How To Obtain A Patent

Patents are issued in the name of the United States, and under the seal

of the Patent Office. A patent is a grant by the Government to the

inventor, his heirs or assigns, for a limited period, of the exclusive

right to make, use or sell any new and useful art, machine, manufacture

or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, or

any new, original and ornamental design for any article of manufacture.

Every patent contains a grant to the patentee, his heirs or assigns, for

the term of seventeen years, of the exclusive right to make, use and

vend the invention or discovery throughout the United States and the

Territories, referring to the specification for the particulars thereof.

If it appears that the inventor, at the time of making his application,

believed himself to be the first inventor or discoverer, a patent will

not be refused on account of the invention or discovery, or any part

thereof, having been known or used in any foreign country before his

invention or discovery thereof, if it had not been before patented or

described in any printed publication.

Joint inventors are entitled to a joint patent; neither can claim one

separately. Independent inventors of distinct and independent

improvements in the same machine cannot obtain a joint patent for their

separate inventions; nor does the fact that one furnishes the capital

and another makes the invention entitle them to make application as

joint inventors; but in such case they may become joint patentees.

Application for a patent must be made in writing to the Commissioner of

Patents, from whom blanks and printed instructions can be obtained by


REISSUES.--A reissue is granted to the original patentee, his legal

representatives, or the assignees of the entire interest, when, by

reason of a defective or insufficient specification, or by reason of the

patentee claiming as his invention or discovery more than he had a right

to claim as new, the original patent is inoperative or invalid, provided

the error has arisen from inadvertence, accident or mistake and without

any fraudulent or deceptive intention.

CAVEATS.--A caveat, under the patent law, is a notice given to the

office of the caveator's claim as inventor, in order to prevent the

grant of a patent to another for the same alleged invention upon an

application filed during the life of the caveat without notice to the


Any citizen of the United States who has made a new invention or

discovery, and desires further time to mature the same, may, on payment

of a fee of $10, file in the Patent Office a caveat setting forth the

object and the distinguishing characteristics of the invention, and

praying protection of his right until he shall have matured his

invention. Such caveat shall be filed in the confidential archives of

the office and preserved in secrecy, and shall be operative for the term

of one year from the filing thereof.

An alien has the same privilege, if he has resided in the United States

one year next preceding the filing of his caveat, and has made oath of

his intention to become a citizen.

The caveat must comprise a specification, oath, and, when the nature of

the case admits of it, a drawing, and, like the application, must be

limited to a single invention or improvement.

FEES.--Fees must be paid in advance, and are as follows. On filing each

original application for a patent, $15. On issuing each original patent,

$20. In design cases: For three years and six months, $10: for seven

years, $15; for fourteen years, $30. On filing each caveat, $10.

On every application for the reissue of a patent, $30. Added to these

are the usual charges of patent solicitors for preparing the application

and for drawings etc.

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