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Senator NEUBERGER. Thank you very much, Mr. Whitmore.
Mr. KERLIN. Mr. Chairman, at this point, I would like to ask your permission to insert a letter in the record from Senator Joseph C. O’Mahoney, that has direct connection with the subject just talked about, patent attorneys.
Senator NEUBERGER. We will be very pleased to include Senator O'Mahoney's letter in the record following Mr. Whitmore's testimony. (The letter referred to is as follows:)
UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
May 21, 1957.
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR OLIN: I understand that the purpose of S. 1326 is to attract to and retain in Government service the quality and quantity of personnel necessary to carry out the professional, scientific, and technological functions of specified agencies.
I am delighted that S. 1326 includes recognition of the patent classifiers and examiners in the classification schedule of this general bill you are sponsoring for the classification and compensation of scientific and professional positions in the Government. I sincerely believe the position of our governmental scientific aids must be improved to retain them in our essential governmental scientific agencies, otherwise we may lose ground to the Soviet in key areas of research and development.
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights, I desire to place the following facts before the committee.
The studies by the Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights Subcommittee have convinced me that patent examiners and patent classifiers should, in the public interest, be granted an improved status.
To qualify for a classification as either a patent examiner or a patent classifier, one must have sufficient credit hours in engineering, chemistry, or physics which, with other course hours, would entitle one to a degree. The average patent examiner or classifier thus has his degree in engineering, chemistry, or physics. He also has his law degree or is taking course work to obtain it, as his hope of reaching the upper grades is conditioned on it. The patent examiner and patent classifier's secondary classification is in engineering, chemistry, or physics and the law. It is further noted that Patent Office Board of Appeals examiners and interference examiners must have both law and the necessary technical background.
The Patent Office has had difficulty in obtaining and retaining adequate examing personnel to keep up with its workload and backlog. This is evident from the October 1955 hearings held before the Patents Subcommittee and from the studies of this subcommittee.
In the 20th century the Congress has supported the Patent Office in its expansion as the art in which patents are issued has expanded. If patents increase the production of the United States, that increased production by the issuance of more patents in the Patent Office by reason of an increased staff will do more to balance the governmental budget than allowing the Patent Office to exist with inadequate personnel. It is better to give the Patent Office the help than to have a large backlog of cases.
I am enclosing a brief study made by a member of the staff of the Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights Subcommittee with the aid of the Patent Office. The findings and data presented in this study speak for themselves and point up the relative instability of the present patent-examining corps, which is due to the excessively frequent turnover rate of patent examiners in the highly scientific and technical arts. The data also indicates the extremely serious and damaging effect of patent-examiner turnover as it concerns Patent Office accomplishment. The help provided by this bill would go far in aiding the Patent Office to retain their skilled scientific and technical personnel and accomplish their duties as directed by law. Sincerely yours,
JOSEPH C. O'MAHONEY, Chairman.
ELECTRONIC ART, 1 This includes the field of data processing. This art involves patent applications for electrical and electronic analog, digital computers or calculators of the binary type, various training devices for navigation, object detection, or vehicle operation. The training devices may be electrical, electronic, or mechanical and frequently include either analog or digital computers.
A representative sampling of patented applications in the computer art discloses that on the average, 3.3 different examiners act on the same patent application during its pendency in the Patent Office. This high turnover rate of examiners causes a succession of new and generally untrained examiners to act on these complex inventions. The new examiners must first educate themselves with the subject matter of the application and the art. They must repeat much of the detailed examination and reevaluate the work done by their predecessors before each can take an action of his own on the merits of the case. Indicative of this critical turnover problem is the following summarization of the prosecution history of Patent No. 2,658,681 :
Serial No. 38,078, for: Computer (IBM-604).
This art relates to compounds and methods for making silicon containing organic compounds, Fischer-Tropsch method, hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons, metal to carbon compounds, synthetic resins, copolymers, and synthetic rubber.
There are rapid and continuing new and improved developments in this art which are of the utmost importance to industry and the national defense. A survey of representative patented applications in this art discloses that on the average 4.1 different examiners participate in the examination and evaluation of each claimed invention. In many instances, the prosecution history of some applications reveals that 5 or 6 different examiners act on the same appli. cation. The following summarization of prosecution history for Patent No. 2,773,106 is representative of the examiner turnover problem in the carbon chemistry art:
Serial No. 277,442, for: Process for recovery of acyclic diene dimers.
Patent examiner docket
Date of examiner's
Initial examination; no action taken...
July 11, 1952.
AERONAUTICS ART, 3 This relates to machines and structures adapted to be sustained by air or to be propelled through the air, and devices peculiar to aircraft for aiding or controlling such sustentation or flight.
A sampling of patented applications in the difficult aeronautics art reveals that on the average 3 different examiners act on each patent application during its pendency in the Office.
The following tabulation summarizes the prosecution history of Patent No. 2,762,396, and is representative of the examiner turnover problem in this art. It shows the names of the different examiners who acted in succession on the case and the dates of their separation from the Office.
Serial No. 306,018 for: Diaphragm and piston assembly (aircraft).
ELECTRIC AND ELECTRONIC ART, 4 This is the broad field of electronics covering electrical, aeronautical, and marine engineering fields as applied to the construction and guidance of selfpropelled missiles; radio object detection, location, and identification apparatus and apparatus used in conjunction therewith such as transponders, countermeasures equipment, and test apparatus; radio receivers, transmitters and systems, electron tube circuits, high frequency antenna systems, multiplex signaling systems, transitor circuits, computers, training devices, television, telegraph systems, amplifiers, and switches; and such other patent applications in the electrical or electronic fields under a security classification.
Many of the claimed inventions in this electronics art are of extreme importance to the defense and striking power of the United States.
An average of 2.8 patent examiners succeed each other in the examination of a single patented application in this complex and important electronic art, as indicated by the survey, with many individual patent applications being examined by 5 or 6 different examiners. For example, the examination history of Patent No. 2,772,647 shows that 5 different examiners acted on this case.
Serial No. 223,427, for: Special course torpedo (underwater).
1st, rejection, Jan. 21, 1952..------------------------
Oct. 26, 1952. 2d, rejection, Apr. 20, 1953.
July 3, 1953.
HEAVY MACHINE TOOL ART, 5 This is in the field of mechanical engineering, including the art of metal working and fabrication. The heavy machines and processes involve extremely complex mechanisms, combined machine, electronic controls and chemistry for converting metal stocks or blanks into finished articles or intermediate products..
In this complex art the turnover of patent examiners has been extremely high. A sampling of patented applications discloses that on the average 4.1 different examiners participate successively in the examination of each application during its pendency in the office. It is not unusual for 6 or more examiners to take active part in the examination of a single application. The following summarizes the prosecution history of Patent No. 2,781,684 and typifies the turnover problem in the heavy machine tool art.
Serial No. 148,432, for: Dual automatic cycle machine.
Patent examiner docket
Date of examiner's
Oct. 12, 1951.
1st, rejection, Feb. 19, 1951.----------
examiner's amendment, Oct. 28, 1952; 5th, rejection,
wance, July 2, 1956.
ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION (COMMUNICATIONS) ART, 6 This art covers patent applications in the field of electronics which relate to developments and improvements in: Electromagnetic radiation systems with particular emphasis on radio transmission and reception including multiplex communication and power transmission by radiation; specific elements of these systems such as tuners, modulators, and detectors; miscellaneous tube and transistor circuits, and piezoelectric devices.
The average number of different examiners acting on each patented application indicated by the representative sampling is 3.0. The résumé of prosecution history shown below for Patent No. 2,720,584 is typical of the turnover problem in this art.
Serial No. 128,887, for: Frequency discriminator.
This is the field of industrial chemistry covering chemical processes and apparatus used, such as the manufacture of organic and inorganic chemicals and includes the various individual units of apparatus used. The field includes the manufacture of soda, ammonia, acids, etc., extraction and concentrating apparatus therefor, furnaces when used in carrying out a chemical reaction, gas generators, tanks, chambers, towers, etc., used in chemical plants; and gaseous fuels and processes and apparatus for producing them.
The survey indicated an average of 3.1 different examiners act on each patented application during its pendency in the Patent Office. The following summarizes the prosection history of a typical patent application in the industrial chemical art:
Serial No. 307,936, for: Dry seal piston type gas holder.
Issued: July 24, 1956, Patent No. 2,756,132.
Patent examiner docket
Date of examiner's
| Dec. 3, 1953. Kaplan..
2d, rejection, Feb. 23, 1954; 3d, final rejection, July 15, | Mar. 30, 1956.
| 4th, notice of allowance, Dec. 28, 1955...---------
Senator NEUBERGER. I would like to point out with a great deal of pleasure that the next witness listed on your schedule is a constituent of the distinguished junior Senator from Texas, Mr. Jack D. Watson, president, Fort Worth Postal Employees Council, Local 98, National Federation of Post Office Clerks.
Is Mr. Watson here in person or will his statement be presented ?
Senator YARBOROUGH. He was here last week, Mr. Chairman, for several days.
Mr. KERLIN. He was here and graciously asked that his statement be inserted in lieu of oral presentation.
Senator NEUBERGER. We will be very glad to include his statement and I am sure Mr. Watson is pleased that he has so able a representative on this subcommittee and in the Senate as Senator Yarborough.
Senator YARBOROUGH. Mr. Chairman, we visited the committee in Fort Worth on a number of occasions and he is a most able representative of the Fort Worth postal employees. You will note after his signature are the various titles that he holds there: president of the Forth Worth Postal Employees Council and Local 98, National Federation of Post Office Clerks, legislative representative, Texas Federation of Post Office Clerks. I would like that to be considered along with his statement.
Senator NEUBERGER. It will indeed and I am sure somebody with this much experience will have supplied for the record some very useful information.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT OF JACK D. WATSON, PRESIDENT, FORT WORTH POSTAL EMPLOYEES
COUNCIL AND LOCAL 98, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF POST OFFICE CLERKS ;-LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVE, TEXAS FEDERATION OF Post OFFICE CLERKS
I am Jack D. Watson, president, Fort Worth Postal Employees Council and Local 98, National Federation of Post Office Clerks, and legislative representative of Texas Federation of Post Office Clerks. A recent survey in the Fort Worth post office showed that approximately 82 percent of the employees are working on two jobs, or their mate is forced to work to supplement their income. The same survey showed approximately 62 percent had delayed needed medical or dental treatment for themselves or their families within the last year because of finances.
The cost of living continues to rise and the productivity of postal workers continues to increase. Within the past 6 years postal employees have received only one small wage increase. A top grade level 4 clerk or carrier (almost all clerks and carriers are in level 4) has received a total salary increase of only $340. His top salary was raised from $4,070 a year to $4,410.
I am a clerk in the Fort Worth post office, and am fairly typical of postal employees. I have a wife and two children to support on my postal salary. After more than 10 years service in the post office as a clerk, my take-home pay every 2 weeks averages $147.
Our estimated budget for 2 weeks is :