97 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc'y [i] (2015)

handle is hein.journals/jpatos97 and id is 1 raw text is: 







                      From the Editor











   Two  hundred and  twenty five years ago, President Washington signed the
first patent act into law. The 1790 Patent Act covered any useful art, man-
ufacture, engine, machine or device, or any improvement therein not before
known  or used.' The Act named a board of Commissioners for the Promo-
tion of Useful Arts, which included the Secretary of State, the Secretary of
War  and the Attorney General. At the time of its enactment, these roles were
filled by Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox and Edmund Randolph.2
   Early inventors were required to submit a specification, a drawing and, if
feasible, a model of the device. Filing fees began at fifty cents and increased by
ten cents for every hundred words in the specification.3 Patents were granted
for varying durations, up to fourteen years and were signed by the President
and Vice President of the United States.
   Jefferson, Knox and Randolph would hardly recognize the system we have
in place today. In the ten generations since the first patent act, the United States
has developed the largest and most significant intellectual property system in
the world. While it is not without flaws, this system has provided the public
unparalleled innovation and rewarded inventors for their hard work.
   There is evidence to suggest that Jefferson had a distaste for patents and
monopolies in general.' Even so, he would have been pleased to see what had
developed  from such a concise act of Congress. I imagine that he would be
even more pleased (and probably more interested in) the discoveries that have
been made  with the support of our American patent system.
   For the past 97 years, the Journal of the Patent & Trademark Office Society
has diligently covered developments in patents, trademarks and copyright.
As we  look forward, I can only hope that the next 225 years of intellectual
property law are as exciting and surprising as the first.

                           Sean Patrick Burke
                             Editor in Chief
             Journal of the Patent & Trademark Office Society
                            editor@jptos.org

  1P.J. Federico, Operation of the Patent Act of 1790, 18J. PAT. & TRADEMARK OFF. SOC'Y 237 (1936).
  21d.
  31d.
  Id. n. 3.

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