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29th CoNGREss, Doc. No. 52. Ho. of REPs.
2d Session. 3.%*/2J’ _2^ * vo, J/, e26. ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PATENTS.
SIR. In conformity to the provisions of the act of Congress relating to this office, approved March 3, 1837, the undersigned has the honor to submit his annual report. During the year ending December 31, 1846, the whole number of applications for patents received, is twelve hundred and seventy-two. The whole number of caveats filed during the same time is four hundred and forty-eight. The number of patents issued in 1846 is six hundred and nineteen, including thirteen reissues, five additional improvements, and fifty-nine designs; classified and alphabetical lists of which, with the names of the patentees, are annexed, (marked G and H.) During the same period, four hundred and seventy-three patents have expired, a list of which is annexed, (marked I.) Three applications for extensions were made during the year; two of
which were rejected, and one is still pending. Two patents have been .
extended by Congress during the same period. The claims embraced in the respective patents issued during the year 1846 are also annexed, (marked J.) The receipts of the office during the year 1846, including duties and fees paid in on application for patents, caveats, reissues, additional improvements, extensions, and for copies, amount, in the whole, to $50,264 16; of which sum, $11,086 99 have been repaid on applications withdrawn, and for money paid in by mistake, as per statement marked A. The expenses of the office during the year 1846 are as follows, viz: For salaries, $16,142 97; temporary clerks, $5,685 61 ; contingent expenses, including postage and the fees paid to counsel in two suits in equity recently pending against the Commissioner, in the United States district court for the eastern district of Pennsylvania, $7,485 19; compensation of the district judge, $100; library, $675 96; agricultural statistics,
+ * 2 223 - Doc. No. 52. sass 68; amounting in the whole to the sum of $33,700 41, as per statement marked B. * , - w
There was also expended during the last year, under the act of March 3, 1837, for the restoration of records and drawings, the sum of $786 31, and for duplicate models, the sum of $585, as per statement marked C. The aggregate of expenditures under the different heads above enumerated, including money paid back on withdrawals, and for the restoration of records, drawings, and models, is $46,158 71, leaving a balance to be carried to the credit of the patent fund of $4,105 45. On the first day of January, 1845, the amount of money in the treasury to the credit of the patent fund was $182,459 69, which, with the balance paid in during the year 1846, will, on the first day of January, 1847, amount to $186,565 14. Although the balance which the office has been able to place to its credit in the treasury during the year just past, in consequence of the decreased amount received on applications for patents, caveats, &c., (there being fewer foreign applications during the last year,) and the additional amount refunded to applicants on the withdrawal of their claims, is not so great as that of the previous year, yet it is more than the average balance of former years, and indicates the flourishing condition and prospects of the Patent Office. Thus far the office has more than sustained itself, and fully realized the anticipations of Congress when it was reorganized upon its present footing. And if a conclusion may be drawn from the activity of the inventive genius of our countrymen, as exhibited in past years, we may rely confidently in the belief that this useful and noble institution of the government will never become a charge upon the treasury. The reports of the two principal examiners, giving a very interesting review of the inventions patented at this office during the past year, are annexed, (marked D and E.) On reference to them, it will be seen that the year just past has not been without its valuable discoveries, which, if they do not surprise and delight the mind with their novelty and brilliancy, will contribute much to the convenience and welfare of man. It will be seen that almost every field of invention and discovery has been explored by our ingenious, persevering, and indefatigable countrymen, and many very valuable improvements in machinery, and processes of manufacture, brought to light; all contributing more or less to the improvement and progress of society. The operations of this office during the past year prove, as the circle of every year proves, that the inventor is ever the benefactor of his race. His genius bestows its favors on all. The manusacturer, the mechanic, the agriculturist, the merchant, all are the recipients of the benefits which are ever flowing from his toils, energies, and sometimes his great and sublime
conceptions. No theme is more interesting for contemplation than this,
and there is none which more deeply impresses the mind with a sense of
the continued and onward progress of society in the grand career of civ
ilization. In my last annual report I embraced the occasion to bring to the notice of Congress the embarrassed condition of this office in consequence of the great increase of its business, without a corresponding increase of its clerical force, particularly in its scientific department. When the office was reorganized in 1836, the Commissioner was allow•ed but a single examiner. By the 11th section of the act of March 3, 1837, an additional examiner was authorized to be appointed; and by the act of March 3, 1839, two assistant examiners were provided for; since which time no addition to the examining corps has been authorized, and none has been made. In 1840, the first complete year after the last addition to the examining force was authorized, the number of applications for patents received was 765, the number of caveats filed 228, and the number of patents granted 475. During the year 1846 the number of applications for patents was 1,272, the number of caveats filed 448, and the number of patents granted 619. During the same year the number of applications for patents which were examined and rejected was 398. Thus does it appear that, since the last addition to the examining force in 1839, the business of the office has increased nearly one hundred per cent. It has increased beyond the physical ability of the present examiners and assistants to keep up with it, although constantly and industriously engaged in the performance of their onerous and fatiguing duties. The consequence is, that business accumulates upon their desks; applicants are delayed in having their cases examined, often to their great detriment, and always to the injury of the office; which is complained of for its delays by persons not knowing the condition of its business and the inadequacy of its force, when it is constantly exerting itself to the utmost to accommodate the public, as well as to relieve itself from inconvenience resulting from a pressure of its duties. When it is considered that the Patent Office derives its revenues entirely from the inventors, and sustains itself without charge upon the treasury, the justice of their complaints cannot be denied nor evaded. But I am confident they cannot attach to the Patent Office, nor to any of its officers. The state of its business was fully presented to Congress in my last report, and again in a subsequent communication addressed to the chairman of the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office of the Senate at the last session. It is therefore respectfully submitted, whether, in view of the fact that its revenues are ample for the increased expenditure, which will in that event be required, it is not expedient for Congress to authorize the addition to the examining corps which the present state of the business of the office imperatively demands. By the 11th section of the act of March 3, 1837, I am authorized to employ all necessary temporary clerks for writing and copying, at a compensation of ten cents for every hundred words. This provision enables me to provide for any exigency in the clerical department of the office. No addition, therefore, is deemed necessary to this branch of service in the office. In connexion with the subject of an increase of the scientific force of the Patent Office, I would again respectfully suggest the propriety and expediency of increasing the salaries of the principal and assistant examiners. This subject was brought to the attention of Congress by my predecessor in his last annual report, and its expediency .# justice portrayed with great force as well as earnestness. Convinced, from my own observation, of the justice of his recommendation, Icordially concurred with him in the views which he expressed, and enforced the recommendation