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court of the facts therein set forth, only controvertible by direct proof of their incorrectness.
Copies of this register are open to the public in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, on payment of a small fee, but the want of an index to the Dublin copy renders it of little use. Copies of any particular entry can also always be obtained from the department at the cost of making them.
In licensing an invention to a manufacturer, the patentee should take care to guard himself on the following points :-(1st) He should have quarterly statements of the number or quantity of the patented article manufactured, and of their destinations, and should have the right of requiring the licensee to certify to the correctness of his returns under oath by statutory declaration. (2nd) A right of inspection of the books and works of the licensee. (3rd) All machines manufactured under the patent should be numbered with consecutive numbers, and be stamped with the inventor's name or trade-mark, and the word "Patent." To unlawfully affix these, subjects the offender to a fine of £5 for each offence. (4th) The patentee should either have a part of the royalties in advance, or a guarantee of a certain minimum royalty each quarter, so as to make it to the interest of the licensee not to let the patent lie idle.
On the other hand, the licensee should have the following protective covenants in his license :-(1st) That all further improvements in the said invention made by the patentee, or his other licensees, shall be considered as included in his license (he also should agree to reciprocate in this matter). (2nd) That all disputes hereafter on the meaning or intention of the license shall be put to arbitration in a given way, and the award of the arbitrator be made a rule of court by either party. (3rd) That the licensee shall
be allowed to sue in the name of the patentee in cases of infringement (this is not so important since the present Judicature Act came into force). (4th) That the patentee shall maintain the patent by paying the stamp duties as they become due.
A person while a licensee of a patent cannot successfully plead the invalidity of that patent as a ground for refusing to pay royalty, except in a case of an action for revocation.
If in a license it be stated that, unless a certain minimum royalty be paid yearly, the license can be cancelled by the patentee, and if for one or more years the patentee accepts a less royalty, he cannot afterwards cancel the license on the ground that the minimum royalty stipulated has not been paid, his having accepted the smaller royalty being held to be equivalent to cancelling this particular clause in the license.
HOW TO SELL A PATENT.
Brokers of stocks and shares, houses and land, cotton, sugar, etc., abound, yet there is hardly a single firm in the world who are really brokers of patents. The inventor who has not sufficient leisure or capital to work his own invention, has therefore usually to do his patent brokering himself. How should he go about it?
(1) Go to the greatest centre of the particular industry where that business is carried on with which the invention is most nearly connected. (2) If the invention be for a small object, get some specimens made and finished in the most pleasing style. .(3) Issue a neatly printed prospectus. Many inventors start on their travels with a coarse, broken-down model, showing defects rather than virtues, or a dirty, ill-got-up drawing, whose very appearance is enough
to set the capitalist at first sight against it; whereas a pretty working model, showing the actual performance, and a nicely printed explanation, are prepossessing, and tend to carry conviction with them. It is often very desirable to have the invention well illustrated in the technical journals before offering it for sale, but great care should be taken to secure its appearance in journals of high standing and large circulation, as these will not usually insert it after it has appeared in the smaller fry. (4) If, as is usually the wisest plan, the inventor wishes to still retain an interest in and assist in introducing his invention, a limited company, with the patentee as managing director, is frequently his best resource. It is far easier to sell a thousand shares in a patent at £10 each, than the whole for £10,000. The main business is to get a few good names as directors, and the rest is comparatively easy if the invention. has already come into successful use. Until this latter is made evident, it is utterly useless to attempt to float a company to purchase a patent. A small syndicate can frequently be formed to prove an invention first.
CAUTION TO INVESTORS IN PATENTS.
The ease, however, with which limited companies can be raised to purchase and work patents, has given a handle to sundry unscrupulous adventurers to palm off on the public numerous patents, good, bad, and indifferent, at prices enormously exceeding their real value.
Nothing is easier than to get glowing testimonials for the most worthless invention, and capitalists, before investing in any patent, would do well to refer to a responsible Patent Agent, to discover by an examination and search whether it be really valid.
A minority only of the patents taken out under any circumstances are sound at law; and many even of these have nothing like their apparent value, from being hedged round by others with conflicting claims.
Yet, almost smothered under this enormous load of worthless patents, there are numbers continually brought out by poor and obscure men, any of which, taken up by a capitalist on the very liberal terms usually offered, would, properly worked, form a very handsome addition to even a princely income. It is well worth the consideration of those who are continually investing in foreign loans, mines, railways, etc., whether it would not pay them vastly better to take some poor but clever inventor by the hand, and, while thus encouraging trades and manufactures at home, employ their capital where it is constantly under their immediate inspection and control. Whether for safe and good paying investments, or for really brilliant speculations, there is probably no field left the capitalist to be at all compared in richness with that of carrying out patented inventions.
HOW TO SAFELY INVEST IN PATENTS.
Probably far more money is made by non-inventors investing in patents than by patentees. The Author has known many instances of men without any inventive faculty making fortunes in a very few years by investing in patents. This is not so often done by paying largely for a single promising patent and then working it, as by spreading their investments over several ventures-finding capital and business talent for clever but needy, or unbusiness-like, inventors, demonstrating the success of the inventions, and then negotiating their sale, receiving as a recompense a share of the net returns, varying from 25
to 75 per cent. One very successful plan is to find a patentee with a very valuable invention, whose entire resources are utilised in working the patent in the country of its birth. The capitalist offers to patent it abroad and negotiate the sale, giving the inventor from 25 to 50 per cent. of the net returns. As a rule he jumps at the offer.
We have very frequently known the foreign patents of inventions worth many thousands of pounds per annum in the country of their birth almost given away. It is this international patent dealing that is, as a rule, the most profitable; yet it is a field almost untilled. As the Author's firm has, with possibly one exception, the largest American and foreign connection of any in this country, he has unbounded opportunities of seeing the great opening there is in this line. His firm receives from abroad to patent in this country and the Continent several hundreds of valuable inventions per annum. In many of these cases the inventions can be obtained-some as soon as they are protected, others when the inventor gets tired of holding them-for a tithe of their value, their owners not having the leisure to work them themselves in other countries than their own. This is the case also with British inventions abroad.
Again, for every invention really valuable in the country of its birth that is patented abroad, twenty are taken out in one country only, and for this reason: the inventors know the difficulty of their selling their foreign patents and attending to their home ones at the same time. But if they could hear through their Patent Agents of individuals or syndicates willing and able to take up or dispose of patents in other countries, they would either patent abroad or sell their foreign rights at very reasonable rates, to the advantageous development of trade all over the world.