity, we are 
looking for new things to make. If any of you have got a patent, and 
you are trying to hold it back, will j^ou give us an opportunity to buy 
it or take a license under it and tell as what it is?" I don't believe 
there is anything lilvc that in our industry. I am sure that there 


Mr. Carlton. I would also like again to bring out that no one in 
this industry tries to establish a monopoly because of a patent. That 
works about this way: We realize that no one parts manufacturer 
can get all the business in the world. Therefore, we must recognize 
our competitors in the business. We <realize also that all of the large 
manufacturers of automobiles are not going to confine themselves to 
one source of supply. They won't do that because of strikes and fiies 
and all the other things that go into that, and therefore if we had a 
patented article that they wanted to buy and we wouldn't give anyone 
a license, that article woidd never go on the market in a big way. We 
realize that. We have found that out by experience. So common 
practice with us-^and it is common practice with a lot of other people 
making other things than we make — is to try to get ourselves some 
business from these large manufacturers and then say, "We know that 
you won't give us all this business and we don't want it all. Give us 
a part of j'-cur business and we will give you a license to make or have 
made." So all we want is protection to get ourselves some business 
and get our development expense and so forth out of the thing. 

1 think I am about through. I had a little philosophy of my 
theory of tliis thing. 

Mr. Peoples. Mr. Chairman, before Mr. Carlton gets down to his 
summary, I would appreciate very much, by reason of his intimacy 
with tlie trade in general, if wiien you come to the marketing practices 


of your corporation, you would say, Do you establish list prices for the 
guidance of the different dealers and the sale of spares to the public? 

Mr. Carlton. I am glad you asked that. 

Mr. Peoples. And also what effect that list may have on the list 
prices of your competitots. 

Mr. Carlton. First of all, practically all of my discussion so far 
has been directed to the original equipment business, that is, stuff 
sold to the manufacturer of automobiles. In my company our auto- 
motive sales are 90-odd, 96 or 97 percent of all of our volume. We 
sell nothing to the consumer, nothing to dealers, except service parts. 
Your question is directed to those people who sell replacement parts 
and accessories. The practice of those people selling replacement 
parts and accessories is almost universally to sell an accessory at a 
net price to the- distributor. They don't sell to dealers — some of them 
do, some sell to dealers — the great majority is sold to the distributor; 
the majority of them, not all of them but the majority, sell to that 
distributor at a net price. They may have a recommended Ust price, 
resale price, but that varies all around the United States. I know of 
no attempt in this industry to try to maintain the resale price, if that 
is what you mean, a list price or a resale price. There are companies 
that follow the other practice of a Ust with a discount from list. 

Now they do that we do that in some instances on a wheel; 
where a service station wants to handle "a wheel out of New York 
City we go to our customer and find out what his prices are on wheels 
in order that we may sell to the Packard dealer in New York City — 
we don't sell the consumer at all. We want to be able to have our 
distributor in New York City sell to that Packard dealer at the same 
identical price that Packard can sell to the Packard dealer. We 
prefer in the beginning that Packard sell that dealer all of his service 
parts, but Packard says to us, possibly not Packard, but I am using 
that only as an example, "Over a period of 10 or 20 years we have 
changed wheels and sizes and types until any one dealer just can't 
have all these wheels so that if you break a wheel, have an acci- 
dent, and you come in and pick one of those out of stock, you just 
can't do it." So there has grown up in this country wheel service 
stations who specialize in carrying w^heels back 20 years, where that 
dealer can pull that wheel out of stock if it is 20 j^ears old. That 
dealer wants to buy that wheel at the same price he would if he would 
wait 4 or 5 days and get it from the factory, so there is a list price, not 
a list price buu a net price to our dealer so that he can sell the car 
dealer at the same price as though he got it from his own factory. 

Mr. Peoples, .tind your competitors follow the same practice? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes; in the wheel business. 

Mr. Peoples. Then the prices, when it comes to the ultimate 
purchaser, may be essentially the same. 

Mr. Carlton. Probably about the same. 

Mr. Peoples. The same over a period of time, 2 months, 3 months, 
6 months? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes; and those prices, for example on a wheel on a 
car that you want this year, are lower than on a car 10 j^ears old. 

Mr. Peoples. Exactly so. ■ 

Mr. Carlton. Because it costs a lot of money to carry that thing 
around for 10 years, but that fellow may be glad to get rid of it, he 
might sell it at any old price. We don't try to maintain those prices. 


Senator King. The prices would differ, I imagine, based upon your 
freight rates. You would sell to some person in Omaha or San 

Mr. Carlton (interposing). That is right, very materially. 

Senator King (continuing). Wliere the freight rate would be much 
greater than if you sold in New York City at a price entirely different. 

Mr. Carlton. Yes; and again I want you to understand that we 
don't sell the retailer, the car owner, anything under any conditions. 

Mr. Peoples. I was trying to arrive at the practice. 

Mr. Carlton. Neither do we maintain any retail prices. 

The Chairman. You don't maintain a standard price throughout 
the country? 

Mr. Carlton. No, sir. 

Representative Williams. Do the dealers? 

Mr. Carlton. Not throughout the country. 

Mr. Peoples. They do it by regions? 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, they set their own price. The man on the 
Pacific coast figures what he can get out there and adds whatever the 
freight is and sets any kind of price he wants to set. 

Mr. Peoples. Does any leading dealer in the industry, say, fix 
the price through a list price which is follo\ved by his competitors in. a 
given region or zone or geographical area? 

Mr. Carlton. Not in our industry. Not in my business. I am 
not talking of the industry because I am not familiar with all that 
retail thing. 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Carlton, I didn't catch the exact name of the 
association of which you are president, the large association. 

Mr. Carlton. It is Automotive Parts & Equipment Manufac- 
turers, Inc. Now it is commonly called the Automotive Parts & 
Equipment Manufacturers Association. 

Mr. Davis. That is an incorporated association? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Davis. Is stock owned in it, issued and owned by the different 
members thereof? 

Mr. Carlton. No. It is a nonprofit corporation. 

Mr. Davis. How many members has your association? 

Mr. Carlton. 375 at the present time. 

Mr. Davis. As I understand, that is made up of the manufacturers 
of most of the parts, some of which are not related to or in competi- 
tion with other parts. For instance, there is fto relation or competition 
between a car wheel and a speedometer. 

Mr. Carlton. That is right. 

JVIr. Davis. Just what function generally is performed by this asso- 
ciation of people manufacturing different parts which do not have 
any relation to each other except that they are parts of an automobile? 

i\[r. Carlton. First of all, every 4 weeks every member of this 
association reports the number of men on his pay roll, the number of 
wonun, his pay roll, his actual wage rates, his productive and non- 
productive labor, the number of salaried people, his total salaried pay 
roll. Once a year he reports his sales volume broken down into all of 
the various classifications of our industry. Our industry (I haven't 
gone into detail) is broken down into a lot of classifications.^ 4Fhen 
there is available for any member of the industry — if a labor union 
comes and says, "You are DOt paying the right wages," they can call 


upon US at any time and we can furnish them not any individual rates, 
we don't furnish the individual wage of any competitor, that is secret 
information, but we can furnish them the average wage being paid by 
all of his competitors, or we classify those by cities and by all of the 
various classifications of jobs in cities; we have big job sheets by which 
we classify wages b}'- jobs in a city. We have one for Toledo, one for 
Chicago, and Detroit, every ' ity in which we operate, so that a man 
has that sheet and he can look at that at any time and find out whether 
or not he is in line with the other fellow, whether he is up to the other ' 
fellow, whetlur he is liable 'to get in trouble because he isn't up to the 
other fellow. It isn't any attempt to hold wages down, it is an attempt 
to be sure he keeps out of trouble. Those sheets are even made 
available to some of these customers of ours. He has a source of 
supply and he hears of trouble and he calls us up and says, "How 
does that fell6w chec^ up in his home town?" 

We say, "Well, l^e is a little bit low." He calls him in and says, 
"Hey! What ar you paying in yo;' ■ home town? What wages are 
you paying?" jl he is too low he im so. That is a healthy situa- 

tion in an ind stry. 

In additioT; io that — pardon me. 

Mr. Davi.~. Are the wages uiiifonvi, we will say, in the same city or 
same area wliether they are workiiig on car wheels 'or speedometers 
or shield wipers or any other parts? Are they all uniform? 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, no; they do vary somewhat, Judge, by industry. 
In other words, a man doing a ver}- heavy type of work may get a 
little different rate, but in a given group if a man is making leaf springs 
in the city of Detroit, the chances are that the wages for leaf springs 
are all about the same. The union takes care of that pretty well. It 
is a pretty thoroughly unionized industry, especially in cities, not in 
the smaller towiis, and if the union came to you and said, "We want an 
increase and you are not paying as much as your competitors," you 
wouldn't kno^s , you wouldn't have to call your competitor, you could 
call the association and it would tell you exactly where you stand with 
the other people in town, Mr. A, B, C, D; you wouldn't know who 
they were, but you would have them all. 

In addition to that we have a labor-relations department that is 
advising them on all matters of labor difficulties in order to keep 
peace -in the industry. It is very active in that matter. It is a very 
necessary thing. If one of these parts plants closes it is a very 
serious situation; it stops the automobile plant immediately. They 
carry very, very small inventories. The inventory is in the parts 
plant, in the plant of the parts company, and in transit to a large 
extent; there is some on hand there; and it can't be closed without 
closing the automobile company and caushig a terrific lay-off in all 
other industries. So they are working very carefully with a consider- 
able cooperation with the union at the present time. 

The Chairman. Wliere do most of your patents come from? I 
mean where do the ideas come from? From within your organization 
or from outsiders? 

Mr. Carlton. Speaking first of all of my own company, th§ 
majority of our patents have come from within our own organization, 
from our own development, although we have bought a large number 
of patents from the outside. We are buying from time to time patents 
that come to us from the outside. 


The Chairman. What would you say is the opportunity for the 
unattached inventor to dispose of a useful patent in this industry? 

Mr. Carlton. I think it is very, very great. I know that in every 
branch of tliis industry there is a constant procession of purchases of 
patents going on all of the time. 

The Chairman. You said earlier in your testimony that your 
industry has reached that degree of stabiHzation in which the members 
have abandoned litigation among themselves with respect to patents. 

Mr. Carlton. That isn't true of the \\hole industry. There is 
litigation going on among members of this association, not rrp'the 
wheel industry there isn't, but among other people. 

The Chairman. You mean among members of the association? 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, yes. 

The Chairman. So that that has not been completely eUminated? 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, no. 

The Chairman. How about litigation between members of the 
industry, manufacturers, and these unattached inventors? Is there 
much of that? 

Mr. Carlton. There is plenty of that going on all the time, sir. 

The Chairman.- Your associates or companies have been defend- 
ants in infringement suits,, have they? 

Mr. Carlton. Many times. 

The Chairman. The reason I am asking the question is the com- 
plaint IS frequently made to Members of Congress, I know it has 
been made to me many times, on the part of inventors that their 
devices have been pirated by manufacturers who just put them to 
their remedy in the courts and when they, are unable to finance a 
lawsuit they are unable to protect themselves. A case was described 
to m.e only yesterday after the conclusion of the testimony here, by 
a woman who was seated in the audience who came to my office later 
on, to say that her husband had invented a certain device and a 
patent had been issued, that this device was being used by a large 
business concern, that she went to a lawyer, the lawyer originally 
said it was a good case and he would take it, but that he afterward 
withdrew from the case; she had no money, her husband had no 
money, there was no possibility of her paying the lawyer's fee. 

I wonder whf>+ out of your experience you would care to say to 
this committer with respect to the chances of an independent, unat- 
tached inventor to protect himself under the present patent system 
from the use of his device by a well-established concern, fortified with 
money and la\\n»^ers, and so forth. 

Mr. Carlton. First of all, I tliink, in fact I know, that the people 
in this entire industiy are basically very honest. 

The Chairman. I believe that is true of most industries, too. 

Mr. Carlton. Thc}^ have found that it pays to be very honest. 
They have gotten in more trovMe by trying the other thing, and it is 
just financially good business, and therefore every improvement or 
so-called invention 

The Chairman (interposing). Are we to infer that the other thing 
has been tried? 

Mr. Carlton. I think it has; yes. Every improvement or so- 
called invention is put into tliis patent office in order that we may 
protect ourselves. Secondly, we have never put anything into pro- 
duction without the most careful and thorough search to be sure that 


we are not infringing something else. It is easier to do it that way 
than to have the fellow jump on you after you get into production. 

When we find there is sometliing that wc might infringe, we contact 
that patentee and we try to get a license. In practically eveiy case 
we are satisfied with a nonexclusive license, or if he wants to sell the 
patent for a reasonable amount we might buy the patent. Now 
where the manufacturer gets in difficulty, my experience lias boon in 
25 years that practically everj^ time we have gotten in trouble is 
where we have unknowingly and unwittingly mfringed a patent, or 
where we have gotten into production and then after we have gotten 
into production and gone along for a number of years, a patent has 
popped out of the Office that we didn't know was Ixere. Then we are 
in difficulty. 

In those cases sometimes we settle, sometimes we take a license 
and pay royalties, sometimes our attorneys advise us that we don't 
infringe and it goes to suit, and wc lose, and we pay what we have to 

I know of no cases of an inventor who has been unable to finance a 
lawsuit. There seems to be about the same degree of overproduction 
of patent lawyers as there is of wheel production, and there seem to 
be plenty of them that are willing to take these cases and take their 
chance on what comes out of the case. .1 know that we have been 
prosecuted, and maybe persecuted, in cases by lawyers who took the 
thing on a contingent basis, and I think your friend was unfortunate 
that she didn't contact the right man. 

The Chairman. Your judgment, out of 5'our experience, is that 
the unattached inventor has an opportunity to exploit his device 
under the present system. 

Mr. Carlton. I certainly think so; yes. 

The Chairman. And do you want us to understand that out of 
your experience you believe that manufacturers as a practice do not 
attempt to pirate devices ^vithout proper compensation? 

Mr. Carlton. No, sir; they do not in this mdustry. 

The Chairman. I was interested in jour discussion at the outset 
of your testimony of the relationship between the members of your 
industry and the automobile manufacturer. You spoke of sort of a 
competitor-customer relationship. Can you go into that a little 
further? Tell us something about the effect, if any, which the auto- 
mobile manufacturer exercises or exerts upon members of youi' 

Mr. Carlton. That effect is probably a very excellent incentive. 
That effect keeps the parts manufacturer on his toes because the 
automobile manufacturer is going to buy the best product that he 
•can buy and he is going to buy that product at a price which he 
thinks is very fair. There are all sorts of variations of this tiling, 
but we might take this example. A m,anufacturer might make a part 
of a given automobile device h'mself in his own factory. Making 
that device, he keeps very careful check of his "cost, and therefore he 
determines about what he is going to pay for that device, and he has 
a club over the parts manufacturer's head. 

I think he has been fair abctut it. He knows if he doesn't allow 
the parts manufacturer a profit, he won't be in business and he will 
lose his source of supply. But he isn't going to allow him an exor- 
bitant profit. On the other hand, another manufacturer may buy 


all of that piece that he uses of the parts manufacturer, and he will 
continue to do that as long as he thinks that parts manufacturer is 
ahve, that he has an engineering force that is bringing him con- 
stantly new ideas, that he is improving his product, that his prices 
are never going up, that th.ey are going do\yn, and that he is really 
his research and development and engineering department for that 
one specific part. 

Now when you can get yoursr-^: co the point where they look upon 
you as behig smart as engineer^, and where they will say, "\\'ell, wo 
w^on't try to design tliis wheel, we will just leave that to you, this is 
the kind of body we are going to have this year, now come on in and 
help us design a wheel," when you get a design they look at it and 
help you, and when you get all through they say, "All right, build 
some samples," and we build the samples and we change and we 
change and we change, and we work and get the weights, and so forth, 
we know how much the car is going to weigh, we test in our labora- 
tory for strength, and so forth. 

The Chairman. Is that done before or after you have made the 
contract for delivery? 

Mr. Carlton. That is before the model is ever brought out. 

The Chairman. So this experimental expense is borne by the 
manufacturer of the part? 

Mr. Carlton. Yes; and when you get that done you may have 
spent $25,000 in just this one little job, to do that job, and wdien 
you get through they call your competitors in and say, "Boys, here 
is what we are going to do this year and here is the blueprint of it," 
and the other fellows come in and bid on your work and you may 
lose the business. 

I never saw an industry, I don't believe there is an industry which 
believes in free and unrestricted competition to the point of coming 
nigh to assassination the way this industry does. They seem to 



'he Chairman. No effort is made then among the members of the 
association to prevent one another from underbidding on a case such 
as you have just now described? 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, I should say not, and the large manufacturer 
wouldn't give us all of his business. He will have another competi- 
tor in there. On one model "^e will have our part and the other 
fellow's part on another one, an^l^^et the wheels as close together as 
he can, and there you are. 

The Chairman. Maybe that is the reason there are, as you call it, 
in the uidustry, bugs in one car and not in another. 

Mr. Carlton (la\igiiing). I wouldn't answer that. You see, we 
are trained in the sales school where we were taught years ago that- 
the customer is always right, and therefore we never criticize any- 
thing that he does, we just try to make a living. 

I would like to close with just this statement— 


The Chairman (interposing). I was going to ask you j\ist another 
question before you get into your philosophy— I think that was the 
word you used. What in your opinion is the effect of the patent 
system a s you have experienced it, upon unemployment? 

' ^f"" addiMonal tesstimony on fhe relation if patents to employ nent, see supra, p. 857 et sea. n. S07 et 
■ X] ■-' '.KM .^* seq. and p. 932 et scq. ' 


Mr. Carlton. The patent system lias certainly increased employ- 
ment: New devices have made automobiles, the sale of automobiles, 
possible. The original equipment manufacturer can't create any 
business himself. We sign a contract for the year's requirements of 
a given model, an automobile, and then we have to sit and hope that 
that car sells. We are pround of the part we have had in designing 
that one part, and if all of the parts fellows together, plus the efforts, 
the very great efforts, of the automobile manufacturer, liave made 
that car a success, then that car has the call that year. 

I think the patent system, which I like to call a part of the American 
incentive system, has been the greatest factor in creating this great 
automobile that we have today which is being sold at the lowest 
price ever known before in the history of this country. 

Does that answer your question, sir? 

The Chairman. Do you have any suggestion to the committee as 
to any change that might be made in the patent system that would 
have the effect of increasing the opportunities for employment even 

Mr. Carlton. I think I have no specific recommendations. Of 
course, I am not a patent lawyer. I think I should receive some sort 
of degree, probably an "employer of patent lawyers." I have spent 
fortunes for companies employing patent lawyers, and so I check 
them up, I know what they do and I follow them up and I know 
what they spend and what happens, and I do know that over the 25 
years that I have watched this Office — it is about 27 years that I have 
been intimately famihar with what the lawyers that I have been 
employing have been doing — there has been a constant improvement 
in things generally in the industry with which I have been connected, 
and it has always been this one industry, some branch of it. 

What we want of course is better patents, with more assurance of 
their validity. What we want is faster action, and stijj the assurance 
that those patents are valid. I rather think I favor the 20-year 
limitation, although I can see some cases where that might work a 
hardship upon an inventor. We purchased a patent not long ago 
that had been in this Office a long time. I don't know why it was 
here so long but the inventor swore he didn't hold it here. It had been 
here 7 years, I think, when we purchased it. But it got into a very 
bad interference, and those things get very costly. It went clear 
through the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, and so forth. 

I have no very definite reconomendations ; only just those recom- 
mendations that patent lawyers and this Patent Department know 
will improve the Department generally. Certainly I don't want any 
fundamental changes in this patent system that I believe has been the 
greatest incentive that has made America what it is today in many 

The Chairman. Thank you, sir. 

patent system responsible for development of automotive 

Senator King. As I understand you, the automobile industry by 
and large, including trucks and all, has largely been developed through 
the patent system. At any rate, the patent system has encouraged 
this great development in the automotive industrv that we witness 
in the United States. 


Mr. Carlton. It has in the parts industry. I am sticking to my 
story in tlie parts industry, Senator. 

Senator King. And would you say that the patent system by reason 
of the security which it affords has encouraged a larger expenditure of 
capital in the development of industries? 

Mr. C.\RLTON. It certainly has in the parts industry, very 
decidedly so. 

Senator King. And has that development increased the amount 
of employment, the number of employees? 

IMr. Carlton. It has, because it has increased the sale of the items. 

Senator King. In your association are more persons employed now 
than there were 2 years ago, 3 years ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago — at 
any prior period? 

Mr. Carlton. Of course now is a bad time to measure that. We 
are picking up very rapidly. We have been through a year in which 
we were off 40 percent in the last year, but taking 1937, I believe it 
is a true statement — and Dr. Lubin can check me on this; he and I 
have had some correspondence about the employment in this coun- 
try — to say that in the automotive parts manufacturing industry 
that we employed as many men as were ever employed at the peak of 
the industry, which was probably 1928 and '29, and the number of 
automobiles built was very much smaller, of course. 

Senator King. Are you paying a higher wage now than you paid 
in 1927, '28, and '29? 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, very much higher. If you said 40 percent 
higher, you would be very low. 

The Chairman. Do you require a high degree of skill among your 

^Ir. Carlton. I wouldn't say a high degree of skill. In the busi- 
ness with which I am connected you can take a good farm mechanic— 
and I mention a farm mechanic because a good farmer is a swell 
laboring man in a shop — and in 60 days you can teach him practically 
any operation there is in our factory and he becomes an expert working 
mall, with the exception of the tool and die industry, which of course 
requires an apprenticeship and a good many years of training. I am 
talking about the production lines. 

The Chairman. But you do employ these tool and die workers 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, yes. 

The Chairman. \^Tiat stability of employment do you give the 
latter type of worker, generally speaking, in Iho industry? 

Mr. Carlton. The tool and die man? A very high degree of 
stability. We work very hard on that job because in the small town 
where we live we can't lose those men. Once having trained them to 
do our particular job — and they are very high paid men, they earn 
better than $2,400 in a year — we can't lose those men, we can't let 
them get away from us. 

The Chairman. What do you do to keep them? 

Mr. Carlton. We do everything we can to keep them, by spread- 
ing our dies any way we can, and when we can't do that we transfer 
them to any other kind of job we have in the plant to hold them. 

The Chairman. When your work falls off and there is actually not 
enough work in the plant to go around, do you attempt to keep 
these people on the pay roll? 


Mr. Carlton. Yes, we haven't lost them. We have about 100 of 
them that we have kept for many, many years, and as I say, those men 
will average better than $2,400 a year. 

The Chairman. And what about the less skilled employee, what 
stability of employment do you offer him? 

Mr. Carlton. Well, it is not as good as it ought to be. It is 
getting better. 

The Chairman. In what way is it getting better? 

Mr. Carlton. We are the victims of circumstances, as are the 
manufacturers of automobiles. You can't convince people to buy 
automobiles in Northern Michigan when the snow is right now, as I 
understand it, over 3 feet deep just north of us. Consequently, the 
dealers can't afford the inventory and nobody has a place to put them, 
and therefore production slumps off in that time of the year. 

The automobile mamlfacturer has done everything within his power, 
I am positive, to assist this situation. He formerly used to give us 
very sudden orders to do this and that and he doesn't do that any 
more. He gives us a contract for a year's business, and that isn't 
anything that you can do anj^thing with, and then he gives you an 
order to purchase raw material for a portion of that contract, possibly 
100,000 sets of our material. Then you have gotten a start. You 
can go out and buy some raw material. Then he will give you an 
order to fabricate maybe half of that, 50,000 sets, and then you really 
are getting some place. Then it is your own expense. You can go 
out and fabricate that and you don't know when you are going to 
ship it, but you can keep your men working during the month of 
February, for example, when his shipments may fall down, you can 
keep that production running pretty level, because you fabricate at 
your own expense. Maybe you semifinish a lot of that material and 
that helps materially. Then of course I haven't mentioned the 
diversification that automotive parts plants are trying so hard to do, 
to get into something entirely outside of this industry. I haven't 
seen our figures for this year, but I am sure that considerably more, or 
at least 30 percent of our sales volume in the year 1938 was entirely 
outside the automotive industry, and we tried to get that into sorae- 
thing that doesn't have the same peaks we are in in the automotive 
industry, and that helps to transfer those men from one job to 
another. You run into all sorts of difficulty with the union when 
you do that because they don't want to be transferred. 

The Chairman. This Is just developing, then, is it, this effort to 
stabilize employment? 

Mr. Carlton. It has been worked out for a number of years, and 
I would say that the very serious effort has been going on about 7 
years, untU these people are carrying much bigger inventories than 
they used to carry. It wasn't very many years ago they carried 24- 
hour inventory in some of our customers' plants and today the majority 
of them are carrying 30 days. That helped us. 

The Chairman. Could you reduce your experience to a rule or a 
standard that might be helpful to those engaged in other industries 
who are confronted by similar problems of unstable labor supply? 

Mr. Carlton. Senator, there has been so much thought given to 
this whole business of stabiUzation of labor that I know of not one 
more thing to do. We spend a great deal of time among ourselves 
as parts makers and with our customers, and I will say that we haven't 


one customer that isn't giving us every bit of cooperation that he 
knows how to give, and if you get an idea and go to him with it 
he will try it out for you to try to help you cut out these terrible 
peaks and valleys. But until the pubhc can change its buying habits 
I don't know what more can be done than we are doing now in this 
particular industry. 

Dr. LuBiN. Mr. Carlton, prior to 1935, new automobile models 
were shown at the January shows, which meant that your automobile 
season was limited to about seven or eight months. In 1935 the indus- 
try changed its policy and put its new models out earlier and had the 
November show, thereby in a sense lengthening the automobile season. 
Has that had- any effect upon your abiUty to keep your people more 
regularly employed? 

Mr. Carlton. I think it has, Dr. Lubin. There is a very great 
difference of opinion about that at the moment. You will remember 
last fall the automobile dealers' association was divided about that 
thing. Some of the dealers thought it was very bad and some thought 
it was very good. It possibly is a questionable thing right now, but 
from the standpoint of the parts manufacturer I think it is a very 
good practice. I think it tends to stabihze employment in the manu- 
facturing end of the business. 

Dr. Lubin. It makes it possible, does it not, for you to keep your 
people employed over more months in the year and not have to build 
up your labor supply to meet a relatively shorter market? 

Mr. Carlton. I think it tends to do that. 

Dr. Lubin. I was interested in what you said about the place of 
patents in your industry, in reply to a question asked you by Senator 
King. You said that as far as your own industry was concerned you 
felt that patents had been a very effective factor. 

Now after all, your industry is dependent entirely upon the sale of 
automobiles, and irrespfective ot4he patent situation in your own indus- 
try, if automobiles weren't sold in large nunibers, patents or no patents, 
you people would be in a difficult position. Do you beheve that 
patents have had anything to do with the development of the auto- 
mobile industry as such, I mean has it been a really significant factor? 
Would we have had the development we have had of General Motors, 
of Ford, Chrysler, and so forth, without patents, or without our 
present patent system? 

Mr. Carlton. I made the statement, which I will try to repeat 
exactly as I made it. In my opinion our patent system, which I hke 
to call a part of the American incentive system, has been the greatest 
single factor in the development of the great automobile which we 
have today, which is being sold at the lowest price that it was ever sold. 

Now, I make that statement after consulting this parts industry 
very carefully. I realize that so far as an original parts manufacturer 
is concerned, his business depends entirely upon the sale of automo- 
biles. Once having signed a contract for a year, then we have to sit 
down and wait to see how much business comes in and we can't do 
anything about that, but we can do a lot about that before that year 
starts. If we can do something in the way of a part that makes that 
automobile more attractive to you, then we will make you want to 
buy a new car, and without any fear of our customers resenting it, I 
can say that I think that the parts fellow has contributed a very great 
deal to make this automobile what it is today, and when I say that 


I am coupling with it the fact that without patents the parts fellow 
just wouldn't have been there. He couldn't have existed and devel- 
oped and been what he is today. 

Now, I am giving all the credit in the world to the great automobile 
manufacturer who by almost superhuman manufacturing methods and 
research and development of his own has done this, but for this indus- 
try which I so unofficially represent, I am also taking its share of the 

Dr. LuBiN. In other words, you don't think we would have 27,000,- 
000 cars on the road today if it hadn't been for our present patent 

Mr. Carlton. No, sir; I do not think so. 

Dr. LuBiN. I would hke to ask a question as to what happens in 
your industry when a manufacturer suddenly decides that next year 
he is going to make his own parts of a certain type. Does it fre- 
quently happen that manufacturers who have been purchasing their 
parts from people in your organization suddenly make up their minds 
that next year we are not going to buy any more, or only buy a few 
of them, and we are going to produce those things ourselves? 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, that happens occasionally, I think. However, 
they have been pretty fair with it, and I believe that in most cases 
they have had pretty good reason for doing it when they did it. 
Possibly the manufacturer of the part went to sleep; maybe he didn't 
continue the development and research that he should have; maybe 
his prices got out of line; maybe he got into a jam one way or another. 
And then sometimes it happens that nobody knows why he did it. 

Dr. LuBiN. But it is not a frequent practice for the manufacturer 
suddenly to make up his mind that hereafter he will make the part? 

Mr. Carlton. Not frequent; it is very occasionally that it happens. 

Dr. LuBiN. But it does happen? 

Mr. Carlton. It does happen. 

Dr. LuBiN. One hears a lot of rumors, a Lot of stories round to the 
effect that the parts manufacturer who had geared his output to the 
demands of a given automobile manufacturer, and who because of 
the orders coming through has put in large amounts of capital, new 
investment, expanded his plant, and then finally wakes up one morning 
and has the manufacturer say to him, "I want half a million units 
this year, but you will have to sell them dt X price," a price which the 
parts manufacturer cannot afford to produce at and make a profit. 
Does that thing every happen in the industry? 

Mr. Carlton. Oh, of course, purchasing agents will be purchasing 
agents. They have to go through about so much of that hysteria; but 
salesmen have to be salesmen, and when it is all boiled down I think 
that is mostly conversation. I don't think there is any unfairness about 
the whole thing, as a rule. If I am selling an article at $1.50 and the 
purchasing agent says "I am only going to pay $1 for it" and I am 
simple enough to say, "Well, if that is all you will give I will take it," 
then I am a lousy salesman and my company ought to get a new sales 
manager. If I come out at $1.40 or $1,395, I am pretty lucky. 

Dr. LuBiN. But the purchasing agent knows you have invested a 
large amount of capital in order to meet his demand, and there is no 
market but his, and you either take it or not. Chances are you have 
to take it or shut down. It isn't so much a question of being simple, 
it is a question of being in a position where you can't say "No." 

124491— 39— pt. 3 16 


I don't know whether that happens or not. 

Mr. Carlton. They have a terrific club in their hands, but they 
don't wield it. They wave it around a httle bit, but when you- get all 
through they put it behind the door and are pretty decent about it. 

Senator King. Has your association helped the effect of that club? 
You are still making parts. 

Mr. Carlton. We would all be out of business if they swung it 
very hard. We get along just beautifully, as a matter of fact. 

The Chairman. The power exists, but it hasn't been exercised upon 
the three members. 

Mr. Carlton., It must be they don't want to put us out of business. 

Senator King. You are a part of the contract, so you may wave 
the club over the automobile manufacturers, who don't produce the 
commodities you are producing, and you might say, "We will not 
produce this particular rim for less than so many dollars per unit." 

Mr. Carlton. We are pretty meek. 

Senator King. You have to find consumers for your products. 

Mr. Carlton. We have a very limited market. 

Senator King. But you produce something like how much — 
$800,000,000 a year? 

Mr. Carlton. That's right. 

Senator King. And the other organization produces two or three 
hundred million dollars a year? 

Mr. Carlton. That's right. 

Senator King. So that there is over $1,000,000,000 you and your 
associates produce. 

Mr. Carlton. We don't dare tell them where to go for fear they 
might go, and we. have great respect for their manufacturing ability. 

'The Chairman. I think the witness's answer that the industry is 
meek probably stands. 

Are there any other questions, Mr, Dienner? 

Mr. Dienner. I have nothing further, Senator. 

The Chairman. We are very much indebted to you, indeed, for 
this very interesting testimony, sir, and you may now stand excused 
with the gratitude of the committee. 

Mr. Carlton. Thank you, gentlemen, for your patience. 

(The witness, Mr. Carlton, was excused.) 

The Chairman. The committee will stand in recess until 2 o'clock 
this afternoon. 

(Whereupon, at 12:05 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the 
same day.) 

afternoon session 

The committee reconvened at 2:20 p. m. on the expiration of the 

The Chairman. Mr. Dienner, are you ready to proceed? 

Mr. Dienner. Thank you, I am. 

The next witness we shall call is Mr. Graham, an independent 
inventor. Mr. Graham, will yon please be sworn? 

The Chairman. Do you solenuily swear the testimony you are 
about to give in this procectliiig shall l)c the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Graham. I do. 




Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Graliam, will you please state your full name and 

Mr. Graham. Maurice H. Graham. I believe you would qualify 
me as an independent inventor. 

Mr. DiENNER. What was your training which brought you to that 

Mr. Graham. Well, I went to high school 2 years and then I figured 
I needed a job more than I did any more school, so I hired out to a 
telephone company, digging post holes, and I worked at that for about 
90 days, and then I became a hnenian, and from that I became a 
trouble shooter, and from there I was in switchboard work. In 1914, 
when I practically quit the telephone business, I was district super- 
intendent for the plant for the British Columbia Telephone Co. at 
Vancouver. In 1914, when the war broke out, the telephone company 
wanted to transfer me to Kamloops, and give me the commercial de- 
partment as well as the plant department. I didn't like the com- 
mercial department so well so I came home. In 1915 I went into the 
automobile business. 

I took up a Ford contract in the Uttle town of Zumbrota, Minn., 
and I met another fellow that I had known when I was a boy. We 
bought the Ford agency. I operated that until 1925. I had done 
fairly well in the automobile business, and in 1925 there was quite a 
lot of trading, so I sold out the automobile business. I had a desire 
to get into the manufacturing business. I had always leaned more 
or less that way, so I took a year and went down to Florida and 
monkeyed around and came back to Minneapolis in the spring of 
1926. I tried out several little penny ante inventions; some of them 
worked. For instance, a cigarette case I made would eject cigarettes 
out. I sold 250,000 and it was fairly profitable. 

There was a limit to it, it was a kind of once-over and then it was 
all done. 

I also tried out a garage door, an automatic garage door with a 
weight on it. You would come up to the post and trip the trip, at the 
post and the door would fly open, and when you got through you 
would close the door and wind the weight back up. But that wasn't 
so good. The door opener was all right but the doors would stick. 
The garages those days were made in such a way that when the 
wind was in one direction the garage usually leaned in the other 
direction and the doors were always stuck, so it didn't work so well. 

Representative Reece. The idea was good but it didn't work. 

Mr. Graham. Yes; it was just one of those things. At any rate, 
I tried some little schemes, some of them would come out, some of 
them wouldn't, so in August of 1930 I went over to the McGraw 
Electric Co. which was then known as the Toastmaster Co. under 
the name of the Waters-Gonter Co., and I asked Mr. Waters why he 
didn't make a toaster that wouldn't burn the toast, that I figured the 
one he had did burn toast, and he said, "Well, that is a hard job." 

I said, "Give me a tclfaster and let me try it." 

He did and I fooled with it for a while, and all of a sudden I con- 
ceived the idea that a clock was operating on a given time but a 


toaster doesn't operate on a given time. As a toaster gets hotter, 
the time cuts down. In fact, it almost cuts in half. So I thought 
first that maybe the best thing would be to take the clock out, so I 
made a toaster for him with two electrodes that come up against the 
side of the toast, and when the bread toasted it would dry the toast 
out eventually so that the electricity wouldn't go through the toast 
any more, and then it would be automatically finished. 

Well, that worked pretty good, but it left its mark on the bread 
and some people objected to that. 

So then I made one where the bread was pulled down over a pin 
that had a very fancy little thermostat inside of a needle that timed 
the toast by the inner temperature of the bread. That was quite a 
popular toaster around the factory for quite a while, it worked very 
good, but it had its troubles. People toast molasses on bread, and 
butter, on bread, and everything else, and you have so many things 
to contend with. 

So I was not so sure that the clock in the end was not possiblv the 
best that we could make, if we could synchronize it with the time that 
it required to toast bread, from a cold toaster to a warm toaster, and 
one of the most difficult things in the toaster to overcome is when you 
have toasted until the toaster was warm; then you want to wait 
about 2 minutes, or you did wait about 2 minutes for some reason, 
you got an increase. On a minute and a half wait of a Toastmaster- 
toaster you have to increase the time about 30 seconds. Well, it was 
hard to cool off the piece of bi-Metal in the toaster as fast as the 
toaster cooled off. Finally, I found that by taking advantage of the 
radiant head and various other conditions in the toaster that it was 
possible to do that. I built one; I built two of them, and I gave one 
to Mr. Waters and one to Mr. Genter, and they tried them out and 
they were very pleased with it. 

It was during the first part of 1932 and things were not very good. 
So we started to put that in production. It was very simple; it didn't 
take a great deal of time. We tooled up and in August of that year 
we put that into production. It increased production some during 
that fall, we think — that is a guess, of course, as to what it did do — 
but anyway in the season of 1932 it was not on the profit side for the 
McGraw Electric Co.; 1933 it was on the profit side by considerable; 
1934 was considerably better than 1933 and 1935, and so forth; and 
1938 better than any one of the other years. I should judge that it 
amplified the business practically three times over what it was before 
that improvement was put on. 

Well, after that, I was pretty well finished with the toaster business, 
I had a royalty contract with McGraw Electric Co. so I opened up 
a small shop or laboratory you might call it, and started to develop 
some other toasters. I developed one with a thermostat that would 
heat for a given time, and^jthen cool for a given time during each 
toasting cycle. It had a lot of merit but the toasting art covers so 
many principles that you must cover. So I worked with several 
concerns; I would make a business of watching what somebody had 
in the electrical appliance field and if I did not think it was just right, 
or I could make it better, I would make a business of going over and 
telling them, why don't you do this or that? 

So I developed a pressure cooker for the Pressure Cooker Co. with 
electric controls, the National Pressure Cooker Co. at Eau Claire, 


Wis. That took quite a little time. I also made a flatirou and I 
licensed that, of which I will tell you later. It wasn't such a good 
experience, but it was a good flatiron. Then I shifted over into the 
coffee business. I had an entirely different idea for coffee urns. With 
most coffeepots the trouble is that you could only heat the water up 
about so far and then you started to circulate it through the coffee, 
then it should have no more heat, but to make coffee the way the book 
says it should be made is rather hard to do, so I think I pretty well 
accomplished that. When I got through with this particular coffee- 
pot, 1 decided I wanted to show it to some bigger manufacturer to 
see what they could do with it. I took it up with the General Electric 
Co. and in conversation they were very much interested in this coffee- 
pot, but they were also interested in this toaster that heated up and 
cooled off. 

I negotiated a deal on the toaster first, which ended up in making 
a contract with the General Electric Co. — I don't know just how to 
put it — it was handled through the McGraw Electric Co., but it is the 
same patent that I got up that fall. So they took the coffeepot in 
their laboratory and studied it for about a year. You might wonder 
why I would take it to the General Electric Co. They have a large 
sales organization and a great many jobbers, over 100 jobbing houses 
and subsidiary jobbing houses, and I Imew that this particiUar coffee- 
pot needed advertising. I would like to show it- to you. 

Mr. DiENNER. Please do so. 

Mr. Graham. It looks just like a percolator; in fact it is buUt on 
a percolator but it has entirely different action than a percolator. 

The Chairman. Is there enough to go around? 

Mr. Graham. Not now; I could make it. It has a basket, just 
the same as a percolator, and so forth, but what actually happens to 
the thing, it heats the water up to 150°; then it turns that heater off; 
then it has another trick in here that causes the water to heat further 
by no direct contact with the heating element at all, on a different 
principle that heats the water from there on up to 204°, where it seems 
to be the right temperature for coffee to finish. 

The General Electric Co. was very much sold on it. In fact there 
is a contract agreed to between the engineering department and their 
patent department. It has not been signed yet by the General 
Electric Co., but is has been O. K'd as far as the patent division, and 
the enghieering division at Bridgeport. The pomt of it is I have found 
that the General Electric Co., "even though they have a large labor- 
atory, they have many engineers, I have found that they were in 
lots "of ways easier to deal with than some of the smaller concerns. 
I haven't had a bit of trouble witli them. 

The McGraw Electric Co. had a lot of engmeers, seven or eight 
when I was with them. I had no trouble with them. 


Mr. Graham. As an independent inventor it is my contention that 
if you have got something that has any merit to it you won't have any 
trouble findmg plenty of people in the large organizations that are 
glad to listen to you and see what they can do. 


Mr. DiENNER I take it, Mr. Graham, that you have taken out 
patents on the items that you have mentioned, such as the toaster and 
the coffeepot. 

Mr. Graham. I have. 

Mr. DiENNER. Now, tell us approximately what you obtain in the 
way of royalties on the toaster, roughly. 

Mr. Graham. Well, I would have to get those figures, but it has 
been over $113,000. 

Mr. DiENNER. Have you an illustration of a device wliich you were 
unable to patent, unable to market? 

Mr. Graham. Yes; there is another one dov/n here, if I can get it all 
together. Tliis is not an awfully elaborate thing but in some sections 
of the country it answers the same problem as the toaster. It is for 
making biscuits, baking cake, it will bake most anything along the 
liiif s of cornbread, biscuits, and so forth. You mix your biscuits 
and put them in this pan here when it is cold ; you don't have to pre- 
heat it or anything, you stick it in there, lift this up and set it over 
there, you set this for what you are going to bake. 

Mr. DiENNER. That is a thermostatic control, I take it. 

Mr. Graham. It is more than that The idea is that it takes 20 
minutes or 15 minutes to bake some things. If you had a thermostat 
in there it would get hot before that period. You have to have more 
than a thermostat to give you that long a period, so when it is done the 
ball will fall down and shut off the current and you take it out when 
you get rsady. 

I had a deal negotiated with the Scott-Atwater Co. in Minneapolis. 
T was negotiating a deal with them, and we thought we had the 
possibilities of a pretty good patent on our control heater, but after a 
complete search we found a reference that just took all the teeth out 
of the patent; you might say all we would have was a design and we 
were never able to get anybody to take it because we couldn't get 
patent protection on it. 

Mr. DiENNER. Would you tell us any criticism you have in connec- 
tion with the securing of patents? 

Mr. Graham. Well, I have taken out, I assume, 15 to 20 patents in 
the last 10 years, all of that, and in that sum I have had one, two, 
three, I have had four interferences; one interference cost me $8,000 
and that is a lot of money. That was a toaster interference. Owing 
to my set-up I had a royalty contract with tlie McGraw Electric Co., 
even on a patent that had not been issued, and this particular inter- 
ference was on this particular patent, so it was up to the McGraw 
Electric Co. to try to help out ir. the expense, otherwise they may 
lose the main patent that they were working on, so they had to co- 
coperate with me, otherwise I don't know whether I would have 
wanted to go to that extent and spend that much to fight that inter- 
ference with the patent. 

I have had four other interferences, and it seems as though when you 
get a good item that you are ready to put on the market, if yon put it 
on the market before tiie patent is actually issued it just'^ seems to 
me that I always run into an interference; in fact, that has been my 
experience as far as I have gone. 

I can't help but believe that there must be some way of shortening 
the action of interferences or declaring somehow who the inventor is 
other than, you might say, leavuig it" to this one and that one and 


the other one who may want to come in and witness this, that, and 
the other thing. It is just a complicated set-up. I wish there was 
some way it could be changed. That is the only complaint I have 
under the patent system. 


Mr. DiENNER. Let me ask you one more question. What would 
be your attitude in regard to any change in the patent system which 
would allow anyone to come to you and demand a license on the pay- 
ment of royalty. How would that affect your situation? 

Mr. Graham. What was that again? 

Mr. DiENNER. Suppose there were provision in the law allowing 
anyone to come to you and request a Ucense^ offering to pay royalties. 
How would that affect your situation? In other words, compulsory 
license law. 

Mr. Graham. I don't think in the electrical appliance field that I 
have ever built an item that I could go out to somebody and get him 
to build it if he only had the use of it for a year or two or three, as the 
case miglit be, and then the so-called "gyp" manufacturer could come 
in and take advantage of it, because this particular coffeepot is so 
much different and yet it looks just like a coffeepot, and somebody 
has got to spend a lot of money in advertising to let the public know 
what this thing does. It is not a coffeepot, that is an old-fashioned 
percolator, because that is a discarded system. With the Silex and 
the other ways of making coffee, you can hardly sell a percolator 
today, and this looks just like a percolator. All manufacturers want 
to get into a metal coffee maker if they can, because with stainless 
steels and various other alloy steels there is a steel that is just as good 
for making coffee in as glass. If I would go to them, for instance the 
General Electric Co., and ask them to spend $50,000 to advertise this, 
then in a given time anybody could come in, I don't think I would 
ever be able to sell it. I couldn't interest them in it. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chan-man, that is aU the inquiry on which I 
wish to examine this witness, unless the witness has something further 
to say to the conmiittee. 

The Chairman. Do any members of the committee desire to ask 
Mr. Graham any additional questions? 

Dr. LuBiN. Mr. Graham, do you still own the patents on these 
devices and rent them on a royalty, or have you sold some of them? 

Mr. Graham. Some of them I still own, some of them I have had 
the patent transferred to the man — well, for instance, the McGraw 
Electric Co. has a great number transferred to them on a royalty 
contract. I have that come up every once in a wliile: "Will you assign 
the patent to us, or are you bound to have just an exclusive contract?" 

I don't know. In some instances it is better to hang onto the patent, 
and in some instances it is just as well to take on the exclusive con- 
tract and give them the patent. 

Dr. LuBiN. Is this biscuit device on the market now? 

Mr. Graham. No; I have never been able to put it on the market, 
because I haven't got a patent and I can't get one that amounts to 
anything on it. There are designs and a few little features to it, but 
it is one of those patents like many of them, that don't mean anything. 

1 This subject is resumed from p. ,996, supra. 


Dr. LuBiN. Is there any danger, in the event it might be put on 
the market, it might be held infringing some other patent? 

Mr. Graham. No. There is an old refesence that I found, an 
expired reference, but it just took the teeth out of the possibiUties of 
getting a claim that was any good on this. 

Dr. LuBiN. In consulting with various manufacturers about that 
device do they feel there is a market for such a thing? 

Mr. Graham. Yes. This has been made for possibly 4 years. 
The Knapp-Monarch Co. came out with a biscuit maker, anyway, and 
the General Mills has tried to get me to find some way to simplify this 
so they could put it out with their Bisquick. I may some day gej: hold 
of some way of putting it out as a premium, but so far as putting it 
out with a staple manufacturer as a year in, "year out product, I don't 
think it is possible to do it. 

The Chairman. Why not? 

Mr. Graham. I can't get them to take it. The tool cost is too much 
to tool up for a thing like this, with the possible profit there is in it and 
then have somebody else come in and copy it and take away that 
portion of the business that there is. 

The Chairman. In other worIs, to bring an instrument of this kind 
into production a patent is necessary. 

Mr. Graham. I think so. 

The Chairman. But on the other hand you have there a device 
which is actually the result of prior expired patents which never went 
into production. 

Mr. Graham. That is true to some extent. The reference is a long 
ways from this type of a device. There are many patents that are 
cited to a fellow that are not practical and still they have something 
about them that makes the practical device hard to get into perfection 
and get any claim on it. 

The Chairman. And do you mean to tell us you haven't been able 
to find a patent lawyer in Washington who is unable to distinguish 
this from the others? 

Mr. Graham. I live in Minneapolis. 

The Chairman. There is an opportunity here for somebody, I 
would think. 

Mr. Graham. Then again, in Minneapolis we are located quite a 
little way from the logical manufacturing center. We have many 
things against us; we have freight rates against us up there and, 
where we go to a home manufacturer, if we can't protect him so that 
he can have a protected price, it is difficult for him to compete with 
the eastern manufacturer. 

The Chairman. What is your judgment, in the light of your experi- 
ence with this device, with respect to the recommendation which has 
been made to us practically universally by all of the witnesses thus far, 
that the period of exclusive use of any patent should be limited to 
20 years? 

Mr. Graham. Well, I know of only one patent in my life that ran 
17 years, speaking now of electrical appliances. I have never seen 
more than one patent that actually lived its life in actual production. 
I think the 20-year idea has its niorit. It n\ay hurry some inventors 
to try and answer an amendment cjuicker and finish the pntent sooner. 

The Chairman. But if the reference in this case had not expired 
it would be possible for you to acquire that right and thereby put this 
macJiine on the market. 


Mr. Graham. Well, that didn't have much bearing on it. I still 
could put this on the market without interfering with that patent, 
because- it was an old patent. 

The Chairman. But I understood you to say that it was because 
of that patent that you can't get the protection that you want for this. 

Mr. Graham. I know; it was an old patent, but nevertheless that 
was an old patent, so this would be an old patent, so anybody could 
copy it. 

The Chairman. But if the life of that old patent had not expired, 
it would be possible for you to acquire it and enter into an agreement 
with the holder of that patent, and then you would have the patent 
protection that you say you need. 

Mr. Graham. Well, I may understand it a little wrong as far as 
this 20-year idea, but as it is now, some of our patents— I have had 
one 6 years before I got it issued, one I had several interferences with, 
and that will make 23 years on that one. 

The Chairman. That is exactly the point. The suggestion has 
been made that Uie period during which a patent may be permitted 
to remain in the application state should be shortened, or if it remains 
in the application state, that the term of exclusive use shall be cut 
down, so that altogether the period is 20 years. 

Mr. Graham. I think I would be in accord with that 20-year idea. 
I believe it would be better for the average small fellow who is trying 
to make both ends meet. 

The Chairman. It is very interesting in the light of your experience 
and in this respect. 

Dr. LuBiN. I am interested in the baker. Did you have a search 
made on that device before or after you built the instrument? 

Mr. Graham. That is where I stuck my neck out a little wrong. 
I usually do, but I did not on tliis one, and then the funny part of it is, 
after I made the search, it was about a $60 search, I had no reference, 
but when I was down here one time and I was looking through the 
Patent Office and found it myself. 

The Chairman. If there are no other questions, the witness is 
excused. We are very appreciative. 

(The witness, Mr. Graham, was excused.) 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. Chairman, may I call my next witness. It is 
Mf. Baekeland. Will you please be sworn, Mr. Baekeland? 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are 
about to give in this proceeding shall be the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Baekeland. I do. 


Mr. Dienner. Mr. Baekeland, will you please state j^our full name 
and occupation? 

Mr. Baekeland. My name is George Baekeland. I am vice presi- 
dent and secretary of the BakeUte Corporation, and president of two 
of its subsidiaries. 

Mr. Dienner. Will you please tell us your education and training 
for the position which you now occupy? 


Mr. Baekeland. I received an A. B. degree from Cornell, an E. M. 
from the Colorado School of Mines. I practiced mining engineering 
until 1923-24, when at the request of my father I gave up my profes- 
sion with some reluctance and went to work for the Bakelite Corpo- 
ration. I have been with Bakehte Corporation since that time, and, 
well, a jack of all trades, and my experience has been somewhat 
rounded and full, I think. 

Mr. DiENNER. Are you famihar with your father's earlier work 
preceding the invention of bakelite? 


Mr. Baekeland. Well, the earliest work that brought him any 
prominence was done at a timiC w^hen I was about born, or perhaps a 
year or two previous to it. He invented Velox paper in the early 
nineties. He went into partnership — it was not a corporation or a 
company, a pure partnership — with a man who put up the necessary 
money. At the time my father had only recently resigned as professor 
of physics and chemistry and had gone into photographic research 
work, following work he had done as a student in pliotochemistr}-. 
The result was his invention of Velox paper, or photographic paper 
to which h^ gave the name Velox, which was manufactured under this 
partnership arrangement. 

He took out no patent; it was a secret process. The business was 
small, of course. He alone knew the formula, although there was a 
written formula sealed, I believe, I am not sure-of that, in escrow in 
case he died. He himself mixed the emulsions daily that were used 
for the making of this photographic paper. 

Perhaps some of the members of the committee will recall that in 
the early days of photography it would take about half an hour in 
sunlight to get a print. This Velox paper made a print instantane- 
ously, and in that way greatly added to the improvement in the art. 

The paper, of course, ])ccame strongly competitive with the old 
types of paper on the market at that time, and the Eastman Kodak 
Co., on two occasions, came to my father and his partner with a desire 
to purchase the business. They were reluctant, however, to part with 
their business, but finally, when it became a nice running business and 
the troubles were over and it became routine manufacture, I think 
my father became a bit bored with the whole thing, and it was decided 
to sell on the third attempt by the Eastman Co. to purchase, so the 
whole thing was sold, lock, stock, and barrel, and my father dropped 
out of that business and went into the thing that he wished to do. 

He was then quite comfortably off. In fact, for those days he was 
quite a wealthy man. He devoted his time to chemical consulting 
work and at his home in Yonkers he converted an old barn, a stable, 
where he carried on work in a number of fields, and at the time of the 
Russo-Japanese War, among other things he was working on syn- 
thetic camphor. Natural camphor had become very high-priced 
owing to the Japanese War. He was not the only one, however, 
who was working at that time on that particular problem. He was 
also working on synthetic shellac. Shellac, as you may know, is a 
product from an insect in India. 



Mr, Baekeland. The result of those researches led him to certain 
observations and conclusions, and following these he developed the first 
thermosetting plastic. Perhaps I might just explain that a little bit, 
because this business on which I am going to touch today is really the 
foundation of the plastics industry as we know it. Until my father's 
invention of these synthetic resins which were thermosetting, plastics 
were what we call thermoplastics; thej^ never became hard except on 
cooling, they were cold setting rather than heat setting, rather than 
thermosetting. The plastics in use then were shellac (it is still used 
for making Victrola records, it w^as then used for maldng a number 
of things besides Victrola records) and the other one was hard rubber. 
Hard rubber was at that time used as an electrical insulator in 
electric installation, which of course had not developed to its present 
stages, but it was used in the main electric insulators aside from 
porcelain and glass. 

The trouble mth these old plastics was that upon heating they al- 
ways softened, just as when one puts a Victrola record near a radiator 
or in the smi it will soften and fold over. Of course such a plastic 
as that has veiy great limitations because so many insulators and other 
products which can be made of plastics have to withstand higher 
temperature than normal temperature. 

This was an entirely new plastic in this sense. The old plastic was 
put into a warm mold and as soon as it became plastic, until it was 
cooled it remained plastic, so while it was in the mold the mold had 
to be chilled, and then having become chilled it could be opened and 
the piece could be taken out without becoming deformed in handling 
or setting down on the bench. That applied to the shellac and to the 
hard rubber plastics then in use. 

The curious and unique thing about these new plastics that were 
introduced by my father was this: The technique was very much the 
same; it is placed into a hot mold; the heat of that mold begins to 
fuse or soften this plastic so that when pressure is appKed to the die, 
to the mold, the plastic flows through the mold and takes the form 
and shape of a mold, but continued heating in that mold does some- 
thing that hadn't happened before. Continued heating brought on a 
chemical reaction within the material itself in the mold and it set up 
hard and then having reached that point the mold could be opened, 
the piece taken out at a temperature so hot that it isn't convenient to 
handle, and there was no deformation and no more change, and any 
further heating would never sdften that material again. 

Unlike shellac and hard rubber, after this material is once set 

The Chairman (interposing). What is it, the amount of heat or 
the length of application? 

Mr. Baekeland. A combination of the two; low. temperature takes 
longer; high temperature requires a shorter time. 

After the material had once become cured it couldn't be dissolved 
and softened with solvents. Shellac, hard rubber, and those things 
are all subject to being dissolved in ordinary organic solvents. So 
was this new plastic that my father invented, in its initial stage, but 
once it had beer heated and set it wouldn't soften and couldn't be 
dissolved in an , .olve'nt. 


Since then there have been certain solvents, but they are very un- 
usual thinj^'s, so that for all intents and purposes these materials are 
not attacked by solvents, oils, alcohol, benzine, anything of that 
kind, and they are not afl'ected by heat. 


Mr. Baekeland. They made possible thinj^s that have never been 
possible before. Mr. Kettering testified here I understand last week. 
He recognized he could not have made a self-starting lighting system 
without these Bakelite molding materials. In a motorcar tlie insu- 
lators are subject to quite high temperatures and the}^ are also covered 
with grease, oil, or gas, and what not, and those two things would 
have ruined any known insulator except glass or porcelain, which were 
not at all adaptable to automobile installation; they are very cheap 
materials and if they were to be used today they would have been 
used in the past. This material or these materials of plastics have 
made possible the development of a great many things wjucli today 
we see in all business and which are only possible owing to the pecuhar 
characteristic of these materials. 

It is the combination of characteristics which has given them the 
very wide use and utility which they have enjo3^ed. These first ma- 
terials, first resins, invented by my father were patented, patents issued 
in 1909, they were applied for in 1907; they went through the office in 
2 years, which is rather good time — or less than 2 years. A business 
seemed to be indicated from what was at hand and my father with his 
own money and with the monov of friends whom he invited in, formed 
a company in 1910, General BakcUte Co., to begin the manufacture of 
these materials. 

The company was financed by the original stockholders privately 
and it might interest this committee to know that although this corn- 
pan}- has grown and has pcreased its investment and. plants and all 
that, several times to a very great degree, there has never been another 
cent put into the business and the company has never borrowed money, 
never -put out a bond issue. The stockholders wece not greedy and 
they were sensible ; they saved from earnings when they began to make 
earnings, enough to keep up and continue the research work that was 
necessary, additions to plant, increasing the selling force, and they have 
always maintained or had maintained, or rather the tax laws made 
possible, a conservative and sensible dividend policy. 

Fortunately none of them were people who wished to get an inordi- 
nate amount of money ; they were more interested in getting good ma- 
terials and seeing that the business was souiul and managed hi a 
sound and sensible financial way. 

To digress for a minute, it might interest the committee to know 
that as a result of that policy in the year 1931 and '32, when we 
were in the midst of the depression, out of surplus, out of sums saved 
from past earnings, we built a four-and-a-half-million-dollar plant, at 
a time when business was at a standstill; we phiced orders, gave men 
employment, and built a four-and-a-half-milhon-dollar plant. That 
was only possible through this policy that had been carried on tlirough 
the years. 

The Chairman. Was there any displacement that you know of? 

Air. Baekeland. Displacement? 


The Chairman. Did the developJnent of this industry disphice any 
other industry? 

Mr. Baekeland. The only thing it did was to— I think it cut down 
the hard-rubber business, which was a sninll business at that time, 
anyway, because of the few materials, the few articles that were dis- 
placed in hard rubber by these Bakelite products were offset— well, I 
should say a thousandfold by the new products that were made which 
were never made of hard rubber. 

The Chairman. Then we are to understand that as a result of this 
invention, and the development of this industry, we have new uses 
which in the main are not substitutes for any other uses? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, j^es; entirely so. 

The Chairman. And new materials which are actually not sub- 
stitutes for old materials? 

Mr. Baekeland. It has created a new business and it has created 
new products which never had been made, and as a matter of fact 
today could not be made without these materials. 

Mr. Patterson. In other words you are tellmg us, Mr. Baekeland, 
that new employees — you took on new employees and it helped the 
unemployment situation? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. 

Mr. Patterson. How many byproducts have you from the original 
plastic invention, or secret process? 


Mr. Baekeland. How many products are made today? Well, I 
didn't believe it would be possible to answer that question until the 
other day I asked in our office whether we had such a record, and I 
found we did. We sell to 35 major industries and they have a record 
at the office of the articles made in each industry and the}' amount to 
over 15,000 different articles. 

Mr. Patterson. Different articles? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. For example, a radio tube base would be one 
article; a safety-razor handle would be a second one; a switch plate 
would be a third. There are 15,000 such made of our plastics. 

The Chairman. Now of course in each one of those instances which 
you have mentioned, the Bakelite is a substitute for something else? 

Mr. Baekeland. There were no radio tube bases in those days. 

The Chairman. Certainly there were razor handles? 

Mr. Baekeland. Safety razors? There were no safety razors — 
oh, yes; they were just coming in. That replaced brass. 

The Chairman. How about your Ught-switch plates? 

Mr. Baekeland. They were brass. 

The Chairman. So there was a little substitution? 

Mr. Baekeland. A little substitution, but over all very little 
substitution; it is mostly new business. 

Mr. Patterson. Over all you are pretty well convinced that you 
helped the unemployment situation? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes; no question about it. 

Mr. Dienner. Mr. Baekeland, have you some sarnples of articles 
that you could exhibit? I think that would be very interestmg. 

Mr. Baekeland. I might have some here; they may give a clearer 
idea of what we are talking about. 


Representative Reece. To what extent is this new plastic material 
that is made out of synthetic material derived from wood or cotton 
fiber, such as rayon, the base for rayon? 

Mr. Baekeland. We make a number of plastics. We make phenolic 
plastics, aminoplastics, cellulose acetate plastics, glyptal plastics, and 

Representative Reece. Just new material, is it, based upon your 
. Mr. Baekeland. Yes. Here is a phenolic. 

Mr. Dienner. You may be referring to cellulose acetate, a clear 
almost glass-like material? 

Representative Reece. Yes. 

Mr. Baekeland. Here is a piece of cellulose acetate that goes on 
the head of the steering wheel of a car; that is cellulose acetate. 

Representative Reece. But that is made on your process? 

Mr. Baekeland. Well, you know we are plastics headquarters; 
we make different — -you might say comparing us to the metal people, 
we have several metals that we turn out; one might be brass, another 
lead, another one iron. Something of the sort. They are not identi- 
cal in characteristics. Each has its own characteristics and fills its 
own particular needs and uses. 

Now this thing here can be made colorless and where they want a 
Ught color like this why we give them cellulose acetate, the amino 
or polystyrene-resins which are colorless. This material can only 
be made in amber color. Here is the pure resinoid here. So that 
where color does not make any difference and where certain other 
qualities are wanted, then we give them somethhig, we will say, hke 
this for the telephone company. This is a piece for the telephone. 
That is a phenolic plastic. That is the original thmg my father 
invented. These phenolic plastics are the ones that really started the 
plastics industry as we know it today, and then followed these other 

Here is a polystyrene. Now that material incidentally is an 
interesting thing. You see they are made in quantities of this kind; 
those are put through automatic machines and they make a quantity 
of them, and they break them off. Now this incidentally is an insu- 
lator for a television set. The peculiar characteristics of this 
material are such that nothing else will serve as well for tele- 
vision. The efficiency and the high degree of perfection in television 
require material of these peculiar electrical characteristics. This 
material here does not have it. Neither do some of these others 
that we have, so these several materials find their uses in a variety 
of places where their peculiar characteristics are demanded or are 


Mr. Patterson. Mr. Baekeland, do you lecall how many patents 
you have? 

Mr. Baekeland. We have at the present time in force 205 patents. 
We have had a total of 365 patents. 

Mr. Patterson. With applications pending? 

Mr Baekelkand. We have applications pending; yes. 

Mr. Patterson. Would you have done without the patent sj^s- 
tem? Suppose you did not have that protection, silppose you had 
not had that protection? 


Mr. Baekeland. Well, I don't think my father would have gone 
ahead and tried to build a business on it. The answer to that would 
be, of course, then somebody else would do it. That might be 
the obvious answer, but tlie real answer is shnply this, that having 
patent protection, living and working behind, we will say, glass walls 
that protected him but which anyone could look in tlu-ough and see 
what he was doing, he had an opportunity to carry on his \\ork and 
improve these products, develop new ones, and work on them in 
safety, develop a business and do work which he could not have been 
induced to do if everything he did were to be copied by those who 
had not been subject to the risk and the exp^n^ e of development and 
research and introduction to which he was subject. There is the 
trouble with not having a patent. It is not so easy to introduce new 
materials or new uses. 

The pioneer always has to overcome resistance, has to do the 
demonstrating, and showing that these things are necessary and 
useful, and then having done so and established a market, his com- 
petitor can come in without any of that pioneering expense. Now a 
patent of course gives the inventor, the pioneer, the protection which 
he needs for that pioneering work. 

Mr. DiENNER. Were your patents ever in suit? 

Mr. Baekeland. We have had three patent suits. One immedi- 
ately after the first patents issued, which was won; another one later, 
about 1920, which we won; another when some of the patents winch 
had previously been adjudicated w^ere infringed and we won that one. 

Mr. DiENNER. And your patents were all sustained? 

Mr. Baekeland. They were always sustained, and we have never 
had to defend any patent suits; we have always taken the attitude that 
patents were good and we have not trod on others' toes. 

Mr. DiENNER. One more question. Along that line, when your 
basic patents expired, and the market was then open to others, did 
others then manufacture the material under the original patent? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. A number of competitors or new companies 
came into the field and some of our larger customers also were tempted 
to go into the manufacture of plastics on their own for their own uses. 
So that we have lively competition today and the patents under which 
we are operating now are not basic patents; they are just improve- 
ment patents. 

Representative Reece. Are you able to estimate the number of 
people who have been given employment as result of the creation of 
this new industry? 

Mr. Baekeland, That would be a difficult thing for me to do. I 
tried to find out. We have a great many customers who are in busi- 
nesses that just would not exist without these materials. 

This, incidentally, is a distributor head for a Delco ignition system. 
Here is a phenolic denture, a little gruesome, 1 suppose, but a very 
excellent denture, the best there is, as a matter of fact. And thi^ is a 
small radio cabinet. Here is a grinding wheel. The interesting tiling 
about tins is that these wheels turn at twice the speed that the best 
wheels heretofore had been able to turn. 

The Chairman. What is that? 

Mr. Baekeland. A grinding wheel with a phenolic Bakelitc rosin. 

The Chairman. That is a substitute? 

Mr. Baekeland. Well, I will tell you what it is a substitute for; 
it is a substitute for clay, and the people who used to make the clay 


wheels still do make clay wheels, they ,take the clay and fire 
it. Or they take the rubber; they also make some rubber wheels, and 
it does replace, we will say, clay, a small amount of clay and a small 
amount of rubber, but these wheels will turn at twice the speed the 
ordinary wheel turns. 

The Chairman. Would it be proper to say that with respect to 
most if not all of these articles which you make, even in the case 
where they are substitutes, they can be made so much rnore cheaply 
and of such a character as to perform so much more efficiently? 

Mr. Baekeland. Better service, exactly. 

The Chairman. Than the things for which they are substitutes that 
there is no real comparison? 

Mr. Baekeland. No. I do not know 

The Chairman. That is the impression I get from what you say 
and I am wondering 

Mr. Baekeland. That is the right impression. I know of no case 
where we have done anybody any harm or hardship. Most of this is 
new, most of these are improved uses. Now, for example, a lot of 
those cut-off wheels — that might be a cut-off wheel there — were used 
instead of hacksaws and things like that, and they will cut through 
steel and glass and everything at a tremendous rate, and they have a 
different cutting effect. For example, a fine steel tube can be ground 
down without drawing its temper with these wheels; they run very 
cold; they run much faster than the ordinary wheel, and therefore 
they do more work. The amount of cutting is in direct proportion 
to the speed, the peripheral speed of the wheel, and those wheels run 
twice as fast as the ordinary vitrified wheel, and they do the work in 
half tlie time, and they have also changed some of the machine tool 
technique; instead of milling operations they use grinding wheels now. 

Mr. Dienner. The sanding wheels for grinding automobile bodies 
and the like; there is an interesting point. 

Mr. Baekeland. Well, there is a disk about the size of that grinding 
wheel there that is used on the end of a flexible shaft. The shaft being 
at right angles to the face of the disk and it is used in the automobile 
industry and in other places, but particularly the automobile industry 
to dress down steel bodies. 

The body has little dents in it that you fill with solder and the 
body also has little bumps on it. Those have to be dressed down and 
smoothed out before they can put on the primer and paint coats. 
Those disks were made of a paper-cloth combination with animal glue 
and grits, like ordinary sandpaper. Of course, if the glue was soft the 
disk would be useless. They resulted in dust; the men had to wear 
masks; it was unpleasant and dangerous if the proper precautions 
were neglected. This disk was waterproof, which made it possible to 
do all these sanding operations with a heavy dose of water which 
eliminated all the dust hazard. 

Mr. Patterson. Mr. Baekeland, all these objects, these products 
that we have here for inspection, every one of them is made of BakeUte? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Patterson. And the variation was so minor that it wasn't 
necessary to go to the Patent Office? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes; in some of them there is quite a little 
difference. You know, we have several thousand products that we 


Mr. Patterson. I asked the question to draw out that ansAver, 
because you just a moment ago said you had a great many patents, 
but the basis is Bakehte. 

Mr. Baekeland. Bakehte is a trade name; it is not possible to call 
any material Bakehte because we make such a wide variety of materials 
so dissimilar that if anyone would ask for 10 pounds of Bakehte, with 
all the good will in the world we don't know what he might want; he 
might want a liquid, he might want a solid powder, he might want a 
number of things. 

Mr. Patterson. What do 3'ou call that glass? 

Mr. Baekeland. That is a pure phenolic resin. 

Mr. Patterson. Wouldn't the layman call that Bakelite? 

Mr. Baekeland. I don't know. He might call it Cat ah n"; he might 
call it Durez. 

Mr. Patterson. Of course, we don't know the professional rmmes. 

Mr. Baekeland. There arc a great many names in the trade which 
are currently used. 

Mr. Patterson. Congressman Wihiams asked to what extent this 
is breakable. 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, that is breakable, not as breakable as glass, 
-but it is breakable. Now there is another example. That thing is 
more friable, more breakable, than, we will say, this material. This 
material has a certain shock resistance, and so have some of those 
others that you have there, which those phenolic resins don't have. 
They have great tensile strength and these phenolic resins have been 
used for many years in making gears. They impregnate canvas with 
the original uncured resin in an alcohol solution, coat the canvas, 
the solvent will dry out and then in a hydraulic press they press tliis 
pile and get a very tough, hard, high-shock resistant material which is 
used in gears, which were used in airplane propellers during the war, 
and here is an automobile gear. Now most of the cars going around 
the roads have these gears in the engine, timing gears. 

The Chairman. How long will that gear stand up? 

Air. Baekeland. Oh, it uill last as long as the car. It will outwear 
metal gears. 

The Chairman. Heat resistant? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes. You see, this is down in the engine 
crankcase, it is pretty hot down there. They use them on rolling 
mills, coal crushing mills, paper mills, wherever they want silent gears. 

The Chairman. That is a substitute for metal gears? 

Mr. Baekeland. That is a substitute for metal gears. 

The Chairman. We are finding lots of substitutes here today. 

Mr. Patterson. Your company is known as the Bakehte Cor- 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Patterson. Most of us think that all your products have some- 
thing as a base, and I don't know what that something is — I think 
of vaseline as a petroleum product, and that is what I am trying 
to unravel concerning your products — what is the base? 

Mr. Baekeland. I Avill go into that. We have here before us a 
variety of materials which are made of different materials, too, they 
are not all the same. For example, here is- a door' knob that is a 
phenolic resin. Carbolic acid (phenol) and formaldehyde are reacted 
together in a big kettle sort of thing, and the result of that is a sirupy 

12441)1 — -.iU — pt. 3 17 


resin ; in the warm state it is sirupy and when chilled it is hard. That 
is the initial resin before it has been heated enough to set it, heated 
enough to cure it. 

Phenolic resin is then used in various ways. For that gear it was 
dissolved in alcohol, the canvas was saturated with it. In this instance 
that resin was ground to a powder, with wood flour, and molded in a 
steel die in a hydraulic press. 

The Chairman. Now this gear was constructed, if I understand 
you, by laying together several layers of impregnated canvas. 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. 

The Chairman. And then after that had been done, it was cut into 
the form of a gear? 

Mr. Baekeland. That is right, it was put in a gear cutter; yes. 

The Chairman. How hard is it? What do you have to use to cut 

Mr. Baekeland. They use regular gear-cutting equipment, but 
there is a peculiar thing about these phenohc resins; they are very 
hard to tool, they are harder on tools than metal is. 

The ChairxMan. That is what I was getting at. You used a metal 
tool, however, to cut this? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes; there was a metal tool used. The great 
advantage of these materials, and the reason for their wide utility, is 
they don't need machining operation. A thing like that comes out 
of the mold as you see it. The telephone handle the same way, the 
distributor head, come out as you see them. There isn't any further 
machining or further mechanical operation, sometimes a Httle buffing, 
or where there is a fin Hke that on it, we cut that off. 

The Chairman. Could you make a cutting tool out of this material? 

Mr. Baekeland. No, I don't think you could. 

The Chairman. Isn't it hard enough for that? 

Mr. Baekeland. It hasn't got the strength of steel for a cutting 
tool. It wouldn't stand up. It hasn't got the toughness that steel 

Now, that material there has a tensile strength around 15,000 
pounds to the square inch, and that is all it has. 

The Chairman. So our iron mines are still safe from this? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, very safe. 

Now here is another type o^f resin that is used here in these pencils. 
This is a Glyptal resin, and it' is akin to the material which is used for 
making Dulux finish, the Dulux finish that du Pont makes. That is a 
Glyptal material. We use it on grinding wheels and some other com- 
mercial applications. These pencils are made of it. That material 
is colorless and it lends itself to this use. In this case, tliis is a ma- 
chining operation. That material is not easily molded. 

The Chairman. Have you counted them? 

Mr. Baekeland. No; t don't need them back. If they are useful 
to anybody, you are welcome to them. 

We also developed a new material in 1927 and 1928, we developed 
a peculiar kind of phenolic resin on which we got a patent, and this 
resin did something that had never been done before. Here was a 
synthetic resin which was soluble in oils for paint and varnish. If 
you remember paint and varnish, if you dropped a little alcohol on 
It, anything of that kind, it dissolved away. Put it on a boat or out- 
of-doors, and very shortly it was all gone. The wood was discolored, 


and it was all gone. This new resin, which was patented, made var- 
nishes which were unheard of before. Their weathering characteris- 
tics were phenomenal. They were imattacked by sulphuric acids, 
alkalies, heat, alcohol. You could take a table like this, beautifully 
finished, and pour brandy on it, light the brandy and let it burn off, 
and the finish wouldn't have been touched. You couldn't have told 
where it happened. 

Well, that is a trick demonstration. It isn't important. The main 
importance was the great durability, the great life of these finishes, 
and the high luster and protection that they gave. 

The story is an interesting one from a patent point of view. Here 
was a company, the Bakehte Corporation, which was nationally and 
internatibnally known, whose products were accepted whenever they 
brought them out in the various fields in which they had been serving. 
If we introduced something in the electrical field or the grinding-wheel 
trade, they accepted it and put it through a few tests, and they recog- 
nized when we came out with something new it was worth looking at 
and something useful. 

But we were not known in the paint and varnish field. In spite of 
our reputation, our demonstrated ability to introduce new products 
aij'l new things, here is a new product, very useful in the paint and 
Vhrnish field, and we couldn't get anywhere with it. Nobody would 
listen to us; nobody would pay any attention to it: "No; we don't 
want to be bothered testing that out. We have so many of these 

We have no desire to go into the paint and varnish business. We 
can't go into the grinding wheel industry and the radio industry and 
all these things. We stay out of them. We supply the materials 
and that is all we do. We don't get into competition with customers 
or anything of that kind. We certainly didn't want to go into the 
paint and varnish trade. It meant building up a whole nevv- organ- 
ization, a new sales force, and we were not going to do it. 

There were about 1,100 companies in the paint and varnish busi- 
ness and we wanted them as customers and not competitors. We 
would have been the one thousand one hundred and first, and we 
didn't want to do that. We v/ould rather have 1,100 customers than 
1,100 competitors. But because we couldn't go anywhere with it 
we did go into the varnish business temporarily, solely for this pur- 
pose: to take business away from existing varnish companies, and 
having taken a man's business away from him, he then takes you- 
seriously. So we went at it. 

We picked the marine field because that was the tougn one. What 
would do in the marine field would do anywhere. So when we went 
out in the inarine field and started taking^ accounts away from, the 
well-known old-line paint and varnish people. As soon as they started 
to lose accounts they started to take us seriously, and we went to them 
individually and said, "If you want this account back again, if your 
customer wants this stuff, not what you used to sell, we will sell 
you the resins, we will give you the formula, and we. will do every- 
thing we can to help you," 

So we eased out of that and we are the leaders in that field today. 
We do a big business in it. We have the outstanding materials, 
materials that' are used wherever real quality is wanted. 


Mr. Patterson. Have you any competition with this? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, plenty. 

Mr. Patterson. I ask that for the record. What is it, Mr. Baeke- 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, we have a number of competing companies. 
We are the only company, however, that make all of these. Our 
competitors all make either one or the other of these that I have 
pointed out. We are the only ones who make all of them. 

Representative Williams. You are the pioneers in that field? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, we are. 

Representative Williams. Organized in 1909? 

Mr. Baekeland. 1910. 

Representative Williams. What capital at that time? 

Mr. -Baekeland. I am not sure, but I believe it was $250,000. ^ 

Representative Williams. And what is it now? What has it 
grown to? 

Mr. Baekeland. There were common-stock dividends as the bus- 
iness grew. In 1927 there was a 150-percent preferred dividend; 
6K percent preferred stock was issued as a dividend. There have 
been no increases to capital except through earnings, no new money, 
no new financing, no borrowing. 

Representative Williams. You have increased it by the issuance 
of dividends, stock dividends? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, sir. As the business grew a stock dividend 
was declared. Our capitalization, however, is still low. It is about 
8% million. 

Representative Williams. How many are employed by your com- 
pany now? 

Mr. Baekeland. We don't employ a great many people. Our 
manufacturing processes are such that one man can handle a whole 
battery of chemical apparatus, and our total pay roU has never ex- 
ceeded, I thittk, about 1,300, but it is interesting to note that in 1936 
it was double that of 1929. 

Representative Williams. And has it increased smce 1936? 

Mr. Baekeland. Not much. It is less now than it was then, I 

Mr. DiENNER. How many men do you have in your laboratory? 

Mr. Baekeland. We have a research laboratory; we have 250 men 
there. Sixty-five percent of the cost of our research is pay roll; the 
other 35 is taxes, depreciation, and insurance and such things as that. 
Our budget for 1938 was $682,000 for research. It has been over or 
around half a million dollars a year for quite a number of years. 
And on our research we depend for our safety and future existence. 
Without it I don't think we could maintain our organization. I 
know we couldn't in this field where it is very competitive and where 
there are a great many developments going on all the time, and an 
mcreasing amount of research work. 

The Chairman. What contributions have been made to improve- 
ments of these various devices and methods from outside of your 
organization or your laboratory? 

Mr. Baekeland. There have been some of them from outside. 

The Chairman. What proportion of them would come from outside? 

Mr. Baekeland. At the present time of our sales I should say 95 
percent are our own. 


The Chairman. In other words, the bulk of the extension of this 
art is a result of your own laboratory, your own work? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. How many persons are employed in that sort of 

Mr. Baekeland. In research work, 250. That also includes some 
janitors and a few maintenance men around the laboratory. 


The Chairman. Yes. 

Are all your research workers under obligation to give to the com- 
pany the patents which they may devise and the discoveries which 
they make? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes; we supply them with the equipment, we 
pay them to do the work, we direct what work they are to do. We 
can't permit our research men to work on their own. They might 
go into very interesting fields which would be of no use to us, not 
commercial. We do not run an academic laboratory. We are in 
business, and although we do some molecule chasing and let a few 
men have their heads in work along lines in which they might feel 
inclined to do something, a greater part of our research work is 
directly applied to the needs of the business, and much of the research 
work is dictated by our customers or by prospective customers. 

Someone will come to us with a problem. Well, the man with the 
new sandpaper disk, for example. He wanted something that would 
replace glue because he was having trouble with glue and knew its 
limitations. I give this only as one of a great many examples. He 
came to us to try to develop something to replace glue and give a 
better sandpaper, a sandpaper that would be waterproof and have 
longer life. We went to work on the problem, gave it to the research 
laboratory, and they developed resins which had the characteristics 
necessary to do that particular job, and much of our research work 
is dictated to us from the outside. 

The Chairman. But it is all planned by a general staff. 

Mr. Baekeland. All planned directly by the management and not 
only by the research management ; it is also directed by the executive 
management— sales and executives also have their say in what we are 
going to do or what we are going to quit working on in research. 

The Chairman. In other words, each person in the research labora- 
tory is told just what his task may be with the exception of a few who 
are engaged in what you call molecule chasing? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. 

The Chairman, In other words, the phrase that I think Dr. Jewett 
. used here the other day is applicable here. It is cooperative effort 
under control. 

Mr. Baekeland. That's it, and the men themselves help each 
other. They cooperate. Each has something to contribute and 
those men have meetings together in which they exchange problems. 
That is the way it works out. 

The Chairman. Of course, since you have been associated with this 
company and with this industry you have had occasion to observe the 
work of other laboratories? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. 


The Chairman. And the development of patents generally, have 
you not? 

Mr. Baekeland, Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What could you tell the committee with respect 
to the position that the researcti laboratory occupies in the modern 
field of invention aftd patents? Have you reached any conclusions 
about that? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, I have. I was just trying to say it as 
succinctly as possible, because it is a large subject. The great technical 
advances that we have witnessed have been the result of research work, 
either by individuals or by organized research in laboratories of large 
companies. The advances, the improvements, have been largely, I 
am convinced, owing to research. New products, new use^l things, 
new ways of doing things, can only come from carefully applied work 
done in scientific laboratories— improvements in our paints, in our 
fabrics, in the materials we use such as these. 

The Chairman. In other words, we couldn't make the advances 
which are b^ing made without the extensive and expensive equipment 
which is supplied in these large laboratories? 

Mr. Baekeland. That is true. They are making the advances. 
No one else is doing it. Without those laboratories, naturally these 
advances wouldn't be there. 

The Chairman. That is exactly what I am^ trying to develop. 
In other words, the collective work of a group of individuals is becom- 
ing gradually more important than the individual work of an' individual 

Mr. Baekeland. That is true. 

The Chairman. And as the frontiers of science are pushed further 
and further back, it is the collective and cooperative enterprise rather 
than the enterprise of the individual which is bringing the greatest 
returns to civilization. 

Mr. Baekeland. Very likely. 

Set^iilor King. However, the field for the inventive -nius of the 
individual is not narrowed, even by the collective activ ties to which 
the chairman has referred. 

Mr. Baekeland. No, sir. I think that it is increased, because 
each new development opens new vistas and new avenues that suggest 
theinselves, avenues of approach to the solving of another problem. 
Our increased knowledge, our increased information as a result of this 
is giving us more and more liints and suggestions to follow, and the 
thing I think is cumulative in a geometrical progression rather than an 
arithmetical progression.. 

Senator King." Isn't it true that frequently a basic patent which 
may have been obtained by this collective energy and collective 
effort becomes the basis of a large number of imi>rovements which 
are developed by the inventor in a small way, and as a result of his 
interpretation of the defects, as there are defects even in basic patents, 
and he addresses himself to improving the basic patent, and as a 
result of that many of the patents which are obtained merely cluster 
around the bjisic patent. 

Mr. Baekeland. That is very true. That is particularly apt in 
this case. That is precisely what happened. My father came out 
in 1909 with a few patents. Following that he continued his re- 
search work, brought about improvements and modifications of those 
first materials as well as bringing out additional new materials. 


, Senator King. Did you give a definition which would be compre- 
hensive as well as detailed of what plastics are, how broad a field 
they cover? 

Mr. Baekeland. Well, that is a large order. You see — well, I can 
read you a Hst here of some of the industries. 

Senator King. Generally, when you speak of plastics what does 
the ordinary ignorant man such as myself and others comprehend it 
to be? 

Mr. Baekeland. Of course, some of these people call paint and 
varnish resins plastics. I don't think they are palstics. I think any- 
thing that can be shaped by applying pressure to something, squeez- 
ing it mto shape, is a plastic. A piece of marble, Uke this marble, ifi 
shaped by machinery. That is not a plastic operation. If, on the 
other hand, these columns had been formed out of a loose unconsoli- 
dated material, and under pressure had been formed into that shape 
there, they would then have had to be a plastic material. 

Senator King. Almost any element, then, that might be congealed, 
if I may use that expression, might be the basis of plastics. The 
principal elements, though, are carbon, are they not, and oxygen 
and nitrogen? 

Mr. Baekeland, All of these plastics are organic materials and all 
organic materials contain carbon, and these here, for example. 

Here is a urea material. This thing is made out of a base for 

Senator King. I beg your pardon? 

Mr. Baekeland. This is a urea material made out of the base of a 
fertilizer. That is an organic material, carbon, nitrogen. Urea is 
largely used for fertilizer. It is very cheap. It is made from the air 
and the supply is unlimited. 

The Chairman. The word "plastic" no longer actually covers the 
field. of the articles that you produce. Take that wheel, that gear, 
for example, that is cut rather than pressed. 

Mr, Baekeland. Yes, but you see that gear is moulded. 

The Chairman. That is what I was getting at. I understood you 
to teU me it was cut. 

Mr, Baekeland, Afterward. When that gear was made it was 
just as you see it except no teeth were cut into it. 

The Chairman. I see. 

Mr. Baekeland. And the metal hub was pressed in or moulded in 
in the original operation, moulded in as a matter of fact. That is a 
plastic; that was moulded in that shape. So was that box in your 

The Chairman. That is what I conceive to be plastic, anything 
that is molded. 

Mr. Baekeland. These are truly plastics. These are cloth cover- 
ings made of some of our materials ; they are alcohol and oil and water, 
weather resistant. They have their uses for gas masks and upholstery 
and raincoats and things of that sort. 

The Chairman. Tell me, is tliis a substitute for wool? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, no. No; that is not a substitute for wool. 
We would like to find one, as a matter of fact. I don't think we ever 

The Chairman. Well, you know I have been hearing some rumors 
of such a substitute. You haven't heard of it? 


Mr. Baekeland. We hear a great many rumors before we actually 
find one. 

The Chairman. Now I am asking you a question which I may 
transmit to some of my constituents. You have not yet seen a 
substitute for wool as rayon is for silk? 

Mr. Baekeland. No, I have not. 

The Chairman. Thank God for that. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Baekeland. Speaking of plastics again 

Jiepreseiitative Reece (interposing). If you will permit a digression 
there, don't the rayon people themselves however make a woolen 
blanket or blanket to be used in place of a woolen blanket? 

The Chairman. Well, I am sure that if it hasn't colne to the at- 
tention of the witness it is not worth much. [Laughter.] 

Kepreseiitative Reece. I would be glad to have you come down 
home and look. 

Mr. DiENNER. Mr. E ekeland, what is the latest development 
which would be rather unusual in regard to your industry, with regard 
to your company which you could tell us about? 

]\Ir. Baekeland. There are a great number of them; there is one 
perhaps more spectacular than some of the others. Using our mate- 
rials (we take no credit for this development, we have been merely 
supplying materials for it and in a small way helping — I want to 
repeat that we don't take credit for the thing) it is possible, in fact 
it is being done, to produce an airplane wing or an airplane fuselage 
on a cycle of every 2 hours with rather simple and inexpensive equip- 
ment. It is a material which the Bureau of Standards shows has a 
strength weight ratio greater than any of the materials employed at 
the present time. You can well imagine what that means in pro- 
duction of aircraft. Whereas jigs and tools and a lot of expensive 
equipment would take a long time to build, that is now unnecessary 
to make. The separate units that go into the construction of a wing 
or a fuselage can now' be eliminated. The great period of time re- 
quired for assembling is over, simply by use of plastics in combination 
with some otlier materials. An airplane fuselage, an airplane wing, 
can be turned out every 2 hours with one piece of equipment. 

The Chairman. You said a wing or a fuselage. 

Mr. Baekeland, Yes; or both. 

The Chairman. Could you turn them out together? 

Mr. Baekeland. They are made separately, they are made on a 
different form, a different mold, but it takes the same amount of 
time for a wing as for a fuselage. When that shell has been made, 
adding merely the internal bracing, models can be very quickly changed 
in case of war, or in commerce. When amodel becomes obsolete or less 
desirable a new one can readily be made; without very much delay 
and with very little cost you can make the change. 

The Chairman. Is this method being used? 

Mr. Baekel.^nd. Experimentally only. It is being tested, it is 
under observation; yes, it is coming. 

The Chairman. Is it your judgment that it is beyond the experi- 
mental stage? I mean there is no question in your mind of its utility? 

Mr. Baekeland. That is true. 

The Chairman. Hav>e the airplane manufacturers been advised of it? 

Mr. Baekeland. This is still very new. There are rumors about it. 

The Chairman. Is that method covered by a special patent? 


Mr. Baekeland. There are patents applied for on the method, not 
by us, but by the people with whom we have been working. 

Mr. Peoples. Mr. Chairman, I take it, it has been called to the 
attention of the air forces of both the Army and the Navy. 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes; they are well aware of it- and as a 
matter of fact I have been given permission to mention this thing 
today or I shouldn't have done so. 

The Chairman. These applications have been made by citizens of 
the United States? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes. 

Senator King. Does this fuselage take the place in all of its parts of 
aluminum or magnesium. There is a magnesium alloy which is 
stronger and lighter, as I remember, than aluminum. 

Mr. Baekeland. You couldn't make a magnesium airplane, wing 
and fuselage, in 2 hours with 9 men. 

Senator King. What I mean is so far as the durability is concerned. 

Mr. Baekeland. The durability is far greater. 
Senator King. Than the metal? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes. You see the metal has fatigue, for one" 
thing, it crystallizes and has flaws; its strength ratio is lower than this 
material, and there is great fabrication cost, there is trouble with all 
these metal things in an airplane. Each of these metal parts — there 
are a great number of them — are assembled, each is shaped, machined 
and drilled and milled andjthen assembled with nuts and bolts and 
rivets and one thing and another, and as a matter of fact the absence 
of rivets in these planes has shown an increase of 35 miles an hour, 
just by cutting out skin friction, the resistance of the air to the rivets. 
There is an increased speed of the planes under test of 35 miles an 

Senator King. Then the utihzation of these products to which you 
have just referred would supersede the present method of constructing 
fuselages and' other parts? 

Mr. Baekeland. It would simpUfy it a great deal. 

Senator King. Of course you haven't as yet succeeded in manufac- 
turing something that would take the place of the steel for the engine? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, no, no, this is just the wing and the fuselage. 

The Chairman. Give him a chance. Senator. 

Mr. Baekeland. They will still make the engine the same way. 

Senator King. The Senator was afraid you might intrude on the 
sheep. I don't want you to intrude upon the iron ore mines. 

Mr. Baekeland. I don't tliink it is going to intrude on that. 

Representative Reece. What is its resistance to vibration? 

Mr. Baekeland. It has a high fatigue resistance, and it is weather 
resistant so that only a cplor coat, not a protective coat, has to be put 
on, and you would'^ be amazed how much these airplane designers 
worry about a coat of paint on a plane, the added weight. 

The Chairman. Is the absence of the bolt the only factor which 
tends to increase the speed? 

Mr. Baekeland. The rivets? 

The Chairman. The rivets and nuts. 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes; that is the only thing. 

The Chairman. The material itself has no effect on speed? 
• Mr. Baekeland. No^ it is a perfectly smooth surface rather than 
a riveted surface. Now the same method can be applied to the 


manufacture of small boats and other forms of that kind which are now 
made of wood or metal, or some other substance, where you have an 
assembly cost which is high and where it takes quite a while to build 
one. It is very easy to build a boat, or something of that sort; I 
don't mean a big ship but I am talking about small boats of which 
there are a great many made. 

The Chairman. And it would tend, I suppose, to reduce the cost 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, very materially reduce the cost, and the time 
of manufacture. That would be the great advantage of this thing 
for the aircraft, they are so costly and they take so long to make. 
I was reading in the paper only the other day that the British last 
summer ordered 500 planes from Douglass, and the first one was 
dehvered the other day and the rest mil be dehvered through the 
year, the next 12 months. They have 18 months to deUver 500 
planes — a big airplane manufacturer. 

Now you can figure out if they were in a hurry and had to do it in 
wartime, they could set up a whole number of these forms, molds, 
they are not very expensive, but suppose they had only 1 for the 
wmg and 1 for the fuselage, they could turn out 10 planes a day. 

The Chairman. It is obvious then that there would have to be a 
very material increase in the number of planes in use if this method 
were brought, into general practice to pro^'ade employment for the 
artisans and the mechanics who arc now working to produce the planes 
such as the British Government ordered. 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes; but there is a great shortage of those 
mechanics. There is a dearth of them now, and it has recently been 
suggested by the administration that means should be provided to 
apprentice men to become mechanics of this kind, on account of their 
great shortage. 

The Chairman. So that by and large it is still your judgment that 
this development would not create unemployment, it would mean 
more work rather than less. 

Mr. Baekeland. I do believe so. 

Senator King. It may not be germane, but do you know whether 
the Germans or the French — you have adverted to that — utilize this 

Mr. Baekeland. No; on the best information I have they have not 
used it. It has been developed in this country by an Army officer. 

Senator King. Notwithstanding the high praise we give to the 
German chemists and technological investigators, we still wear the 
crown of primacy, don't we? 

Mr. Baekeland. I tliink so, and I think we do m the field of 
chemistry. Our chemical industry has made tremendous advances 
since 1920. It has resulted from the protective tariff which was estab- 
lished at that time which permitted people to go into the manufacture 
of chemicals in competition with the Germans, and as soon as our manu- 
facturers set up research laboratories, they made great advances in 
chemistry, and have since that time. 

It might interest the conmiittee — this perhaps is not germane to the 
subject — that we, the Bakelite Corporation, can buy the materials that 
wc use, though very heavily protected by tariff, more cheaply tlian 
any of the European or foreign companies with which mo are afliliateJ. 


Senator King. Yoii mean to say the American manufacturer of 
those materials can produce them cheaper than they could abroad? 

Mr, Baekeland. Very considerably so. 

Senator King. So the tariff really doesn't give protection. 

Mr. Baekeland. The tariff isn't necessary, but the tariff made 
that possible. 

Senator King. That was largely for the coal-tar products. 

Mr. Baekeland, Yes; that is what started it. But you see when 
a chemical company got into coal tars it went into other things, too. 

Senator King. Dyes? 

Mr, Baekeland. Dyes, and one thing led to another, and we are 
in a more favorable position in this country with respect to our raw 
materials than any of our foreign affiliates. 

Senator King, You are not afraid of foreign competition along these 
chemical developments? 

Mr. Baekeland. No; competition from abroad I think is not very 

Representative Williams. Do I understand you to say, Mr. Baeke- 
land, that this gear that you have here, or similar gears to that, is in 
general use in automobiles at the present time? 

Mr. Baekeland. And has been for many years. 

Representative Williams. And in general use in machinery in 
various plants throughout the country? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes; those gears are used as timing gears in the 
motor, not as transmission gears. They are not strong enough to 
carry the power load that is on a transmission gear. 

Representative Williams. That gear has supplanted, of course, 

Mr, Baekeland. Yes; it has. 

Representative Williams. Wliat is the relative basic cost of the 
production of that wheel compared with a steel wheel? 

Mr. Baekeland. I don't think there is much difference; about the 
same. I don't know what the relative costs are, but I should guess 
that they are very much the same. 

Representative Williams. And this is as durable or more so than 
the steel? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. You knoW, if two substances or two ma- 
terials of the same kind work and wear against each other they wear 
out faster than if two different substances work against each other. 
That is the reason for bronze and lead babbitt bearings on steel shafts. 
This same principle applies here. One of those Bakelite phenolic 
resin gears running against a steel gear will give greater wear than two 
steel gears running against each other, or two gears of that kind running 
against each other; and this gear has no ring to it. It deadens the 
sound and it is used to keep the gears running silently. Wliere those 
gears are not used, then silent chains are used, these wide link chains. 

I am not certain of the. figures, but I know 3 or 4 years ago 65 percent 
of the cars made had those gears in thorn. 

Representative Williams. I understood your capital structure is 
now about 8% million dollars. 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, 

Representative Williams. WTiat were your gross sales, say, in '38 
or '37? 


Mr. Baekeland. Our competitors would dearly love to have us tell 
them that. If it isn't necessary, I should rather not shout it out in 
open meeting. 

Senator King. Are your sales increasing? 

Mr. Baekeland. They go up and down. In the last few years 
they haven't been so good. Business hasn't been very good and it 
has been more difficult than in the past. Our business has been ,a 
spectacular one, perhaps the product and the development of the' 
products has been a bit dramatic, and their wide use I think has led 
people to exaggerate the importance of our business and its size. 
The mistake, if a mistake is made, is one of exaggeration of our size 
and importance, as far as sales are concerned. 

Representative Williams. It has been a business of very rapid 
growth during the time it has been in operation. 

Mr. Baekeland. It has been a gradual growth. It has not been 
very rapid; it has been gradual. We have been in business for 28 

Representative Williams. And have grown from a capital structure 
of $28,000 to $8,500,000. 

Mr. Baekeland. We could have kept the same capitalization today. 

Representative Williams. And in the meantime 1 assume you have 
paid reasonable dividends. 

•Mr. Baekeland. Oh, yes; but our dividend policy has been a 
conservative one. We have declared about 50 percent of our earn- 
ings iji dividends, and the rest have, been put back into plant and 
research and put aside for a rainy day. Of course, these new tax laws 
just made that impossible. We went through a long depression where 
we cut into our savings, into our surplus, to carry our people through 
this last depression. We didn't fire our people, and all that sort of 
thing. We kept our people, and if we had to lay off some workmen, 
we took them back again. People don't leave us; we don't have a 
turn-over; we don't get resignations, and our competitors don't take 
them away from us. We are a happy family there. One reason we 
are a happy family is because we are loyal to them and they are loyal 
to us. We treat them well and we have carried them. That was 

We also built this $4,500,000 plant during the depression and that 
ate into our savings, and we have had years when we haven't had 
many profits. Then these new products come along and each time 
a new product comes along it is like going into a new business; it 
means we have to build additional plants and equipment in' order to 
go into production, because our other equipment isn't suited to its 
manufacture. When we come out with a new product, it means an 
increase in the- sales department, and those things have taken our 

Representative Williams. Were they very highly specialized? 

Mr. Baekeland. They are unskilled labor but we train them into 
skilled or semiskilled for our particular purposes. I mean they know 
their jobs, yes. Now we have had to curtail; there are things we 
would like to do, products we would like to make we are not going 
ahead with today, because — well, these tax laws. 

Senator 'King. Lack of capital, is that it? 

Mr. Baekeland. We are afraid to take a chance on involvingrany 
more of our capital and our surplus in the plant so we could begin to 


build it up again; after going through the last depression it has been 
rather hard on savings and then, as I say, a four and a half million 
dollar new plant besides. 

Kepresontative Williams. Is the stock in your corporation widely 
held? ^1 

Mr. Baekeland. Xo, it is not; there are not very many stock- 

Representative Williams. Rather closely held? 

Mr. Baekeland. You see, my father started with some friends, 
invited some frientls to come in with him, and there has not been 
any large increase in stockholding. 

The Chairman. You have testified, I think, at the beginning that 
it was not necessary to borrow any money? 

Mr. Baekeland. No, 

The Chairman. Either by way of bank loans or by way of bond 

Mr. Baekeland. Or stock issues except the original 250,000. I 
think that was the figure. I am not sure, but I beUeve that was the 

Dr. LuBiN. Mr. Baekeland, if I understand you correctly, you do 
not make any of these products; you only make the raw materials 
out of which these products are made? 

Mr. Baekeland. That is correct. Dr. Lubin. Our customers 
make those products. 

Dr. Lubin. Now you have competitors like Catalin and others; do 
you not? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. 

Dr. Lubin. Do they have patents? 

Mr. Baekeland. They have. 

Dr. Lubin. Is their business built up? 

Mr. Baekeland. They have some patents. This plastics business, 
though, except in certain branches of it, is not very much restricted 
with patents today. Our basic patents expired in 1926. 

Dr. Lubin. In other words, then, the use of these plastics in new 
forms and developing new arts, as it were, grows out of the possibility 
of using new material to do something that was formerly made out of 
something else, irrespective of patents; is that so? 

Mr. Baekeland. It might have been made out of something else, 
and it might not have been made at all before, because these materials 
make it possible to make things which before had not been made, and 
in other cases it might have been made out of something else. Now 
for example, here is a switch plate. If that switch plate has been 
made out of brass, what happens? It looked quite nice when you 
bought it, and then the dirty thing got all tarnished, black and nasty, 
and in cold weather you walk across the rug and get a nice shock from 
the brass. Well, this thing here is cheaper than the brass and it is 
better than the brass, and never tarnishes. If you want a white 
color you have got it. Now, in that way it replaces brass, but in 
other respects it gives you what brass never gave you before. 

Dr. Lubin. And in addition you can buy it at Woolworth's where 
you could not buy the brass ones before. Here is a raw material 
that you have developed. Now, the use of that raw material, its 
entry into the arts, is entirely independent of any patent system of 
any sort? I mean if I conceived the idea of building something and 


ITmd that I can build it more cheaply with your raw inatorials thau 
I^^can out of steel or wood, or something else, or that through this raw 
material I can make something that otherwise could not be made 

Mr. Baekeland (interposing). Or better; often it is because it is 

Dr. LuBiN. 1 am in a position to take advantage of that and 

the public gets that advantage? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. 

Dr. LuBiN. \Mxat I am tr>'ing to get at is the whole question as 
to how far this development might have taken place. Somebody 
discovers a plastic. I find that I can use that plastic in making some- 
thing and I would do it irrespective of the existence of a patent, 
would I not? 

Mr. Baekeland. I think I lost the trend of your question. You 
would have what? 

Dr. LuBiN. I would have used your plastic, irrespective of the 
existence of a patent system. If I know of the existence of a raw 
material that I might use, I would use it if I could produce my product 
more cheaply with your raw material than I can with somebody else's? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. 

Dr. LuBiN. Consequently, even though there had been no patent 
system and somebody conceived the idea of a plastic, plastics would 
have entered into the arts, would they not? 

Mr. Baekeland. But you would not have had all these things 
without a patent system to protect them. 

Dr. LuBiN. There is no patent system protecting this de\'ice or 
this device? 

Mr. Baekeland. Not today, but it took a lot of work and a lot of 
expense and a lot of risk to introduce those things. You would be 
amazed how much trouble we had to get that thing into use in the 
telephone company, or that for a radio cabinet. It is not as easy as 
all that. Now there have been years of development work and sales 
effort and introductory effort. 

The Chairman. If you told Dr. Lubin what the original patent was, 
that would answer the question that he has in mind, and how the 
industry was built up in relation to the patents which were received. 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes; the industry was built up. 

The Chairman. Can you just illustrate that to us briefly? 

Mr. Baekeland. Well, of course having patents, having protec- 
tion, the industry 

The Chairman. The point is this, how much of this industry that 
you have been describing to us this afternoon is based upon the patent 
system and how much of it could have been developed without the 
use of a patent at all? 

Mr. Baekeland. Every bit of it under patent system, every one 
of these materials. Their modifications have all been patented. 

The Chairman. But some of those patents have now expired? 

Mr. Baekeland. Oh, that is true. 

The Chairman. The basic patents are expired. So you are telling 
the committee the industry is a direct result of patented devices? 

Mr. Baekeland. Precisely. 

Senator King. And the public now are getting the benefit of those 
patent devices because of the expiration of the patent? 

Mr. Baekeland. Certainly. 


Senator King. But you built up the industry under the patent 

Mr. Baekeland. We dad. 

Dr. LuBiN. What I am trying to get at is whether you might not 
have built up the industry without the patent system. I am not 

Mr. Baekeland. I certainly am. 

Mr. DiENNER. Dr. Lubin, it may be you fail to appreciate the point 
that those materials or those devices that you have there require 
certain raw materials to be prepared and that you cannot walk out 
into the open market and in a drug store buy raw materials. The 
raw material which you must mold is the subject matter of the 
patents that Dr. Baekeland took out. 

Mr. DiENNER. Now it would not have been possible for you to get 
the materials unless someone had supplies the m.aterials and that is 
where Dr. Baekeland's patents and his industry come in. 

Dr. Lubin. My contention is that Mr. Baekeland's father had 
developed this new material and it became known to industry that 
such a material was available; they should use it and he produce it, 
whether or not there were patents if he could make it and industry 
wanted it? 

lack of incentive to invent without patent protection 

Mr. Baekeland. Well, now, Dr. Lubin, when he invented this it 
was the basis of this industry. It required a great deal of work to 
bring it to a point where it could be commercially utilized. He spent 
his own money on it in the early days, before the company was formed, 
and then with his own money and that of others be conducted research 
work; profits came in; they were put back into the business; more 
research work, development, more introductory work. He would not 
have gone ahead with that if he had not been protected because 
anybody could have come along and copied him. Who would have 
had to amortize the expense that he went to, the money he spent on 
research, in equipment that did not work and had to be junked, and 
other materials tried? And all that sort of thing. People don't go 
ahead without an incentive. 

The Chairman. There would have been no motive for the develop- 
ment of the industry if there had not been a patent system? Your 
father would have found himself in precisely the position of the 
gentleman who left the stand just before you took the seat, who has 
been unable to find any person who is willing to manufacture an 
apparently useful device which he exhibited to the members of the 
committee because he cannot offer any patent protection? 

Mr. Baekeland. Exactly, and there would not have been the con- 
tinuing development. Now what this did for him, this patent system 
enabled him to build up a glass wall around himself, behind which he 
could work in security without being rushed and through which the 
public on the outside could peer in and see what he was doing, and wait 
until 17 years when they knocked the walls down and everybody could 
then come in. Now that is all that it did. It gave him a chance to 
work and develop, to improve and to do the things that a research 
worker does. 


Dr. LuBiN. Perliaps I can clarify what I have in mind better by- 
adding this question. In your research laboratories do you work 
only on the development -of new materials or the improvement of 
existing materials, or do you also work on the possible uses of existing 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes; we work on those, and then we run into an 
anomaly when is a patent not a patent, or when is a patent monopoly 
not a patent monopoly? I will tell you how that is. 

Suppose we developed, suppose we had taken out a patent on this 
adhesive tape. On this adhesive tape, incidentally, a patent was applied 
for. It is coated with one of our materials and what it produces is an 
adhesive tape that you can keep on for weeks, and go in swimmmg 
twice a day, and it doesn't come off or come loose. You can wash it 
right off; dirt doesn't stick to it. It has certain advantages. 

We developed the material. We did not develop the adhesive 
tape. We turned it over to an adhesive tape manufacturer who came 
to us wanting this kind of coating. He applied for the patent. 

Suppose we had applied for that patent, or taken out a patent on 
adhesive tape. The law doesn't permit us to issue a license to an 
adhesive tape manufacturer under the patent with the proviso that 
he must buy his material from us. That is against the antitrust laws. 
So what we have to do in those cases is to give the dear old customer 
the right to use the patent and hope that we can get our share of the 
business with our competitors. 

We are not manufacturers of adhesive tape We are not in the 
patent licensing business, and although in theory we could license 
him and collect a royalty and sell him material, it doesn't work that 
way. When a man pays you a royalty he thinks he has given you 
enough, and if he is going to buy materials, he is going to do that from 
your competitor. He says, "Those fellows get enough from us on a 
royalty, and I'll be darned if I'll buy material from them too." 

Dr. LuBiN. Here you have these laboratories, people working, find- 
ing new uses for existing materials upon which patents have expired. 
Despite the fact that you have no patent protection you go ahead and 
develop new uses for your materials. 

Mr. Baekeland. Because they are added outlets for our materials. 
But if we didn't have the materials to fill the needs and use, we 
wouldn't be bothered with developing a use patent. 

Dr. LuBiN. Wliat I am getting at is, you can develop a new use for 
a certain product you have on which there is no patent, and your com- 
petitor can make exactly the same thing tomorrow once they have 
discovered it, yet you continue to produce these new things, despite 
the fact that your competitor can produce them immediately there- 

Mr. Baekeland, You mean in the case of a use patent? 

Dr. LuBiN. You use your product in making these. Assuming now 
that the product out of which this is made — your research laboratory 
develops this, but you don't make them, other people make them. 

Mr. Baekeland. We didn't develop the switch plate! 

Dr. LuBiN. I mean you do, in your laboratory, seek new uses for 
materials upon which patents have expired. 

Mr. Baekeland. That is true. 

Dr. LuBiN. Despite the fact that you have no patent protection 
and despite the fact that tomorrow, once you have found a new use 


for your product, anybody can go out and make that product, just 
as you do. 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes. If we run across it accidentally, yes; but 
we don't put our men to work on something like that. We would 
rather put them to work on something that is protected. 

The Chairman. To what extent are the materials which your 
father and your company have developed, and upon which the patents 
have expired, being used now by competitors? 

Mr. Baekeland. Widely. 

The Chairman. That is the point, I think, the doctor was trying 
to develop. 

Mr. Baekeland. These materials on which patents expired 

The Chairman (interposing).- Your counsel is making applications 
for patents which are really improvements upon the basic patents? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes; that is true too, but we hold our own in the 
field where the patents are expired through service to our customers. 

The Chairman. Then it comes down lo what in the trade is called 
the "know how" and the reputation and the goodwill. 

Mr. Baekeland. It is more than that. We give almost a pro- 
fessional service. Our customers are in constant touch with our sales 
engineers. They are not salesmen who go out and take orders. 

Let us assume you are ready to go into business to make hardware. 
You are a hardware manufacturer and you want to make this kind of 
hardware. You don't know anything about the technic or anything 
of the sort. Our people will lay out a plant for you, specify optional 
equipment, recommend certain equipment for you to put in there. We 
will go so far as to try to get you personnel for a skeleton organization 
of that kind and get you started. 

The Chairman. Yes; you endeavor to render an efficient service. 

Mr. Baekeland. An engineering service. 

The Chairman. But there is nothing in the patent system or in any 
other system which prevents competitors of yours from using the 
materials upon which your patents have expired? 

Mr. Baekeland. None whatever. 

The Chairman. I think that is what Dr. Lubin had in mind. 

Senator King. In your research work do you discover new elements, 
if I may use that expression, and get a patent upon that new discovery? 
Perhaps the new element or the new proc^uct would be the result of a 
rearrangement of the molecules or the atoms of the various compounds 
out of which the product is made. 

Now, do you find, in your investigations and in your researches, 
that you discover new processes which would permit you to obtain 
inventions for plastics? 

Mr. Baekeland. We do; yes. 

Senator King. And upon those new inventions and new discoveries 
out of the same elements you get patents? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes; and frequently our older materials are in 
competition with the new, or some other material might be in com- 
petiti6n with it. 

The Chairman. You find yourself putting yourself out of business 
as you go along. 

Mr. Baekeland. Sometines we do, and then there are substitute 
materials that can be used, too, where it is a matter of choice, and we 

124491— 39— pt. 3 18 


have to try to convince the customer that the new material is better 
than what he is accustomed to using. 

Mr. Patterson. Mr. Baekeland, your father started the plastic 

Mr. Baekeland. The plastics industry in this country with the 
exception, I should say, of celluloid, which is cellulose nitrate, gun 
cotton, invented by Hyatt. He was endeavoring to develop a billiard 
ball material which would be a substitute for ivory, and he invented 
celluloid. That was the first synthetic plastic, but its field, you know, 
is limited. 

Mr. Patterson. Are not 95 percent of the buttons men wear on 
their clothes plastic, or some very high percent? 

Mr. Baekeland. It is increasing. 

Mr. Patterson. To what proportion would you say that the plastic 
industry has grown— 60 million per annum, 80 million per annum, or 
have you- an idea? 

Mr. Baekeland. The Department of Commerce has those figures. 

Mr. Patterson. I don't have them. 

Mr. Baekeland. I don't have them in my head; no. 

Mr, Patterson. I want to ask you one other question. Some time 
ago you spoke of airplanes and plastic wings. Can you speculate as 
to whether these new planes might meet the administration's much 
discussed problem of having adequate facilities for mass production 
in case of need? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes; it would do so admirably. 

Mr. Patterson. And what is the comparison of the length of time 
it might take to make a plastic wing over the other tj^pe of wing? 

Mr. Baekeland. Well, I will have to guess at that. 

Mr. Patterson. I won't ask, you to do that. I don't want to press 

Mr. Baekeland. It would be many times the amount of time; oh, 
I should say it would be 20 or 30 times. 

Mr. Patterson. More difficult? 

Mr. Baekeland. As long to make the other. 

Mr. Patterson. To make the present wing. 

Also is anyone ready to go into commercial production of these 

Mr. Bapkeland. The plant has been designed, and pl'oduction 
awaita'a contract which is pending. 

Mr, Patterson. Is there an invention of this plastic wing, any one 
man responsible for it? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, Colonel Clark. 

Mr. Patterson. Colonel Clark? 

Mr. Baekeland, Formerly of the United States Air Service. 

Mr. Patterson. An ex-Army man? 

Mr. Baekeland. He is the man who developed the thing, and he 
got a backer to support him on his development work, and that devel- 
opment work was carried out by one of our customers, the Haskelite 
Co., of Grand Rapids, Mich. 

Mr. Patterson. What is Colonel Clark's first name? 

Mr. Baekeland. I might have it here in a letter. I think he was 
in command of Wright Field, at Dayton, and he is the man who 
developed the. Clark Y-section wing, which is widely used. He is one 
of the ablest and foremost technicians of airplane design. 


Representative Reece. Have you explored the possibilities for this 
material in the building supply industrj^? 

Mr. Baekeland. Yes, sir. There is quite a little work bemg done 
in that field. Here is a piece of plywood. That is made up of a num- 
ber of pieces of, veneer welded together with this material here which 
is a bakelite plywood bond. Those sheets are established in between 
the layers of veneer, the whole is pressed together warm, and it makes 
a water-resistant, weather-proof ply. 

The Chairman. The material that you supply there is the bond. 

Mr. Baekeland. That is the bond. 

The Chairman. The veneer is wood. 

Mr. Baekeland. Wood. The first plywoods were made with ani- 
mal and vegetable glues, which are water soluble, and as soon as the 
plywood goes out-of-doors and gets in the weather it splits and comes 
apart. This plywood here is usable under water. Anthony Fokker 
built a new 1 10-foot triple-screw yacht out of that material. Even his 
engiue beds were made of it, and he has three 1 ,000-horsepower motors. 
He had built plywood airplanes; he knew the value of plywood; he 
knew its strength. He is perhaps as well versed in the use and hmi- 
tations of plywood as anybody I know. He had the courage of his 
convictions and he built this expensive, large yacht entirely out of 
those materials. 

The Chairman. Are there any other questions? 

search for suppressed patent unsuccessful 

Mr. DiENNER. I have one more question. Do you know of any 
patent which is being suppressed? 

Mr. Baekeland. No ; I don't, Mr. Dienner. I don't know of one, 
and as it is interesting, I might tell you that Mr. Parsons, who is Secre- 
tary of the American Chemical Society — the American Chemical So- 
ciety is quite an organization, it has a large membership, it runs into 
the thousands — was aware of the fact that some people beheved that 
patents were being suppressed and that perhaps they were right, so 
he circularized the membership of the American Chemical Society and 
asked the membership to submit to him cases of a suppressed patent. 
He didn't get a single example. I can't conceive of a patent being 
suppressed. I don't know why anyone shpuld suppress a patent when 
he could use it. 

Senator King. Don't some inventors claim a suppression of patepts 
because after brmging them to the attention of manufacturers or 
persons engaged in a particular industry they didn't see fit to utilize 
them and the inventor then claimed that they were suppressed? Per- 
haps the person to whom he exhibited them had better patents or at 
any rate felt that there was no necessity of utihzing tms because it 
would not add to the success of the products which they were giving 
to the pubUc. 

Mr. Baekeland. I can conceive of an inventor that you might say 
was perhaps a bit of a sorehead or whose vanity was hurt because he 
had sold someone a patent and that patent wasn't outwardly used. 
For example, suppose that Mr. Graham here had bought a patent on 
an article that wasn't commercial and wasn't useful, but a patent 
which was valid and had not expired, one feature of which might 
remotely bear upon his biscuit maker. The patent nright have been 


taken out to something very remote to biscuit making, but it had one 
claim in it that covered the point that he brought up here. He might 
have bought that patent so as to be covered on that one particular 
point. The inventor might have looked upon it as a suppression of his 
patent because the patent might have called for — I don't know what 
it might have been, it might have been a perfectly useless object but 
had one claim which bore upon this particular baker. Now the 
inventor might through some reasoning say, "Well, my patent was 
suppressed." Mr. Graham might never have had any intention, 
desire, or hope of commercializing the article on which that patent 
bore. That possibly, you might reason, was a suppressed patent; 
there may be some cases of that kind. I know of none: I know of 
no valid, real case of a suppressed patent. 


Mr. DiENNER. One more question. Are you familiar with the 
proposal for a single court of patent appeals in the system, and what 
are your views on that, briefly? 

Afr. Baekeland. I think it would be an excellent thing if we had a 
single court of patent appeals, a court composed of several justices 
who were technically trained, because as scientific inventions and 
discoveries become more complex it is even difficult for technicians 
within the field to follow some of these things, and it is wholly unfair 
to expect the judge to be able to pick his way through a mass of 
technical detail and facts presented in a patent case. Even technicians 
within the field themselves are sometimes at a loss, experts in patents 
are sometimes at a loss to follow what is going on. Much that is 
brought up in a patent suit is new, it is novel, or it wouldn't be the 
subject of a patent. The more we could have patent suits conducted 
or judged upon by men who are competent to judge technical situa- 
tions I think the better will be our decisions in the patent cases. 
A Federal judge told me thatit was terribly bewildering to him to try 
to fathom his way through one of these cases, and I can readily under- 
stand it, so that if we had a court composed of, say, three judges who 
had been patent attorneys, men who were trainetl, say, one in elec- 
tricity, one in chemistry, who at least knew the terms that were used 
and could refer to the literature, or anything of the sort, to bring them- 
selves up to date on the point in question, it would be a great help; 
or we could have a court with permanent paid experts, technical 
experts, whose sole function was to aid the court, not men who were 
brought- in from the outside from time to time, but men who had 
permanent positions and were properly paid. That would also be a 
great help, but I think those men should be subject to cross-examina- 
tion by attorneys in the- case. 

Mr. Diennek. Mr. Chairman, this is our last witness that we wish 
to call, and I shall now turn the proceedings back to you and to 
Secretary Patterson. 

The Chairman. Mr. Baekeland, I think I can say lor the committee 
and certainly I say for myself that I feel my education has been very 
much advanced this afternoon. We are very much indebted to vou 
for a very illuminating statement. 

Mr. Patterson. Mr. Chairman, I should hke to call upon Mr. Coe, 
the Commissioner of Patents, to make a closing statement on our 
patent situation. 

' For previous discussion of the pr.- ■^d fmirt, sco p. 900 et seq. and p. 906 et seq. 


The Chairman . We will be very glad indeed to hear him. 

(The witness, Mr, Baekeland, was excused.) 

Mr. CoE. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of Secretary Patterson and my- 
self I wish to state that, with the testimony just offered, the oral evi- 
dence in respect to tlie part played by the patent system in our indus- 
trial organism is concluded. I regret that we have had. insufficient 
time to offer to you the testimony of additional witnesses who have 
been here and were prepared to take the stand. However, their testi- 
mony would have been to a large extent cumulative, and for that rea- 
son we do not regard it necessary to prolong the hearing. 

By providing for the expression of the views of some of those mak- 
ing use of the p/itent system — inventors and manufacturers, large and 
smfiU — we have sought to give a fair and objective, though necessarily 
incomplete, portrayal of the system in operation. It is our hope that 
we have assisted 3'ou in appraising the actual importance and the 
potentialities of the S3'stem in out national economy. 

In the statement made to you by the Commissioner of Patents we 
have identified certain abuses which exist in the system, in our judg- 
ment, and have proposed remedies for them. The studies which have 
prompted the presentation of these facts and recommendations 'will 
not, of course, be abandoned with their submission to your committee. 
Both the Department of Commerce and the Patent Office will con- 
tinue their studj^ of the patent system and their efforts to improve it 
still further. 

These hearings on the patent .ystem have stirred widespread inter- 
est in the subject, and, we are persuaded, will result in beneficial action. 
For all of these reasons, Mr. Chairman, we wish to record our grateful- 
ness to the committee, our appreciation of the cooperative and frank 
attitude shown bj-^ the witnesses, and the valufable assistance of the 
able counsel who have conducted the hearings or us. 

Senator King. I would like to ask this question. I recall the 
recommendations which were made with respect to procedural rnatters. 
I suggest that it might be of advantage to the committees, I am sure 
it would be to me, if those recommendations were put into concrete 
form, in the shape of amendments to the existing law, so that we could 
consider them at the conclusion of the testimonj^ in the event that the 
committee should decide that the patent law should be amended, par- 
ticularly the procedural features. The measures which would be- 
drafted pursuant to those recommendations I am sure would be 
helpful, , . 

Mr. Patterson. As part of the record. Senator King? 

Senator King. Oh,' no. 
/Mr. CoE. Senator, I might assure you of our wholehearted co- 
operation in that respect. 

The Chairman. The committee is very much indebted to the 
Department of Commerce for this presentation, and we also thank 
Mr. Dienner and. his staff. 

Mr. Dienner. I appreciate that very much, sir. 

The Chairman. The committee will stand in recess, subject to the 
call of the chair. 

(Whereupon, at 4:40 p. m., an adjournment was taken subject to 
the call of the chairman.) 



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Exhibit No. 187 





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Exhibit No. 188 


TOTAL PATENTS ISSUED JAN. I. 1931 TO JUNE 30. 1938 - 334.970 '\ 

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Exhibit No. 206 

Report op the Committee on the Relation op the Patent System to the 
Stimulation of New Industries 

Washington, D. C, April 1, 1935 

personnel of the committee 

W. H. Carrier, chairman of the board, Carrier Engineering Corporation, 
Newark, N. J. 

D. M. Compton, industrial consultant, Chicago, 111. 

F. B. Jewett, vice president, American Telephone & Telegraph Co.; president. 
Bell Telephone Laboratories, New York City. 

H. A. Poillon, president, Research Corporation, New York City. 

V. Bush, chairman, vice president, and dean of engineering, Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 


This report results from the i»equest from the Secretary of Commerce to the 
Science Advisory Board for a broad policy and program for the stimulation of 
new industries in this country. The inquiry is directed to the stimulation of new 
noncompetitive industries, taking noncompetitive in the sense that they should 
not merely replace an existing industry or product by a substitute of no greater 
social value; but rather should increase the potential aggregate of gainful em- 
ployment, increase the comfort and safety of living, or confer other important 
social benefits. 

This problem was broken down by a steering committee into several parts, 
some of which have been referred to the Business Advisory and Planning Council. 
The-committee which presents this report was given the specific assignment of 
the relationship of the patent system to the stimulation of new industries. 

The committee has proceeded on the problem by consulting the literature of 
the subject, and the i"eports of previous investigations, by studying the operation 
of the patent systems of other countries, and by securing a consensus of opinion 
in regard to the (^eration of the system in this country. The opinion of users 
of the system has been primarily sought. These include inventors, engineers, 
scientists, businessmen, and others who have had much to do with the operation 
of the system in a broad way. Their opinion is of greatest importance, since the 
functioning of the patent system is a matter of much larger scope than its mere 
legal aspect. 

The opinion of prominent patent attorneys has also been available, and the 
point of view of various committees of patent attorneys is on record on most of 
the points considered, as a result of the hearings before the Patent Committee of 
the House of Representatives. The committee has thus reviewed_ carefully the 
judgment of those in a position to know concerning the extent to which the patent 
system operates smoothly and effectively for its intended purpose, and the ways 
•in which it may be caused to be of greater benefit than at present. It has con- 
sidered specilic remedies, and on these has studied the arguments which have been 
presented. On the basis of this study the committee has formed its o^vn opinions, 
and it is the object of this report to point out defects and recommend remedies. 

The patent system of the United States was set up originally to bring benefit 
to the public by advancing the useful arts. It does so by creating a temporary 
monopoly, thereby renderhig possible the hazardous development of untried inven- 
tions, which would otherwise not come to fruition to add to the general well-being 
and increase the standard of living of the people. By its substantial rewiards it 
stimulates invention, and the assiduous study and persistent effort_ on which 
invention is based. That it has been successful needs no demonstration, for its 
results are all about us. 

The primary purpose of the patent system of this country is to stimulate new 
industries. This is always an important matter, but it becomes particularly 
important as the country now emerges from a serious depression. The history 
of previous depressions shows that the time of emergence is usually marked by 
important technical advances resulting in the creation of new and extensive indus- 
tries. If this had not occurred we could not have attained the present high 
standing of living. For the prosperity of the country it is imperative that this 
trend should continue. 


The patent system in the past has been one of the primary influences in shaping 
American industrial h'fe, and it has assisted enormously in the development of the 
country. In the considered opinion of those best able to judge, it is not however 
at the present time functioning to full advantage. There are serious difficulties. 
The use of scientific results in industry is a much more complicated matter than 
when the patent system was first set up, and the system has not been altered to 
bring it closely in line with the modern complex matters with which it has to deal. 
If it is to fulfill its proper functioi\ lo the greatest possible extent it is therefore 
essential that it be changed in certain ways in order that new industries may be 
stimulated and not inhibited by its operation. 

The patent system of this country is old, and it has gradually developed into a 
complex structure. Radical changes in such a system should of course not be 
undertaken without serious and careful consideration. It would be equally fatal 
however to refuse to consider alterations at all when the changed times dictate 
modification. It is in this spirit that the committee has approached this work, 
in the attempt to combine a just conservatism with a willingness to actually face 
facts and conditions. The report is directed primarily at the essential problems, 
leaving untouched many minor details and methods of procedure. 

In a complicated situation, such as this, it is not possible to point out panaceas 
which will automatically treat every individual case that can be cited for the 
optimum public benefit and with complete equity. Objections can be raised, 
and will be raised, to every suggested change in a system which so closely affects 
the interests of widelj' different classes of individuals. The attempt has been 
made to recommend as faw changes as possible, and to make these changes in 
such manner as to bring the greatest good to the greatest number. 

There are three primary defects in the system as it stands at present, considered 
in connection with the functions which it is called upon to perform in a modern 
complex technical world. The first defect arises by reason of tlie issuance by 
the Patent Office of an enormous number of patents, many of which should never 
be issued, due primarily to an unduly low standard of invention. The second 
defect has to do with the excessive cost and delay in the litigation of patents, 
by reason of the present system of appeals. The third results from the difficulty 
met by the courts in handling scientific or technical questions without com- 
petent non-partisan assistance. 

As these defects exist there is a question in the minds of many serious minded 
and experienced men whether the system is not after all more of a liability than 
an asset. It is seriously suggested that the system has become so complex and 
cumbersome that it may break down of its own weight. Your committee feels 
that the situation, while serious, it- not at all hopeless; and that it is possible to 
make certain changes in procedure, not in themselves diflicult to put into effect 
nor expensive, and not changing the existing structure in any essential or radical 
manner; but which may restore the system to its former condition of importance 
and beneficent influence on American industry. This results in our three major 
recommendations. The advisability of a system of compulsory licensing has 
also been seriously raised. The committee has studied this problem, and recom- 
mends that no steps be taken in this direction at the present time. 

Finally, the opinion of the committee is expressed on several minor changes in 
procedure or desirable undertakings. 


The Patent Ofl^ce now issues many patents which are later found invalid in 
the courts. It issues a much larger number which never can have commercial 
importance. With two million United States patents issued, the situation is 
unduly complex and is growing worse. When approximately 90,000 patents are 
applied for in a year the amount of attention which can be' paid to each one in 
the Office is not sufficient to insure a strong presumption of validity in issued 
patents. The staff is overburdened. It has neither the opportunity nor the 
facilities to make the study and search necessary to clarify the situation, and the 
trivial, and the obvious are issued to confuse American business. This situation 
IS not the fault oi the Patent Ofl^ice pers^iuiel. It results from the nature of the 
technical advance wliich has taken place in the past few decades. It should 
however be positively corrected. 

The standard of invention cannot be arbitrarily raised bv creating a new 
definition of invention. The courts can influence the standard through their 
decisions only gradually, and by the undesirable means of finding mvalid a large 
fraction of the patents which come before them, wliich, temporarjiy at least, 
decreases rather than increases the presumption of validitv of patents as issued. 


The Commissioner of Patents should be supported in his efforts to eliminate the 
trivial and the obvious; but merely increasing the number of patent office person- 
nel will not effect a cure. There is needed a change in procedure which will aid 
the office in raising standards, and positively increase the presumption of validity. 

Publication before issuance. — The British and German systems provide for 
publication of an application before issuance, thus inviting contests within the 
Office prior to the issuance of a patent. There are obvious objections to this 
procedure. The most serious objection is that the inventor is often unduly 
burdened with the expense of a contest, which is particularly serious for the 
individual inventor without resources. It is much better procedure to maintain 
the action in the Patent Office ex parte, as is our present practice. However, 
without incurring the difficulty of the system involving contests, it is possible to 
secure much of the improvement in the presumptiorT of validity of an issued 
patent which such a system produces. This benefit is very real. At the present 
time our office issues patents without a thorough search of American and foreign 
literature, but with a search often devoted to American patents only, with some 
small attention to publications and foreign patents. The result is that many 
patents are issued which va-c. clearly invalid in view of prior patents and publica- 
tions. Such patents often cause expensive litigation before they are finally 
found invalid. The theory that the Ofl^ce should issue patents with little or no 
examination, leaving the determination of their validity to the courts, is either 
practically inoperative or unduly expensive. This is substantially the French 
system. The American systein is preferable, and it goes a certain distance toward 
the examination of prior art in order that a patent when issued may carry strong 
presumption of validity, instead of being merely a means for entering litigation. 
Hov/ever, our procedure does not go far enough, and the provision of an adequate 
corps of examiners, with sufficient time and training to be aljle to review ade- 
quately the entire prior art, whether in patents or in the literature, would be 
highly' expensive. A modification of the system of publication before issuance 
will secure the desired result without great cost. It will aid the Patent Office in 
increasing the presumption of validity of issued patents. 

We recommend, therefore, that, when an application is ready for allowance, it be 
published in the Official Gazette, and the submission of pertinent facts by interested 
parties invited. 

The publication should be made in the manner employed at present in publish- 
ing an abstract and sample claims when a patent is issued; and the allowed 
claims, and preferably also the specification and drawings should be opened to 
inspection. The publication and material opened to inspection should not dis- 
close the date of filing, nor give any other information unnecessary for the purpose 
in hand. Upon such publication "the Office should allow anyone interested, and 
within a stated time, to submit facts which are pertinent to any application thus 
published. These facts, however, should be limited to references or photostat 
copies of prior patents or other published printed papers, books, or documents, 
such as are available in libraries or other public sources. 

Arguments and affidavits should be rigidly excluded. The procedure in the 
Patent Office should be maintained strictlv ex parte. However before the patent 
is finally passed to issue, the Examiner should give it a further review in view of 
any new material thus brought to light, and either pass it to issue, or make neces- 
sarv xejcction of claims. Of course in case of rejection on this basis the applicant 
should have an opportunity to present arguments as he has at present, and an 
opportunity of appeal. The documents filed should be made part of the file- 
wrapper of the appliction. • , , ,. x- v u 

An applicant who files an interfering application after such publication should 
be under the same heavy burden of proof as the applicant who now files an 
interfering patent application after the granting of a patent. 

The committee believes that this change will not cause undue expense to the 
inventor, but will aid him bv givint? him a stronger patent, much less likely to be 
voided by the courts. The" burden of submitting evidence will be welcomed by 
those interested in special fields of development, as it will largely avoid the more 
serious burden incident to the issuance of unwarranted patents. 

It appears that this change can be effected by amending the Patent Office 
Rules of Practice. A relativclv small increase in expense of operation of the 
Patent Office is involved, and this should be provided for in the proper Congres- 
sional legislation. 



A great deal of delay and confusion results from our present system of litigation 
of patents. The patent suits on a single important patent may cost several 
hundred thousand dollars. Such a burden confronting a young and struggling 
new industry often results in its thorough discouragement. It is possible under 
the present system for very many years to elapse between tlie initiation of pro- 
ceedings and their final disposition, and indu.stry in the meantime falters. It is 
possible for suits to be brought simultaneously on the same patent in several 
district courts. Moreover, on their appeal to the circuit courts of appeals it is 
sometimes the case that conflicting decisions are given in different circuits. The 
result of this entire situation is a serious burden on growing industry, and on this 
point there is the strongest feeling among users of the system of a need for 

A Single Court for Patent Appeals.— We recommend, therefore, that there he 
established a single Court for Patent Appeals, in order to establish and maintain 
harmony and accuracy in judicial interpretations of patent questions, by confining 
the appellate jurisdiction in civil patent causes to one court, composed of permanent 
judges having the necessary scientific or technical background. 

Each judge should be learned in the law and proficient in knowledge of the 
industrial application of science, and should have had a reasonable experience in 
the trial of patent suits on the bench or at the bar. If, in order to grasp more 
fully special technical questions, the court wishes to call temporarily upon experts 
to advise and consult on difficult points, it should be enabled to do so. 

In view of the importance of this court the salaries paid to the judges should 
be adequate to attract men of the highest stamp. The qualifications have two 
aspects, and it is accordingly desirable that scientific as well as legal opinions and 
suggestions concerning appointees be given weight. 

In the phrase "civil patent causes" we include suits in Federal Courts, other 
than the Court of Claims, (1) alleging infringement of a patent, (2) alleging breach 
of a license agreement involving a patent or invention, (3) in equity to ol)tain a 
patent, (4) in equity alleging interfering patents, or (5) under the declaratorj--, involving any of the above issues. 

The Court should be composed of a sufficient number of permanent judges, any 
tliree of whom should constitute a quorum. The Court should be located in 
■Washington, D. C. ; and should also hold terms at least once a year in each judicial, except as these may be omitted at the discretion of the senior or chief 
justice of the Court. 

It appears desirable that there should be transfen-ed to this new Court the pres- 
ent juri.sdictioji uf tlie Court of Ctistoms and Patent Appeals of all patent and 
trade-mark appeals from the Patent Office. On these matters of scope of juris- 
diction and regiilations concerning place of sitting your committee entertains no 
strong convictions. Rather it wishes to place emphasis on the desirability of a 
single court, adequately provided for, composed of judges of high qualificitions, 
with final jurisdiction in patent causes except as their findings may be reviewed 
by the Supreme Court on writ, of certiorari. Such a court will bring to industry 
that certainty and expedition which is essential if the patent system is to be fully 
effective in stimulating new industries. 

In order to put this recommendation into effect congressional legislation is 



The determination of the just equity in a patent suit involves two diverse 
aspects, the law and the technical facts. When the technique involved was 
simple, before science had made the great strides of the past generation and before 
the fruits of its progress l)ecame applied and embodied in patents, the judge could 
readily acquire during the i)rogress of a suit that background necessar^^ for him 
to understand the technical facts -presented to him. To expect him to do so 
today, with the present specialization and intensification of technical knowledge, 
leads to a severe burden upon him, and to undue expense to the litigants. It is 
true that the litigants call their own experts; but this does not fill the need. The 
Court itself should be so composed as to understand and deal adequately and 
promptly with the matters brought before it. This has been embodied in the 
previous recommendation of a single couft for patent appeals. It is especially 
desirable that courts of first instance be also, so constituted as to treat difficult 
technical questions with precision and promptitude.. 


Advisors to the Court and Technical Jurors. — We therefore recommend that there 
he provided scientifc or technical advisors or juries to furnish adequate scientific or 
technical assistance to courts of first instance in equity patent causes. 

The phrase "equity patent causes" is used to exclude suits at law, but is other- 
wise synonymous with "civil patent causes" as used in the preceding section. 

The advisors or jurors should be United States citizens of sufficient scientific 
or technical qualifications so that they are expert io the art to which the suit 
relates. They should be selected by the Court, with such suggestions from the 
litigants as may be solicited; but without the necessity of securing agreement of 
the litigants to the selection. 

. Initially they should be selected at large. It is recommended however, that 
steps be taken to prepare and maintain an adequate list of qualified experts, and 
that upon its establishment selection should be confined to this list. It is believed 
that the National Research Council, in cooperation with the national scientific 
and engineering societies, would be the proper agency to be charged with the duty 
of preparing and maintaining a list for this purpose. 

It has been stated that it would be difficult to find properly qualified experts. 
Your committee is convinced that no such difficulty will exist. It is true that 
there are many fully qualified scientists and engineers who consistently decline 
to act as experts for litigants in patent cases; often because the partisan presen- 
tation of a cause, while necessary and proper, is natural for an attorney but un- 
natural for a scientist or engineer. To a call from the courts for dignified and 
non-partisan aid in 'the handling of patent cases there will be ample response. 
Nor does this country lack men of the highest type, both from the standpoint of 
their professional attainments in the sciences and their applications, and from the 
standpoint of Uieir trustworthiness and public spirit. 

It should be mandatory upon the Federal district courts in .equity patent causes 
to utilize the services of either a technical advisor or a technical jury, but the 
court should be free to select either alternative, and should make selection anew 
for each suit. 

When a technical jury is utilized its report should be final as to questions of 
fact. Three jurors should be sufficient. 

When an advisor is utilized he should be merely advisory to the court, and his 
report, if called for by the Court, should have the same presumption of accuracy 
as a master's report has, under the Equity Rules. 

The advisor or jury should act in conjunction with the court and under its 
direction as to procedure. _ ^ 

The compensation of experts employed in this manner should be common surate 
with their usual earning power. It should preferably be fixed by the tourt, as is 
done now with masters under the Equity Rul^,/but it may be fixed by statute, 
in which event the maximum per diem should be^ich as is customary for consult- 
ants with high standing in their professions^. This compensation may be taxable 
as part of the costs of the suit, , as is done*" now with masters under the Equity 
Rules; or it may be paid by the government as a part of the cost of maintaining 
the courts. On the matter of the allocation of the expense your committee ex- 
presses no convictions. 

This modification in procedure will notably and properly increase the prestige 
and dignity of the courts. It will utilize, iivthe speedy and just disposition of 
patent causes, the great asset which this country has in its body of scien-tific and 
technical men. It will, by causing expedition, decrease the costs of litigation; 
and by rendering our patent system more sure and effective, it will benefit es- 
pecially inventors and new industries, and thus benefit the people generally. 

It appears that this change can be largely effected by the United States Supreme 
Court thronjili an amendment to the Equity Rules, although congressional legis- 
lation may be needed on some points. 


There have been repeated suggestions that some systein of compulsory licensing 
be introduced in this country. The usual reason given for "the need of such a 
system is that patented articles are sometimes not manufactured and made 
available to the public, for one reason because of the failure to reach an agree- 
ment on the part of those owning several patents, all of which are involved. The 
principal argument against compulsory licensing is the statement that by decreas- 
ing the strength of the patent monopoly it would reduce the incentive to invention 
and development, and vitiate to a considerable extent the effectiveness of the 
system in the development of industry The point is a diflScult one, and it goes 
directly to the heart of the system. 


We recommend that no system of compulsory licensing be introduced at this time. 

Your committee has given serious consideration to the problem, and concludes 
that it has not as yet been constructively analyzed with the completeness which 
should precede any such fundamental alteration in our patent system as is here 
involved. Such a study should be made, by a group combining legal, scientific, 
and business points of view; which can approach the problem judicially and 
without prejudice, and with ample time for its full consideration. The nature of 
the problem is brought out by the following: 

There has been enormous change in technique and commercial practice in the 
last hundred years. The patent system at its inception contemplated an indi- 
vidual inventor, given a monopoly for 17 years as a reward and stimulant for 
invention, and to enable funds to be obtained for commercialization. This 
simple situation no longer obtains. What was originally a self-sufficient patent 
to an individual for 17 years has developed into a patent structure or assemblage 
of patents, giving a substantially permanent monopoly in an advancing art to an 
industry or a group of industries. The justification for the extension in a demo- 
cratic country of an absolute monopoly to an inventor for 17 years, On the basis 
that this is a reasonable reward for his disclosure of his invention in lieu of main- 
taining it secret, no longer applies generally. In these days of intensified research 
and development it is the usual experience to find that important advances arise 
nearly simultaneously at many points. They are the result of an advancing 
knowledge and technique, and the advent of a specific human need and com- 
mercial opportunity. The individual inventor plays an important part in recog- 
nizing the situation and supplying the needed combination. In most cases how- 
ever he could not hold it secret and use it privately if he wished. Moreover if he 
did not appear with his invention it would not be long in these intense times 
before some other inventor would supply the necessary creative thought. This is 
not exclusively the situation of course. There are still brilliant and striking 
flashes of intellect which create startling inventions which would not otherwise be 
made for perhaps a generation. The point is that inventions of this type are few 
and far between, and they are insignificant in number compared to the nearly 
100,000 patents now issued annually. Moreover most of these brilliant advances 
would be made and disclosed whether or not there were a patent system designed 
to produce a reward. The old justification for the extension of exclusive monopoly 
no longer holds. 

There is still however a fully valid reason for continuing the system of extending 
a patent monopoly. New developments are hazardous. Only a small fraction 
of the attempts to bring into public use new and untried combinations are com- 
mercially successful. It is imperative that there should be an opportunity for 
the successful venture to reap a speculative profit. If it were assured only of a 
competitive . profit, funds would not flow into new ventures, and this country 
would soon lose its place in a rapidly advancing technique. The opportunity for 
the necessary speculative profit can be secured only by the extension of a monop- 
oly. Moreover there is great danger that an ill-advised restriction of this mo- 
nopoly would cut the heart out of a system on which a great part of the striking 
industrial development of this country has been based. 

Certainly a system of compulsory licensing based merely on failure to manu- 
facture under a patent, such as has been in effect with dubious results in several 
countries, is not an adequate solution of the problem. A group which succeeds 
in arriving simultaneously at two new ways of adequately supplying a public 
need should not be penalized by being forced to manufacture both resulting 

Much of the difficulty arises because, under the law, all inventions are treated 
on an equal basis. A new collar button and a new flying machine result in patents 
granting similar rights and privileges. Careful consideration should he given to 
the desirability of creating two classes of patents, major and minor, with a rela- 
tively limited grant under the latter. A part of the distinction should result 
from the fact that some inventions" are of such nature that they demand large 
and perilous expenditures, such as become expedient under monopoly, in order to 
bring them to fruition for the public benefit; whereas other inventions would 
come into use whether tlTere were a patent system or not. 

Under the present system, when a suit for infringement is successful, the court 
hfl'^ no alternative than to assess profits and damages and order the cessation of 
infringement. When a patent has thus been found valid and infringed the court 
cannot consider the public interest when called upon to issue an injunction to 
stop the use of the combination by others than the owner anil his licensees. 

Often the infringed patent is incidental or minor, or its primary utihty may lie 
in an entirely different field. It would appear reasonable that in such cases, and 


to prevent unwarranted disruption of industry, the Court should be enabled to 
order the payment of reasonable royalties, rather than simply to order cessation. 
Such a provision would resolve- the quandary in which Courts are forced by the 
strict letter of the law to act in a manner contrary to what appears to be broad 
public interest. Yet the determination that such a situation really existed would 
be difficult, and the evaluation of the extent to which a given patent controlled a 
given situation would be bound to be vague. In order to be definite such a 
change in our basic patent law as is here envisaged should therefore wait until the 
classification of patents into major and minor groups has been established; or 
until some equally positive way has been developed of delimiting the discretionary 
power of the courts. 

The situation is thus a complicated one, in which hastily considered changes 
are highly inadvisable. It is believed that the modificationsVecommended in this 
report will result in a firmer base from which to approach the whole question of 
compulsory licensing. 


Your committee reiterates that it believes the three major modifications 
recommended above are of primary importance. However, there are many 
secondary modifications, some of which are already receiving effective attention 
on the part of the Advisory Committee to the Patent Office, on which comment 
is in order. 

A. Patent Office Personnel and Facilities 

Every effort should be made to increase the standing and ability of the personnel 
of the Patent Office. They are handling an exceedin^y difficult piece of work, 
which is an essential undertaking for the good of the country. In this work they 
should be generously supported. There are various ways in which they can be 
assisted, outside of the simple matter of remuneration. It appears desirable that 
examiners should have an opportunity to become acquainted with the develop- 
ments in their field, by visits to industry and by further study, in order that they 
may perfect themselves in the handling of their advancing arts. They should 
have better library facilities. It appears also desirable that there should be a 
mechanism by which they may consult experts on scientific or technical questions, 
of course without disclosure of any matter under their consideration. They 
represent the public in important negotiations and the dignity of their position 
should be enhanced, and real accomplishment in this important public service 
recognized. The appropriations to the Patent Office for the purposes above should 
be liberal. It should receive direct subsidy in addition to all income from fees. 
The benefit to industry will return this investment tenfold. 

The committee wishes to record that, in its extensive contact with inventors, 
scientists, and industrialists during this study, it has been impressed with the fact 
that the Patent Office personnel, and the Commissioner of Patents, have almost 
uniformly been commended. 

B. Delays 

The matter of delays is always serious. The burden which this places on indus- 
try at large is not always comprehended. Technical matters move much more 
rapidly in these days than they did a generation ago, and there is no inherent 
reason whv legal matters should not also become accelerated. We are in a vastly 
different age from that when it took months to communicate with Washington. 
It would appear that the time allowed for the answer to an Office action and the 
time allowed before the payment of a final fee might with propriety be still further 
reduced. Similarly the allowable delays in interferences should be cut down. 
Since, in American practice, the monopoly runs from the date of issue rather than 
the date of application, and since attorneys often delay the prosecution of applica- 
tions in order thus to extend the effective monopoly, the Patent Commissioner 
should in the public interest rigorously restrict the pendency of applications and 
the duration of interferences to the minimum period consistent with proper 
examination and adjudication, and the Office rules should be modified wherever 
necessary to bring this about. These matters are receiving attention by the 
Advisory Committee to the Patent Office, together with others affecting the 
procedure in that Office. Progress has been made, particularly in regard to 
interferences, and further progress is desirable. 

Another type of delay occurs in connection with litigation. Your committee 
feels that wherever these are unnecessary they should be studiously avoided,_as 
they constitute a serious drag on industrial progress. There is a delay which 

1146 concp:ntration of economic power 

sometimes occurs by reason of the failure of a judge to give his decision promptly 
after the conclusion of a suit. It is realized that an interval at this time is necessary 
in order that a judge may read the law. However it appears that the interval 
which occurs between the conclusion of the suit and the rendering of the decision 
is often much longer than is necessary for this purpose. This appears to be 
often due to the difficulty experienced by the judge in fully understanding the 
technical facts presented to him, and' in such cases the modification in court 
procedure recommended in this report will remove much of this difficulty. If 
delay occurs by reason of undue burden on the judge, then the burden on the 
court should be relieved in order that it may be reduced. It is entirely possible 
that some judges do not realize the serious harm which may be occasioned by 
delay, and that a better realization of this fact would automatically result in 
greater expedition. The committee wishes merely to record the conviction that 
it is essential that delays be reduced at all points as far as is consistent with proper 
deliberative procedure, for the correction of the existing situation lies within the 
purview of the courts. 

C. Joint Inventions 

There is confusion regarding the matter of joint inventions. This is sometimes 
the reason why a patent becomes invalid on what is substantially a technicality. 
If the law stated that the actual inventor must sign the application, but that he 
may be joined if he wishes by others who have in his opinion contributed, without 
danger of his patent being found invalid because of the fact that their contribution 
is later found not to have been essential, the situation will be thoroughly clarified. 
This has been suggested many times. 

D. Reissues, Disclaimers, Renewals 

There seems to be strong argument for abolishing the granting of reissues and 
for simplifying the law concerning disclaimers. Expedition and clarity would 
also result if the practice of allowing renewals were discontinued. These matters 
appear to be in the nature of unnecessary complications, which confer a proper 
benefit in relatively rare instances, but the continuance of which in their present 
forms causes more confusion and cost to the public than is warranted by the 

E. Equitable Treatment of American and Foreign Inventors 

The American Inventor is at a disadvantage in certain respects as compared 
to the foreign inventor. This whole situation is involved with the international 
agreements regarding patents. It requires careful study in order that any 
modifications introduced shall not give justifiable offense.' However, the rights 
of the American inventor should be maintained on the s^me plane as those in 
foreign countries who apply for United States patents, or for patents in other 

F. Reclassification of Patents 

There has long been need for a thorough reclassification of patents in the Patent 
Office. The funds necessary for this piece of necessary work are not large, and 
should be provided. 

G. Annual Taxes 

There is much confusion due to the enormous number of issued patents in this 
country. As far as concerns those which are issued, not expired, considered 
valuable by their owners and yet probably invalid, little can be done except to 
leave the matter to litigation. There are^ however, many issued patents which 
are now known to be worthless by those who hold them. It would be of great 
help if these could be removed from consideration. There are in various countries 
systems whereby patents are subjected to an annual tax. The result of this is 
promptly to remove from consideration all patents which are regarded by their 
owners to be not worth payment of a tax upon. Such a system would greatly 
clarify the atmosphere in which industry operates by removing dead material, as 
patents upon which the tax remained unpaid would lapse. 

The introduction of such a system should, however, be made in such a way as not 
to increase the burden on the individual inventor. In fact he is already over- 
burdened financially by the present filing and final fees, taken together with his 
attorney's fees. The part played by individual and isolated inventors in cur 
industrial development is not proportionately as great as it once was, for tne 
greater part of modern invention comes from the joint work of many in labora- 


tories. However, the day of the individual inventor is not past, and his services 
to the country are needed and should be encouraged. He often points out the 
new and useful combination v/hich would otherwise be overlooked if it were not 
for his discerning eye. The careers of successful individual inventors show that 
an expense at the time of making an invention is often a serious burden indeed, 
especially on the first invention of a series. Expense at a later stage, however, is 
not likely to be serious at all; for if the invention is truly important it soon attracts 
funds for its development, and further patent expenses in the patent office are a 
minor matter compared to the expense of such development, which is usually 
carried by others. It is desirable therefore that the initial burden on the inventor 
be reduced by cutting the filing and final fees, and that this be oflFset by imposing 
annual taxes. 

There should then be a system of annual taxes, beginning several years after 
issuance, and on an ascending scale. These should be so adjusted that the total 
income from fees and taxes Vv'ill be approximately the same as at present. By this 
means the burden will be no greater than at present, it will be placed where it can 
most readily be borne, and there will result the rem.oval from consideration of a 
vast number of patents which are now simply an impediment. 



The United States has developed marvelously in a technical way. Much of this 
advance has been due to the innate ingenuity of its people, and the patent system 
has been one of the main rocks on which the prosp.rity of the country has been 
erected. The character of the people has not changed, but the times have changed 
decidedly. Other countries, not previously technically minded, are going forward 
rapidly in this direction. Competition in technica,l affairs will be keen, and any 
nation which does not rapidly progress will drop into a secondary position in a 
technical world. The patent system, built exceedingly wisely in the early days of 
our history, and developed carefully and skillfully in the hands of the patent 
office, the attorneys and the courts, is no longer completely in tune with modern 
conditions. It should be maintained and strengthened. Alteration is now essen- 
tial if it is to continue to be a firm foundation for industrial advance. Modifica- 
tions should be entered upon carefully and thoughtfully, without destroying any 
vital part of the structure, but nevertheless courageously and thoroughly. Such a 
procedure is essential for the welfare of the country. 

This report treats merely a part of the greater problem of the stimulation of new 
industries. It is related to the more comprehensive program, and the benefits to 
be derived from a modernization of the patent sj^stem are dependent upon the 
treatment accorded by the people of this country to their industries generally. 
Yet it deals with an aspect of industry which is strong in the aptitudes of the 
people; the pioneering aspect on which our greatness is founded. 

The frontiers have disappeared. No longer may a citizen break new ground 
beyond the horizon. But the opportunity for pionc -ing in the application of 
science to human needs remains, and calls for the same virtues of courage, inde- 
pendence, and perseverance. It still is possible to enter uncharted regions in 
industry, and it is still hazardous to thus open new territory for the national 
welfare. ^ , r , 

There has been a powerful trend toward stronger government control of large 
industry in recent years. Unfortunately this has r>\>ulted in many measures 
which have borne heavily, and which have added artifici u hazards to those natural- 
ly in the path of new ventures. Independence has been curtailed. Legal com- 
plexities have been multiplied. The making of a large profit has been frowTied 
upon. The creation of truly new industries and products has been rendered 
nearly impossible. Before we emerge from our present difficulties this trend must 

The removal of unnecessary hurdles in the patent system will help. It can 
provide, however, only part of the essential correction. He who brings a new 
product or a new industry into being, with consequent gainful employment and a 
quickening of the national tempo, must be truly encouraged. As he takes great 
risks, and as many failures in new ventures are inevitable for each success,_ so 
must he feel secure in the earning of that speculative profit which is his incentive. 
It is the function of government to protect him from badgering by any organized 
group, so long as he regards the primary rights of others in his attempt to advance. 
Above all it is the function of government to see that he is constrained in his activ- 
ities within the path of legitimate effort in as simple a manner as possible. 


The patent system requires modification in this regard. But the welfare of the 
pioneer should be always prominently in mind wherever government control of 
industry is considered, in regulations concerning fair competition, in systems of 
taxation, in rules regarding the issuance of securities, and in all other control 
which affects him. Upon his progress depends the standing of our country in a 
shrunken world of intense competition, and the standard of living of our people 
compared to those of other lands. We sadly need to return to the realization 
that the pioneer is a benefactor, against whom the door of opportunity must not 
be closed. 

Exhibit No. 207 

[Source: Submitted by Ralph E. Flanders, President, Jones & Lamson Co.] 

The United States of America 

To all to whom these Letters Patent shall come: 

Whereas Asahel Hubbard, a citizen of the United States, hath alleged that he 
has invented a new and useful improvement in the revolving hydraulic engine, 
which improvement he states has not been known or used before his application 
hath made oath that he does verily believe that he is the true inventor or dis- 
coverer of the said improvement, hath paid into the treasury of the United States 
the sum of thirty dollars, delivered a receipt for the same, and presented a petition 
to the Secretary of State signifying a desire of obtaining an exclusive property 
in the said improvement, and praying that a patent may be granted for that 
purpose: These are therefore to grant, according to law, to the said Asahel Hub- 
bard, his heirs, administrators or assigns, for the term of fourteen years from the 
twenty-second day of April one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight, the 
lull and exclusive right and liberty of making, constructing, using, and vending 
to others to be used, the said improvement, a description whereof is given in the 
words of the said Asahel Hubbard himself, in the schedule hereto annexed, and 
is made a part of these presents. 

In testimony whereof, I. have caused these letters to be made Patent and the 
Seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed. 

Given under my hand at the City of Washington, this twenty-second day ol"" 
April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight and 
of the independence of the United States of America the fifty-second. 

J. Q. Adams. 

By the President: 

H. Clay, Secretary of State. 
City of Washington, to wit: 

I do hereby certify That the foregoing Letters Patent were delivered to me on 
the twenty-second day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 
and twenty-eight to be examined, that I have examined the same, and find them 
conformable to law and I do hereby return the same to the Secretary of State, 
within fifteen days from the date aforesaid, to wit: on this twenty-second day of 
April in the year aforesaid. 

W^M. Wirt, 
Attorney General of the United States. 








\ / 
























12 1191— 39— pt. 3- 


Exhibit No. 210 

[Source: Prepared by Staff of U. S. Patent Office] 

Number of patents granted by the United States to residents of foreign countries, 



Patents Granted 

To Foreigners 

Foreigners, %„. 

To residents of Qermany. 


% — 
















47, 955 












54, 708 














13 1 















47, 382 


44, 398 

















Average per year for period 1930-37 

Argentina 29.5 

Spain 29. 1 

New Zealand 27.8 

Mexico 24.9 

Cuba 20.4 

Africa (Un. South Africa) 19.6 

Poland 13.0 

Wales 11.0 

Ireland 10. 6 

Russia 7.4 

Brazil 6.3 

Finland 6.3 

India 5.8 

Roumania 4.9 

ChUe 4. 6 

Venezuela 3.6 

China 3.1 

Danzig 2.0 

Colombia 1.0 

Dutch East Indies 1.9 

Lu.xemburg 1.8 

Honduras 1. 5 

Latvia 1.5 

Peru... 1.5 

Yugoslavia 1.4 

Uruguay 1.4 

Newfoundland 1.3 

Palestine 1. 1 

Algeria 1.1 

Dominican Republic 1.0 

Esthonia 1.0 

Monaco 1.0 

Other countries, not listed, average less than one per year. 

Note.— All figures include design patents, but not reissues. Percentages are based on patents granted 
In the United States to both residents and nonresidents. 


Exhibit No. 211 

[Source: Prepared by Staff of U. S. Patent Office] 

Number and proportion of patents granted by some foreign countries to citizens or 
residents of the United States 
























2, 353- 




















































•Patents granted in Canada to residents of ttie United States, divided by total patents granted in Canada, 
expressed in per cent. 

Exhibit No. 212 

[Source: Prepared by Stafl of U. S. Patent Office] 

Comparison of patents granted to residents of the United States by other countries 
with patents granted by the United States to residents of other countries 

Patents granted 
in country in- 
dicated to resi- 
dents of the 
United States 

Patents granted 
by United 
States to resi- 
dents of coun- 
try indicated 
















-f 6, 668 

E ngland -■ 


France - 


Italy . 







Holland ... 




-1. 020 

Figures are annual averages 1 

3-37 as shown on preceding tables. 


Exhibit No. 213 

[Source: Prepared by Siaff of U. S. Patent OflRce.] 

Patents granted by various countries showing -proportion granted to foreigners 



number of 



granted to 

granted to 

20, 621 
20, 025 
10, 634 



Qormany .. 


France .... 


Great Britain (1930-35) 





Belgium . - - - - - 

Switzerland (1930-36) 



Japan (1930-36) - - 


Czechoslovakia . . 




Holland (1930-35) - - 



Hungary - -. -- - 




Norway . 


Numbers are averages for eight years 1930-37 unless otherwise indicted. 

Exhibit No. 214 

[Source: Submitted by Clarence C. Carlton, Vice President, Motor Wbeel Corp.) 

September 30, 1938. 
Parts of an Automobile (Excluding the Body Proper) and Automotive. 

A. Chassis and actuating mechanism. 

1. Frame, including torque members and other parts used to promote 


a. Radius rods and attaching parts. 

b. Torque tube. 

c. Torque arm. 

2. Springs and parts thereof including attaching parts. 

3. Shock absorbers and parts thereof including attaching parts. 

4. Axles. 

a. Front axle and parts thereof. 

1. Spring seats with connecting and attaching parts. 

b. Rear Axle, housing and actuating mechanism. 

1. Axle shaft. 

2. Axle tubing. 

3. Axle housing. 

4. Axle shaft bearings. 
5.. .Spring perch. 

5. Wheels and associated parts, and parts thereof and attaching parts 


a. Rims. 

b. Hubs, hub flanges, hub caps. 

c. Drums. 

d. Lugs and other securing parts. 

6. Steering Mechanism, housing, and parts thereof. 

a. Steering wheel with connecting and attaching parts. 

b. Steering shaft. 

c. Gear system and parts thereof including attaching parts and 


d. Drag link and attaching parts. 


Steering knuckle, tie-rod and attaching parts. 

f. Steering balls. 

Steering knuckle arms and attaching parts. 
Steering knuckles. 

King pins and king-pin bushings and shims and attaching parts. 
Steering spindle. 
Motor and parts thereof including actuating mechanisms. 

a. Cylinder head and attaching and connecting parts including: 

1. Water outlet manifold. 

2. Compression cocks or priming cups. 

b. Cylinder block. 

1. Pistons and parts thereof. 

2. Piston pins. 

3. Connecting rods and connecting and attaching parts 


4. Piston rings. 

5. Cylinder studs. 

6. Cam shaft and parts thereof, including the actuating 


a. Cams 

b. Bushings. 

c. Timing gears, including idling gear and con- 
necting and attaching parts thereof. 

d. Timing chain cover and oil seal. 

7. Distributor drive shaft, gears, bushings, and their 

connecting and attaching parts. 

8. Tappets (or plungers). 

9. Valves, valve parts and their actuating mechanisms. 

a. Valve springs. 

b. Valve spring retainer locks. 

c. Valve rockers. 

d. Valve rocker arms. 

e. Valve rocker-arm shafts. 

f. Valve push rods. 

g. Valve-stem guides. 

h. Valve lifters or plungers. 

i. \'alve lifter guide bushing. 

j. Valve lifter guide clamps, 
k. Valve housing covers. 

1. Valve adjusting nuts and locks, 
m. Valve shims, 
n. Valve sleeves, connecting rods, and connecting 

and attaching parts. 
0. Valve junk rings. 
fO. Air pumps. 

11. Gasoline power-pressure pump eccentric 

12. Gasoline power-pressure pump eccentric locks. 

13. Motor-generator sprocket eccentric. 

14. Motor-generator sprocket eccentric coupling. 

15. Cylinder Avatcr-jacket plate. 

16. Fan and parts thereof, including connectins; and 

attaching parts. 

c. Crank case and enclosed parts. 

1. Crank shaft. 

2. Crank shaft bushings. 

3. Crank shaft shims. 

4. Bearings (main bearings). 

5. Sprocket. 

6. Crank shaft gear. 

7. Oil pan. 

8. Oil level indicator. 

9. Fly wheel with connecting parts. 


8. Fuel system and parts' thereof including the actuating mechanisms. 

a. Gas tank and parts thereof, including connecting and attach- 

ing parts. 

b. Auxiliary gas tank. 

c. Fuel pipe and inter-connecting and attaching parts. 

d. Check valves. 

e. Vacuum tank and parts thereof, including attaching parts. 

f. Air filter and parts thereof, including attaching parts. 

g. Carburetor and parts thereof. 

h. Carburetor heater and parts thereof. 

i. Supercharger and parts thereof. 

j. Intake pipe or manifold and parts thereof, including connecting 

and attaching parts, 
k. Pressure pump and parts thereof. 

1. Exhaust pressure intake pipe and connecting parts. 
m. Gasoline power-pressure pump and parts thereof, 
n. Gasoline strainer assembly and attaching parts, 
o. Gasoline filter and parts thereof. 

9. Motor exhaust system and the parts thereof: 

a. Manifold and connecting and attaching parts. 

b. Exhaust pipe. 

c. Muffler and parts thereof with connecting and attaching parts. 

10. Ignition system and the parts thereof, except batteries: 

a. Ignition switch. 

b. Generator and parts thereof with connecting and attaching 

parts and including actuating mechanism: 

1. Motor generator. 

2. Generator drive sprocket. 

3. Generator drive chain. 

4. Generator drive shaft. 

c. Magneto and parts thereof including connecting and attaching 


d. Distributor and parts thereof including connecting and attach- 

ing parts. 

e. Spark Plugs and parts thereof. 

f. Ignition wi'ing harness. 

g. Ignition ceil. 

h. Relay or cut-out. 
i. Fuse, 
j. Automatic spark control system. 

11. Cooling system and parts thereof, except rubber hose connections: 

a. Radiator and parts thereof, with their connecting and attaching 

parts and including: 

1. Tanks — upper and lower. 

2. Radiator core. 

3. Radiator shell. 

4. Radiator grill. 

5. Cocks. 

6. Overflow pipe. 

b. Circulating pump and parts thereof, including connecting and 

attaching parts and actuating mechanism: 

1. Drivo shaft and connecting part^-. 

2. Thermostat and parts thereof. 

12. Clutch mechanism and parts thereof, including mainly the: 

a. Clutch cover. 

b. Actuating mechanism for cone clutch: 

1. Clutch cone and connecting parts. 

2. Clutfih facings. 

3. Clutch shaft. 

4. Clutch disengaging pedal. 

5. Clutch disengaging rods. 

6. Clutch spring. 

7. Clutch bearings. 

8. Clutch sliifter yoke. 

9. Clutch release sleeve. 


c. Actuating mechanism for disc clutch: 

1. Clutch rings. 

2. Clutch discs. 

3. Clutch flange. 

4. Clutch studs. 

d. Actuating mechanism for single plate clutch and parts thereof. 

13. Transmission housing and the parts thereof, with the actuating 

mechanism included: 

a. Grear box. 

b. Gears (sliding) and dogs. 

c. Shafts. 

1. As primary or main. 

2. Secondary. 

d. Bearings. 

e. Shift lever. 

f. Shift rods. 

g. Shifter cocks, 
h. Shifter shaft. 

i. Ball crank. 

j. Speedometer drive. 

k. Ford model T transmission and parts thereof. 

14. Drive shaft with interconnecting and attaching parts thereof: 

a. Universal joints and parts thereof. 

b. Shaft bushing and parts. 

15. Differential and parts thereof, including the actuating mechanism. 

a. Sleeve lock. 

b. Pinion bearing. 

c. Pinion-bearing sleeve. 

d. Driving pinion. 

e. Differential ring gear. 

f. Differential bearings. 

g. Differential rollers. 

h. Bearing adjusting nut. 

i. Universal-joint flange. 

j. Differential case. 

k. Differential case cover. 

16. Brake system and parts thereof, with the actuating mechanism. 

a. Foot and hand-brake levers and attaching parts. 

b. Brake shaft. 

c. Brake pull rods. 

d. Adjusting turnbuckle. 

e. Equalizers. 

f. Brake expander ^uu actuating mechanism. 

g. Brake shoes. 

h. Brake shoe springs, 
i. Bands, 
j. Band lever, 
k. Band lever springs. 
1. Brake cam shaft. 
m. Brake cam-shaft lever, 
n. Brake-adjusting cam. 
o. Brake-shoe anchor pin. 
p. Brake toggle joints. 
q. Hydraulic system. 

1. Actuating cylinder. 

2. Piston and actuating mechanism. 

3. Tubes. 

4. Reserve tanks for fluid. 

17. Lubrication system and parts thereof. 

a. Oil pump and parts thereof, including connecting and attach- 

ing parts. 

b. Oil suction bell. 

c. Oil-pump suction pipe and attaching parts. 

d. Filler and level plugs and cocks and parts thereof. 

e. Grease cup. 


f. High-pressure systems. 

1. Individual fittings and parts thereof. 

2. Central shot system and parts thereof, including con- 

necting and attaching parts. 
L«. Small attaching and connecting parts. 

a. Shims. 

b. Gaskets. 

19. Hood, fenders, running boards, cowling, and connecting and attaching 
parts thereof. ^ 

B. Electrical Equipment. 

,1. Starting System and parts thereof with the actuating mechanism. 

a. Starter M^tor. 

b. Starter wiring harnesses. 

0. Starting Motor drive assembly, including connecting and at- 
taching parts thereof. 

d. Switches, including automatic starting switch. 

e. Starting pedal rods and interconnecting and attaching parts. 

f. Gear reduction system. 

2. Signal devices and parts thereof, including the actuating mechanism. 

a. Buttons and switches. 

b. Horns and buzzers and parts thereof, including connecting 

and attaching parts and wire harnesses. 

c. Directional signals. 

3. Lighting system and parts thereof, including switches and wire hain- 

a. Lamps and posts thereof, and posts except bulbs. 

b. Resistance coils and parts thereof. 

c. Switches and parts thereof^including connecting and attaching 


d. Wire harnesses and connections. 

4. Electrical gauges and control equipment and parts thereof. 

a. Gasoline gauges. 

b. Heat indicator. 

c. Ammeter. 

d. Other miscellaneous electrical gauges. 

5. Windshield wiper. 

6. Electrical fuel pump. 

7. Electrical defrosters. 

8. Cigarette Lighter. 

9. Electric clock. 
C. Mechanical Equipment. 

1. Gauges, hj'draulic or otherwise, including instrument panel with its 

connecting and attaching parts. 

a. Gas-tank gauge with its actuating mechanism. 

b. Gas-pressure gauge and assembly. 

c. Water-tcmpcrature gauges. 

d. Oil-circulation indicator. 

e. Oil-pressure indicator. 

f. Other miscellaneous gauges. 

2. ContFol equipment and parts thereof. 

a. Acceleration mechanism. 

1. Throttle lever and rods and accelerator pedal and parts 


2. Rods, springs, brackets, and connecting and attaching 


b. Choker rod with attaching and connecting parts. 

c. Governors and parts thereof, with the actuating mechanism, 

and including the attaching parts. 

d. Radiator shutter — (1) Hand controlled or (2) Thermostatically 

controlled and the actuating mechanisms. 

e. Windshield-wiper control and attaching p.arts. 

f . Carburetor heat control and parts thereof. 


3. Speedometers and parts thereof: 

a. Shafts and housings and connecting and attaching parts. 

b. Actuating gear mechanism with connecting and attaching 


c. Speedometer head and the parts thereof. 

4. Windshield wipers and parts thereof, including the attaching parts. 

5. Emergency Service Tools. 
D. Accessories and parts thereof: 

1. Car heaters and parts thereof, including the connecting and attaching 


a. Water heaters. 

b. Steam heaters. 

c. Hot air heaters. 

d. Electric heaters. 

2. Bumpers and bumper stops and connecting and attaching parts. 

3. Trunks and luggage carriers and parts thereof including connecting 

and attaching parts. 

4. Rear view mirrors and parts thereof. 

5. Tire chains. 

6. Miscellaneous Accessories: 

a. Antishimmy equipment. 

b. Antirattle equipment. 

c. Accelerator pedals. 

d. Radiator ornaments. 

e. Running board plates. 

f. Running board moulding. 

g. Windsliield and air vent screens, 
h. Sparc tire locks. 

i. Splash guards. 
j. Traffic signal finders, 
k. Windshield wings. 
1. License plate frame. 
K. Body fittings and attachments: 

1. Wind lace or weather strip 

2. Robe rails. 

3. Channel lace. 

4. Curtain cords. 

5. Assist cords. 

6. Cowl boards. 

7. Sun visors and the parts thereof. 

8. Body hardware. 

9. Body upholstery springs. 

10. Floor boards. 

11. Foot rail. 

12. Auxiliary seats. 

13. Ash receivers. 




Oscar Zeller, Das Gebrauchsmusterrecht. Berlin, 1936, 562 pages. 

German legal text on minor or petty patents. 
Emerson Stringham, Patents and Gebrauchsmuster in International Law. Wash- 
ington, 1935,' 538 pages. 

Two chapters of this book discuss the German law on petty patents. 
Great Britain, Board of Trade. Report of the Departmental Committee on the 
Patents and Designs Acts and Practice of the Patent Office. Presented by the 
President of the Board of Trade to Parhament by command of His Majesty, 
March 1931, 104 pages. 

Report of the Committee which revised the British patent law. Page^ 81 
to 86 contain tlie consideration of the proposal to introduce minor or 
petty patents, as a second class of patents. The proposal was rejected. 


W. S. Bleistein, The German Law on "Gebrauchsmuster." Journal of the Patent 
Office Society, February 1937, Volume 19, Pages 126 to 135. 

Description of the German law on the subject; includes changes introduced 
by the statute of May 5, 1936. 
G. Benjamin, Double Protection by Gebrauchsmuster. Journal of the Patent 
Office Society, December 1936, Volume 18, Pages 884 to 886. 

Note on a scheme practiced to prolong the monopoly of a petty patent 
under the German law. 
H. Schmidt, "40 Years D. R. G. M." Journal of the Patent Office Society, 
January 1932, Volume 14, Pages 22 to 24. 

Descriptive note of the German "petty patent" law. 

E. Stringham, Gebrauchsmuster are Patents. Journal of the Patent Office Society, 
January 1931, Volume 13, Pages 20 to 30. 

Note on the legal position of German "petty patents" as patents. 

F. Herzfeld and F. Hoffmann, German Patent and German D. R. G. M. Journal 
of the Patent Office Society, March 1928, Volume 10, Pages 199 to 205. 

Comparison of German petty patents with German major patents. 

The following letter was entered in the record on February 8, 
1939 and is printed herewith in connection with Dr Jewett's testi- 
mony. See text pp. 963, 968, 969, 971 and 976. 

Exhibit No. 244 

F. B. JEWETT, Vice President 

Americax Telephone and Telegraph Companv 

195 broadway, new york 

Exchange 3-6000 

January 24, 1939. 
Hon. Joseph C. O'Mahoney, 

Chairman, Temporary National Economic Committee, 

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. 
My Dear Senator: The purpose of this letter is to answer the two inquiries 
which were left with me the other day when I testified before your Committee; 
and also to submit for the record a few additional paragraphs discussing the 
long-life vacuum tube. 

At the outset, I should like to point out that in speaking from memory I inad- 
vertently misstated the number of patents and inventions which the Bell System 
owns. The number (15,000) which I gave is the total number which we were 
free to use as of 1934. The number owned as of that date was about 9,500— and 
naturally this is a number which varies from month to month because of new and 
expiring patents. As to the others, we held licenses to make and use. 
The first inquiry (by the Chairman) was: 

Do your cross-licensing agreements prevent you from making the 50,000- 
hour tube for the radio field? 

The answer is that they do not. Our cross-liCcnse agreements do not prevent 
us from using any of our own inventions for anj' pupose whatever. Moreover, 
by those agreements we also gave to the General Electric Company, the Westing- 
house Company and the Radio Corporation \he right to use our inventions for the 
manufacture and sale of tubes for radio receiving sets as well as many other 
purposes. Those agreements, while leaving us free ourselves to license others 
for the purpose, also gave to those companies the right to license others under 
our inventions for receiving .set tubes. Under the cross-license agreements, we 
ourselves are free to use the inventions of the three companies named in the 
manufacture of radio receiving set tubes — royalty-froe for the first $1,000,000 
worth, and on a royalty basis thereafter up to the amount of $2,000,000 worth. 
Actually we have not gone into the home receiving set or receiving tube business 
and onlv in other receiver business to a most limited extent. The Radio Cor- 


poration has, I understand, licensed some dozen or fifteen other manufacturers 
to make radio tubes, under both its own and our inventions. 
The second inquiry (by Judge Davis) was: 

Does the Western Electric Company make available to independent 
telephone companies the long-life tubes used in your plant? 

The answer is that it does. For many years repeaters and one and three-channel 
carrier equipment utilizing such tubes have been available to independent con- 
necting companies by lease from the Bell Associated Companies and, more 
recently, these equipments have been available by sale from the Western Electric 
Company. The quality of the tubes involved is the same as the tubes in our 
own plant. The actual release to the Western Electric Company under American 
Telephone and Telegraph Company patents is to sell to connecting telephone 
companies, railroads, power, oil and pipe line companies. We have never, so 
far as I know, declined a request for any such equipment from a-uy independent 
telephone company. 

The foregoing gives the information which I promised the Committee I would 
supply to it. In addition, I should like to offer for the Committee's record the 
following few supplemental comments regarding the long-life vacuum tube. I 
suggest this because I believe that the record in its present form can be construed 
as a criticism of the radio industry — in fact, certain newspaper reports based 
upon my testimony have already implied as much. 

I should like to point out that the problem of designing vacuum tubes for use 
in telephone repeaters differs in important fundamental respects from the problem 
of designing tubes for radio-receiving sets. My regret, of course, is that I did not 
take time while testifying to make this perfectly clear, particularly as a very few 
words would have been sufficient to establish the fact. Although the radio tubes 
of the present day may be of considerably shorter life than our telephone repeater 
tubes, it does not follow that the radio tubes would be better suited to their work 
if they partook more of the character of telephone tubes. In the first place, the 
average radio set is it.self a thing of relatively short life, perhaps four to six years, 
so that little or nothing would be gained by using in this set tubes whose normal 
life is eight to ten times the life of their associated equipment. Particularly 
would this be true if the longer-life tube represented any material increase in 
tube cost. In the present dtate of our knowledge, such longer life would definitely 
entail a greater cost. 

In the case of the telephone repeater the more expensive type of tube is amply 
justified, but for reasons which do not operate in the case of radio-receiving sets. 
In the first place, the telephone repeater foFms part of a relatively expensive 
circuit connecting distant points. Because of this and within wide limits, the 
first cost of the telephone tubes is a very small quantity comi^ared to the cost of 
the circuit of which they are a part. The cost of tube operation, however, is a 
most important consideration in the design of the telephone tube. Repeater 
tubes must operate uniformly and reliably twenty-four hours a day every day in 
the year and they have to be fed from storage batteries, a form of electrical energy 
costing several tim^s as much per unit as lighting current. Hence, low current 
consumption in the telephone tube is essential; and it luippens that we have been, 
able to make long tube life a concomitant of low energy consumption. 

These exacting,' operating and service considerations do not obtani, apparently, 
in the design and manufacture of receiving set tubes. In the latter case the manu- 
facturer is concerned with tubes of high quality, low initial cost, and life charac- 
teristics compatil)le with the life of the sets they serve. I believe that these 
requirements have been well met by the industry. 

In conclusion* let me point out again that to the extent that the long-life tele- 
phone tube is covered by patents, these' are available to radio manufacturers 
through license. The engineering problem of the radio designer, however, has 
diverged from that of the telephone designer, with the result that each has devel- 
oped a tube construction best suited to his industry. 

Trusting that it will be possible-to incorporate this brief statement as a part 
of the Committee's record, I am. 

Yours very truly, F. B. JewT;tt, Vice President. 



AC Spark Plug Company 94Q 

Academic institutions, research by 871-873-874 

Acheson electric-furnace patent 1120 

Aeronautics, National Advisory Committee 871 

Airplane industry, production and wages, 1937 1122 

Airplanes, composition wings 1092-1094 

Alien Property Custodian 911 

Allen Dumont Laboratories 1003 

American Chemical Society 1 103 

American Telephone & Telegraph Company 948-949, 995-996, 952, 970 

Patent licensing policy. 960, 970, 972 

Antitrust laws 1039-1040 

Antitrust laws compatible with patents 1039 

Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co 845-846 

Attorneys, patent, criticism of 997-999 

Automotive Parts & Equipment Manufacturers Association 1045-1049, 1060 

Directorship 1046 

Purpose 1060-1061 

Automobiles, number in use 889 

Automobile Parts Industry: 

Brake drums 1052 

Competition . 1047-1051 

Gears, composition 1095 

Marketing practices 1058-1059 

Patents, effect on 1068-1070 

Products, schedule of 1078-1079 

Research cost 1064-1 066 

Sales 1047 

Wheels . 1053-1054 

Baekeland, George E., Vice President, Bakelite Corporation 1077-1 104 

Baird Company 987, 995 

Bakelite Corporation 1077-1104 

Financial pohcy :. _ 1095-1097 

Patent htigation _ 1083-1084 

Patents, number owned 1082 

Products, number of 1081-1082 

Bank loans 934r-936 

Barbed wire industry, production, 1937 1113 

Bausch Company 987 

Bell Technical Journal 978 

Bell telegraphy patent 842-843 

Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc 948-978, 984, 1003 

Patent licensing policy 960 

Research costs 974-975 

Bell Telephone Svstem, patents, number of 963 

Blodgett, Dr. Katherine..: . , 919, 921 

British Chartered Institute of Patent Agents . 1007 

British Columbia Telephone Company 1071 

British Marconi Company 1028-1030 

British patent system 1007-1028 

British Postal Office 956 

British regulation of imports 1025-1026 

Brownie Company 1028-1030 

Bush, Vannevar, President Carnegie Institution 864, 869-911, 969 

California Institute of Tftchnology 982 

Canadian patent system'. 1021 




Capital, long-term loans 934 

Capital, risks 937 

Carborundum 1120 

Carlton, Clarence C, Vice-President, Motor Wheel Corporation 1045-1070 

Carnegie Institute 864 

Carnegie Institution 869, 875 

Celluloid industry, value of products, 1935 1112 

Celluloid 1102 

Cellulose, etc 1082 

Chemical Foundation 911 

Chicago Patent Law Association ^ 869 

Chinese patent system 1009 

Chrysler Corporation 940 

Clark, Colonel 1102 

Coe, Conway P., Commissioner of Patents 838 

Cole Patent 942-943 

Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. 1003 

Columbia Gramophone Company 1027 

Commerce, Department of, function regarding patents 836-837 

Competition, effect of patents on 1047-1048 

Composition gears 1095 

Coolidge, William D., Director of Research Laboratories, General 

Electric Company 911-924 

Copyrights 864 


Disadvantage of small, in patent litigation 945 

Foreign, patents owned by 847 

Large, ratio of patents to total assets 1 126 

Patents owned by 874-875 

Patents, percentage of total issued to, 1921-1938. - - - - - 1 125 

Cotton industry, output, 1937-1938. 1107 

Cottrell invention 878-879 

Court of Customs and Patent Appeals 862 

Crocker Research Laboratories 983 

De Forest Patents 960, 967-972 

Delco lighting system . --.-- 1020 

Dienner, John A., Special Counsel for the Committee 869 

Dies and tools, sales of 1047 

Du Porit Company 961, 1086 

East India Company 840 

Eastman Kodak Company 1078 

Electric induction motor industry, production and wages, 1937 1116 

Electric-welding Industry, wages and production, 1937 1115 

Electrons 985 

Employment, effect of industrial expansion 933-934 

Employment, paint and varnish industry 1087 

Ernst & Ernst 1047 

Expert witnesses in patent litigation 892 

Export of machine tools 933 

Export trade, effect on, of patents ^ 1019-1020 

Farnsworth, Philo T., Vice-President, Farnsworth Television, Inc 980-1006 

Farnsworth Television, Inc 980-1006 

Patents, number 989 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 937 

Federal Reserve Board - — 859 

Fellows Gear Shaper Company 930 

Fernseh (Actien Gesellschaft) 987,995 

France, current industrial condition 932 

French patent system ^- 1007 

Flanders, Ralph E., President, Jones & Lamson Machine Company 924-936 

Ford Motor Company ^^^n 

Gear Shaper Company 930 

Gears, composition ...^.. 1095 

Genealogy of the Robbins & Lawrence Shop 1149 

General Bakelite Company • 1080 

General Electric Company 91 1, 913. 

915-916, 923, 931, 951, 961-975, 1003, 1017, 1073, 1075 
Research and laboratory policy.. 911-913 



General Mills Company 1076 

General Motors Corporation. 940 

German patent system _. 1009, 1019 

German research methods 876 

Glass container industry, production and wages, 1937 1121 

Glidden barbed wire patent 1113 

Goodyear rubber processing patent 842-843 

Governmental control of industry 900 

Graham, John A., President, Motor Improvements, Inc 938 

Graham, Maurice H., Inventor 1071-1077 

Graybar Electric Company 963 

Hall aluminum processing patent " 1117 

Hartford-Empire Company 1029 

Haskelite Company 1102 

Hubbard, Asahel, Letters Patent 1148 

Hyatt celluloid patent 1112 

Irnportation, British regulations 1025 


Automobile patent pools 889-890 

Automobiles, number used 889 

Capital, risks :. 936 

Competition . 930 

Competition, unfair 945 

Cost to develop an article 891 

Effect of lack of centralized research on railwaj's 906 

Expansion, effect on employment 932-934 

Financing 933-934 

France, current conditions J 933 

Governmental control 900 

Machine tools, exports 933 

Oil filters 939-940,946 

Patent pools 888-889 

Patents, beneficial eflfect of 883, 894 

Patents, value of 928 

Radio broadcasting- .>. 962, 970 

Research 871-872 

Research, cost of 915 

Research laboratories, number 922-923 

Savings to consumer because of progress 917-918 

Small concerns, disadvantage of in patent litigation 945-946 

Taxation, effect on 898-899 

Telephone, manual and machine switching 957 

TNEC, methods of study 869-870 

Tungsten filament tubes 960 

Turret lathe 930 

International Association for the Protection of Industrial Property 869 

International Convention, a patent regulatory body 1007-1008 


Incentive . 1017-1018 

Sources 87 1 

Stimulated by patent protection 1005 

Invisible glass • 919 

Ives photogravure patent 1119 

Jefferson, Thomas, attitude toward patents. . 840 

Jenkins, C. Francis 984 

Jewett, Frank B., President, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc 948-979 

Jones & Lamson Machine Company 925-937 

Exports, percentage of production 933 

Production and size -. 930 

Kellogg Company, The 973 

Knapp-Monarch Company 1076 

Knox, Henry .' 840 

Labor saving devices 901-902 

Langner, Lavo-ence, Member of Langner, Perry, Card & Langner 1006-1040 

Langner, Perry, Card & Langner 1006-1040 

Library of Congress, function regarding copyrights 864 



Lincoln, Abraham, patent, manner of buoying vessels 1138 

Litigation of patents. See Patents. 

Lloyd George Act 1024 

Lloyd George, David, views on patents 1023 

Loewe Company 1028 

Marconi Company 1028 

Marine varnishes 1087 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology research methods 877-878, 

880, 899, 912, 976 

McCormick reaper patent 1 108 

McFarlane Hearings, Congressional 909 

McGraw Electric Company 1071-1077 

Medical research and patents 877 

Mergenthaler linotype patent 1118 

Monopolies, historical survey 840 

Morse telegraph patent 1109 

Motor Improvements, Inc 938-939 

Motor Wheel Corporation 1045-1069 

Nash Motor Company 939 

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics 871 

National Association of Manufacturers 841 

National Broadcasting Company 970, 1003 

National Pressure Cooker Company 1072 

National Research Council 875 

Oldfield Hearings, Congressional 909 

Oliphant, Herman, Past General Counsel, Treasury Department; Com- 
mittee Resolution deploring his untimely death 835-836 

O'Mahoney-Chandler Act 903 

Owens glass-shaping machine patent 1121 

Paints industry, employment, number 1087 

Patent Laws: 

Appeal, suggested change 860 

Case history on one patent 1136 

Historical survey 838 

Life of patent, suggested change 858 

Scope of present TNEC inquiry 836-837 

Twenty-seven-year prosecution of patent 854 

Patent Office: 

Advising committee - 863, 869 

Appeals, patent proposed single court of 892, 906-907, 969, 1104 

Change in procedure suggested 880-881 

Interference delays 861 

Interference proceedings decided, 1924-1933 855 

Organization chart 1129 

Patentability requisites.. _ 843-844 

Practice and procedure . - 848-849, 853-854, 880-88 1 

Practice regarding renewal of applications 862 

Practice regarding "Special Status" - 858 

Procedural change suggested 860 

Procedure - - 848-849 

Patent Systems: 

Appeals, foreign - - 1015 

Attorneys at law, admission of 998-999 

Benefits derived from 841-842 

British 1008, 1015, 1022 

British, compulsory licensing . 1027-1029 

Canadian 1021 

Chinese 1009 

Claims, British and United States, practice ; 1018 

Classification 1019 

Dates, effective- .-:: 1011 

Deficiencies. : 898 

Examination - 1008 

Foreign and domestic 1008-1009 

French... 1008 


Patent Systems;^Continued. Page 

German 1009, 1014-1015, 1019 

History and value 950-951 

Interference proceedings 1011 

Interference proceeding, effect in Germany 1012 

Interference, statute of limitations abroad 1015-1016 

International Convention 1007-1008 

Monopolistic and otherwise, compared 1016 

Purpose 836-837 

Registration _.. 1008-1009 

Russian 1007, 1021 

Swiss, initiated, 1888 841-842 

Totalitarian States 1021 

United States 839 

United States, attraction to foreign inventors 1017 

United States, compared with foreign 859 

United States, unique features . . 1008 

Versailles Treaty 1006 


Acheson, Electric furnace 1120 

Aeroplane 11 22 

Air brake 1111 

Aliens, acquisition of 902 

Aluminum, processing 1117 

Antitrust laws compatibility 840 

Applications, amendment of 849 

Applications, period of prosecution. 849 

Applications, possible life of 853 

Attorneys, criticism of 997 

Automobile brake drum :^ 1052 

Automobile, pools 889 

Automobile wheels, 1 053 

Barbed wire 1113 

Basic 991 

Basic, issued before 1877 842 

Bell, telegraphy 1114 

Bell telephone 842 

Beneficial effect on industry 883 

Brakes, automobile 1 052 

Celluloid .- 1112 

Classification of 894 

Competition 1025, 1050 

Control, concentration 931 

Corporations 874 

Cost 939 

Cost, foreign 1012 

Cost in U. S. compared with cost abroad 859 

Cost, under "Special Status" , 858 

Cotton gin 1 107 

Date, effective 1011 

De Forest 968 

Delays, interference, causes 860-861 

Delays, suggested remedy 943-944 

Delays, undue 885 

Dyes 911 

Effect on employment 895 

Electric-induction motors 1116 

Electric furnace 11 20 

Expert witnesses in litigations 892, 903 

Exploitation, requisites ■ 882 

Export trade, effect on 1020 

Foreign interchanges 903 

Forty-four-year life 885 

Fraudulent practices 998 

German, dyes 911 

Glass bottle 1037-1038 

Glass shaping machine 1121 

124491— 3&—pt. 3 -22 


Patents— Continued. Pase 

Glidden barbed wire 1113 

Goodyear rubber processing 11 10 

Hall aluminum processing 1117 

Industry, efifect on 1068 

Infringement 887 

Infringement, costs 940 

Interference 879-882, 942, 990-991 

Interference proceedings, European system 1011 

Interferences, number decided, 1924-1933 854 

Inventions, stimulation of 1004 

Issued, 1836-1937 1123 

Issued, 1921-1938 1123 

Issued, total 1 123 

Ives photogravure 1119 

Jefferson, Thomas, attitude toward patents 840 

License 1004-1005 

License, limited 996 

License, nonexclusive : 1004-1005 

License, nonrestrictive 1052 

License, radio tube 964 

Licensing, compulsory 927, 999, 1027-1029, 1054-1055 

Life, comment 892 

Life, suggested change 945 

Lincoln, manner of buoying vessels 1138 

Linotype 1118 

Litigation 939-947 

Litigation, case history 941 

Litigation, cost 900,939-947 

Litigation, disadvantage of small concerns 947 

Litigation, expert witnesses 893, 903-904 

Litigation, period of 941 

Litigations, number in Federal Courts, 1935-1938 1 136 

McCormick reaper 1 108 

Medical 876 

Mergenthaler linotype 1118 

Monopoly 851-852 

Monopoly, abuse of 1029-1033 

Monopoly, limited 885 

Morse telegraph 11 09 

Origin 950 

Owens, glass-shaping machine 1121 

"Patent Applied For" 1010 

Petty 1019 

Photogravure 1119 

Pools, closed 888 

Price control, relationship 891 

Pyroxyline 1112 

Hadio tubes, licensing 964-967 

Ratio to population, 1840-1930 1124 

Ratio to technological workers .-.- 1124 

Reaper 1108 

Reissue 1010 

Renewal of applications 861 

Research, relationship 871-872, 922 

Restraint of use 879 

Rubber processing 1110 

"Special Status" 858 

Suppression of 885, 908-909, 999-1 000, 1058, 1 1 02-1 1 03 

TaKes, eiTecton.. 894-8^^5 

Thompson electric-welding patent 1115 

Telegraph 1109 

Telephone 1114 

Tesla electric-induction motor 1116 

Twenty-year life 852, 892, 944 

Unemployment, effect on 897-898, 1063-1066 

Unfair competition 946 


Patents — Continued. Pa»e 

Validity, suggested change to make more certain 892-893 

Value to industry 927, 951, 994 

Value to society 838, 870,894, 922 

Welding, electric 1115 

Westinghouse air brake 1111 

Wheels, automobile 1053 

Wright flying machine ,. . 1122 

"Patents Applied For" 1010 

Patterson, Richard C, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Department of Com- 
merce 835-836 

Peerless Motor Car Corporation 939 

Penny, Davis, Marvin & Edmonds ; 941 

Phenolic resin - 1085-1086 

Philadelphia Storage Battery Company 985 

Philco Radio Corporation 985 

Philco Radio & Television Corporation . 1003-1004 

Photo-electric ceU 983-993 

Photographic paper 1078 

Photometry .-.. 991 

Plastic industry 1079 

Pupin patent . 972 

Publishing business, income, production, and wages HIS 

Postal Telegraph-Cable Company 969 

Prices, control of use by patents - 891 

Radio broadcasting 964, 970 

Radio Corporation of America 964, 965, 971, 1002-1003 

Hadio Manufacturers Association 1001-1002 

Radium, substitute for 989 

Railwavs, effect of lack of centralized research 906 

Handolph, Edmond D ^ 840 

Raytheon Manufacturing Company 905 

Reapers, production, 1937 1108 

Refrigeration, improvement of 1018 

^'Relation of the patent system to the stimulation of new business, The". 893, 924 
ilesearch : 

Atomic 913 

By-products 963, 991 

Control of patents 930-931 

Cost 914,974-975 

Effect of its absence 906 

Electronic - 982 

General Electric Company 912, 920, 948 

Germany, methods 876 

Glass, invisible 919 

Group 874 

Group and individual 987 

Industrial .--- 872-873,898 

Individual inventor 875, 906, 920 

Industrial laboratories, number 923 

Laboratory costs ^ 974-975 

Magnetism and its utilization 918 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 877-878 

Medical ---.. 877 

Methods 928-930. 

Paints 1086 

Patents, effect on 915-916' 

Photoelectric ceU 982, 991-994 

Radium substitute 989 

Refrigeration 1016-1017 

Relationship to patents 871-872,921-923 

Research Corporation of New York 877-878 

Russia, methods 87d 

Savings resulting from 953 

Secrecy, lack of 914 

Telephone 951-952 

Television 982 


Research — Continued. Page 

Television, theory of _._ 989 

Vacuum tubes, increased eflBciency of 954 

Varnishes 1087-1 088 

X-ray, substitute for radium 989 

Research Corporation of New York 877-880 

Resin, glyptal 1085-1086 

Resin, phenolic 1084-1085 

Rubber industry, production, 1937 1110 

Russian patent system 1008, 1020 

Russian research methods 875 

Sales of dies and tools 1047 

Science Advisory Board 891, 892, 899, 924, 969 

Scott- Atwater Company 1074 

Securities Exchange Commission 903, 934-935 

Sirovich, Congressman 843 

Stromberg-Carlson Telephone Manufacturing Company 973 

Studebaker Corporation, The . 938 

Submarine Signal Company 962 

Sullivan Machine Company 926 

Sweetland patent, litigation 941-943 

Tariff, cross-hcense a substitute for 1036-1037 

Taxation : 

Investments, eflfect on 898-899 

Patents, effect on 894-895, 1012 

Undistributed profits tax 934 

Technological inventions 843 

Telephone, historical 957 

Telephonic communications, a natural monopoly 973-974 

Telephonic enterprise, earnings, investment and wages paid, 1937 1114 

Television : 

Historical 981-99 1 

Present development 1000-1001 

Theory of 989 

Temporary National Economic Committee: 

Method of study of industrial production 869-870 

Resolution passed deploring the untimely death of Herman Oliphant, 

Past General Counsel, Treasury Department 834-835 

Tesla electric induction-motor patent 1116 

Thermostatic device, cost of development, etc 890-891, 905 

Thomson electric welding patent 1115 

Thorp, Dr. Willard . 857 

Tungsten, ductile . 913 

Turret lathe 930 

Unemployment, effect on, of patents 895-896, 1063-1064 

Unemployment, labor-saving devices, effect on --- 901-902 

Unemployment, patents relationship 1063-1064 

United Motor Service 940 

Vacuum tube, how invented 875 

Vacuum tubes 953-954 

Varnish industry, employment, number 1088 

Velox photographic paper 1078 

War, its effect on patents 843 

Waters Company 1071 

Western Electric Company 949, 952-956,.961-964, 967-971, 973, 996 

Western Union Telegraph Company 956, 969 

Westinghouse air brake patent 1111 

Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company 967, 971, 974 

Wright, Carroll T 843 

Wright flying machine patent 1122 

X-ray 989-991 

Zeiss-Ikon 987 



3 9999 06351 931 6