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world. That the coincidence of actual immediate profit with the carrying on of experiments is not of itself sufficient to render a subsequently obtained patent void, was decided in the case of Newall v. Elliott (4 C. B. N. S. 269), where it appeared that the inventor of a machine for paying out telegraph wire had not procured a patent until after he had laid down a cable in deep sea by means of the machine. Experiments on dry land had been indecisive; an opportunity for making decisive experiments was presented in the course of executing a Government contract for laying down a cable at sea. Such experiments were made, and the Court held that they did not amount to a gift of the invention to the world.
In Hills v. London Gas Light Co. (5 H. & N. 312) it appeared that one Croll had purified many thousand feet of gas by a mode for which Hills subsequently obtained a patent, and this gas was sold. The jury, on the trial of an action brought by Hills for the infringement of his patent, found that this was by way of experiment, and the Court refused to disturb the verdict. In delivering judginent on the defendants' rule for a new trial, the Court said, “The word “experiment,” in the cases referred to, has been used, not as the sole test upon a matter of this sort, but as indicating a class of practice, and for the purpose of showing that if there has been a user of an invention not of a substantial character, but in the character of an experiment, then, although the thing has been done Lefore, it does not preclude a person from taking out a patent for it; so that although what Croll did may not have been strictly in the nature of an experiment, still the jury have so found it, and we cannot grant a new trial.
If an inventor desires to exhibit at an industrial or international exhibition, an invention which he has not yet patented, but for which he intends to obtain a patent, he should proceed under the 39th section of the new Act, and Rule 17 of the Patents Rules, 1883. That section enacts that (1) the exhibition of an invention at an industrial or international exhibition certified as such by the Board of Trade, or (2) the publication of any description of the invention during the period of the holding of the exhibition, or (3) the use of the invention for the purpose of the exhibition in the place where the exhibition is held, or (4) the use of the invention during the period of the holding of the exhibition by any person elsewhere, without the privity or consent of the inventor, shall not prejudice the right of the inventor, or his legal personal representative, to apply for and obtain provisional protection and a patent in respect of the invention or the validity of any patent granted on the application. But the exhibitor must, before exhibiting the invention, give the Comptroller the notice prescribed by Rule 17 of his intention so to do; and the application for a patent must be made before or within six months from the date of the opening of the exhibition. The inventor must also furnish to the Comptroller a brief description of the invention with drawings, if necessary, and such other information as the Comptroller may require.
WHO MAY BE A PATENTEE.
By the fourth section of the Patent Act of 1883, any person, whether a British subject or not, is empowered to make application for a patent. Two or more persons may make a joint application and a patent may be granted to them jointly. By the fifth section of that Act, an application must contain a declaration to the effect that the applicant is in possession of an invention, whereof he, or in the case of a joint application, one or more of the applicants, claims or claim to be the true and first inventor or inventors.
No application will be entertained at the Patent Office, unless the person or persons claiming to be the true and first inventor or inventors are applicants, but other persons who are non-inventors may join in the application, and in that case the patent will be issued to all the applicants, who will be joint patentees. There is, however, no form enabling an inventor and an incorporated company to apply jointly for a patent.
For a long series of years the strict letter of the statute of James has been so far relaxed as to allow persons simply importing an invention from a foreign country into this realm to obtain a patent in respect of it, provided that such an invention is new and useful, the administrators of the law always reading the word 'inventor,' in the statute, as embracing an importer. The first decision on this point was in the case of Edgeberry v. Stevens, to be found in the second volume of Salkeld's Reports,' p. 477, ' If the invention be new in England a patent may be granted, though the thing was practised beyond sea before ; for the statute speaks of new manufactures within this realm ; so that if it be new here, it is within the statute; for the Act intended to encourage new devices useful to the kingdom, and whether learned by travel or by study, it is the same thing.'
In Carpenter v. Smith (1 W. P. C. 535), Lord Abinger said, “A man has a right to a patent, not only for his own original patent, but he has a right to a patent, if he is the first person who brings into England an invention which is used abroad and not known in England.'
Previous to the passing of the new Act it had been decided (Chappell v. Purday, 14 M. & W. 318) that an alien might be the grantee of a patent; and in re Wirth's Patent (L. R. 12 Ch. D. 303), that a patent might be granted to an alien resident abroad for an invention communicated to him by another alien also resident abroad, but the office rules now require the applicant to be resident (see p. 318.) In Beard v. Egerton (3 C. B. Rep. 97) it was held that the grant might be taken either in the alien's name or in the name of a British subject in trust for him. It has long been a common practice, which the new Act has not abrogated, to grant patents to British subjects resident in Great Britain in respect of inventions communicated from abroad. If the grantee is the agent of the foreign inventor, the letters patent are subsequently assigned to the latter or his nominee. But in these cases it is necessary for the applicant to state in his application that the subject matter was communicated to him from abroad. (Milligan v. Marsh 2 Jur. N. s. 1083.) See the form of application A l in the first schedule of the Patents Rules 1883.
By the International Convention and section 103 of the Patents Act, a foreign patentee has an absolute right of priority for his invention for a period of seven months from the date of his foreign application, notwithstanding any intermediate publication or use of the invention in this country meanwhile.
A British subject has never been permitted to obtain a patent for an invention derived from another British subject residing in the United Kingdom, and it seems doubtful whether a valid patent could be obtained in respect of an invention communicated by an alien permanently domiciled here.
No objection can be taken to a patent on the ground that one of the grantees is an infant. (Cheavin v. Walker, L. R. 5 Ch. D. 858.)
In consequence of the decision of the Court in Marsden v. Saville Street Foundry Co. (L. R. 3 Ex. D. 203), where it was held that the administrator of an inventor, who died before applying for a patent, was not entitled to a patent for the invention, although it was fully described in the papers of the deceased inventor, a clause (sect. 34) was introduced into the Patent Act of 1883, by which it was provided that if a person possessed of an invention dies without making application for a patent for the invention, application may be made by, and a patent for the invention granted to, his legal representative ; but every such application must be made within six months of the decease of such person, and must contain a declaration by the legal representative that he believes such person to be or to have been the true and first inventor of the invention.
By the twelfth section of the same Act (sub-section 3 b) it is enacted that if the applicant for a patent dies before the expiration of fifteen months from the date of application (and before the patent shall have been sealed), the patent may be granted to his legal