11 J. Pat. Off. Soc'y 533 (1929)
Patents for Scientific Discoveries

handle is hein.journals/jpatos11 and id is 557 raw text is: PATENTS FOR SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES

PATENTS FOR SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES
By Wm. I. WYMAN
There have been efforts exerted lately proposing to extend
the bene.1ts of the patent system considerably beyond its pres-
ent scope, and to include within its beneficial provisions many
intellectual -contributions entirely outside the present field of
patentable invention. The most insistent claimants for this
extension of the right of property in ideas are the proponents
of the proposal that a discoverer of a principle of science shall
be granted a quasi-patent right. This -particular -proposition,
which hereafter shall be termed the proposal, is the special
subject-matter of this paper. In order to treat it understand-
ingly the discussion includes a reference to the principles of
patent law; a justification of the patent system; and a compari-
son indicating analogies and differences between invention and
scientific discovery.
PATENT LAW AND INVENTION
Thd constitutional provis'on which is the basis of the
patent laws in this country states that Congress ''shall
have power    '  '  *  to promote the progress of science
and useful arts by securing for limited terms to    *  *  *
inIventors the exclusive right to their respective  *  *  *
.discoveries.   The word discovery as therein used
signifies invention and nothing else.    (Walker, See. 2).
The word' in its special, legal implication involves an act
of creation, of the contrivance of things that had no prior
existence, in contradistinction to the dictionary meaning
of finding things already existent or the ascertainment of
natural laws by any intellectual process.
The main purpose of the patent laws in all countries is
to promote industry. The principle upon which this legis-
lation is based is the recognition that the most effective
method for advancing national prosperity is to stimulate
inventive skill and energy through inducements of pecuni-
ary reward made operative by the patent system. (Rob-
inson). The patent laws confer upon an inventor a privi-
lege of monopoly limited as to time and character, by
which others are excluded from manufacturing the prod-
uct of his invention, in exchange for the disclosure,
which becomes public property at the end of the period.

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