22 Ill. L. Rev. 355 (1927-1928)
Scientific Property

handle is hein.journals/illlr22 and id is 369 raw text is: ILLINOIS
LAW REVIEW
Volume XXII            DECEMBER, 1927                  Number 4
SCIENTIFIC PROPERTY
By JonN H. WIGMORE* AND FRANcEsco RUFFINIt
A. THE PROBLEM
1. In the United States of America the number of letters
patent issued for industrial inventions is already far' beyond the
million mark. It is increasing at the rate of nearly fifty thousand
annually. This nation is undoubtedly the most inventive in the
world.
And yet it has taken no interest, thus far, in the encouragement
and reward of the inventor's pace-maker and helpmate-the scientific
discoverer. The nations of Europe, on the other hand, have
for some years past been bestirring themselves on his behalf, seek-
ing a, solution for the problem, how to recognize legally and reward
materially the scientific discoverer?
2. In all other countries, indeed, as well as in our own, the
law of intellectual property-patents and copyrights-has hitherto
failed to give this recognition. Discoveries of principle are dis-
tinguished from inventions materially employing a principle; the
latter may be protected by the property right of a patent; the former
may not.
This historical distinction has been justified, ex post facto,
by the modern jurists, with the usual pious verbiage about natural
law. It is a law of nature (says our best authority, Robinson),
that men should profit by the discoveries and inventions of each
other. This is the law which binds society together; . . . and the
*Professor of Law in Northwestern University.
tPresident of the Royal Academy at Turin; Senator of the Kingdom of
Italy; Professor of Ecclesiastical Law at the University of Turin; former
Minister 'of Public Education; President of the Union of Associations for
the League of Nations.
[3551

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