Patent Matters in Washington,

Patent Matters in Washington, D.C.

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To the Editor of the Scientific American: From the report of the Commissioner of Patents, just issued, it appears that its surplus revenue for the past year amounts to over one hundred and five thousand dollars, and that there is nearly a million dollars in the United States Treasury to the credit of the Patent Office; and yet, notwithstanding that this enormous amount is lying idle, our pseudo-economists at the Capitol refuse to grant the Office sufficient of its own funds to carry on its business promptly. So much is the work behindhand in some of the departments that, as the Commissioner states in his report, some of the attorneys who require certified copies of papers have been obliged to employ their own clerks to do office copying, and then had to pay the full legal rate of ten cents per hundred words, the same as though the Office had done the work. This style of economizing, by making inventors pay two prices for their work, may be "reform" in the eyes of the average Democratic Congressman; but speaking for myself, as one of those who have had to pay twice, I would prefer to dispense with this style of "retrenchment and reform," and therefore ask you, Messrs. Editors, in behalf of the inventors of the United States, to so stir up our legislators that they will allow the Office sufficient of its own funds to do its work properly, and not delay the work of the inventor—work that he has to pay for in advance—and so prevent the discouragement and trouble which these delays always cause.
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