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[See also p. 207.]
Mr. MOORE. Mr. Chairman, it is a little bit out of the ordinary this year in making a statement or explaining these various items for the reason that, as you know, Congress passed a joint resolution to investigate the Patent Office, which is being done now.
Mr. Johnson. Where is the report of the President's Economy Commission on that!
Mr. MOCRE. Under the direction of the resolution, that report is to be filed with Congress not later than December 10. They are about finished with their report now. I do not know what the report is, but I understand that in regard to these estimates they have increased the force and the salaries, and I understand that their figures are much in excess of those I have here. Those estimates submitted to the Appropriation Committee do not meet my views at all. I put them in in accordance with the law at this time as directed.
Mr. GILLETT. Whose views do they meet?
Mr. Moore. It is a mere matter of form, I presume, because I can not make estimates very well that would stand much show of passing this committee. I say that because I do not know how much this commission is going to favor or what they will report to Congress. Now, the Patent Committee of the House tell me that they have a list of the salaries up there.
Mr. GILLETT. Don't you submit to this committee every year the estimates that you think ought to be submitted ?
Mr. MOORE. "Yes, sir; everything that I am allowed to do by the Secretary of the Interior. These estimates are always reduced or cut down by the Secretary in view of the deficit which has existed in the Treasury for four or five years past.
Mr. GILLETT. Then this is not what you submit to him?
Mr. MOORE. The Secretary was absent in Hawaii on Government business, but Mr. Adams, who was the Acting Secretary, told me to cut it down, and I did so and sent them back, and these are the estimates as cut down or revised.
Mr. GILLETT. Are these the estimates you sent in to the Secretary of the Interior?
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir; the Acting Secretary.
Mr. GILLETT. I thought you said that he directed you to cut them down?
Mr. MOORE. He does generally, but he was not here. He did not cut them down, except that Mr. Adams, the Acting Secretary, asked me to cut them down. We have been sailing under bare poles, so to speak, for several years, for three years anyway, and we very much need immediate relief. As you know, it is a self-sustaining bureau, and is maintained by the fees paid by inventors.
Mr. GILLETT. Was it three years ago that we gave you that increase? Mr. MOORE. It was four years ago.
Mr. JOHNSON. You are asking for an increase of $100,000 in your appropriation ?
Mr. MOORE. Practically that-it is $99,710.
Mr. JoHNsoN. That $100,000 is made up of two items; first, an increase in salaries, and, second, an increase in force. Mr. MooRE. Yes, sir. Mr. JoHNSON. How many increases in force are asked for in the bill; do you remember? - Mr. MooRE. Yes, sir; 41; 25 examiners and 16 clerks. Now, we decrease 25 at $720, 10 at $720, and 15 at $360. The net increase is $99,710 for the force. There is only one salary increase, and that is the salary of the assistant commissioner which I have asked to have increased several times. Mr. JoHNSON. And the other increases are made up by the increase of the force? Mr. MooRE. Yes, sir. Mr. Joh NSON. How much do you lack of having the work of the Patent Office current 2 Mr. MooRE. Well, the work is quite far behind. The judicial work is up, and it is largely judicial work in the Patent Office. The work of the examining corps is behind because we have not had force enough to handle it. That is in the examination of applications. Mr. Johnson. How far behind is that work : Mr. MooRE. It will average about three months, I think. Some few divisions are up to date and others are six months behind. Mr. Joh Nso N. If you had the additional force you are asking for, would that enable you to have all the work current : Mr. MooRE. I think so, with this force. If we could get these 41 people we could make that work current in about six months or a year. We asked for a few clerks last year, but it was stricken out. The courts all over the United States ask us for transcripts of records, and they must be gotten out immediately. We never know what volume of work will be required in that regard. We have not now a sufficient clerical force to get them out. We have to sidetrack everything else to get out these court records. There is an enormous amount of clerical work to be done in that office. All deeds or assignments of patents must be registered according to the law. It is just like an office for the registry of deeds. Mr. Johnson. How many applications for patents did you have during the last fiscal year? Mr. MooRE. All told, including trade-marks and all that, 80,000. Mr. Joh NSON. What were the receipts of the office? Mr. MooRE. A little over $2,000,000. We had a net surplus of $75,000 for the fiscal year just ended. Mr. GILLETT. That does not include rents and overhead charges? Mr. MooRE. No, sir. Mr. GILLETT. It just takes into consideration the force? Mr. MooRE. Yes, sir. Mr. Joh NSON. If you had to pay rent and overhead charges generally it would be a losing business, would it not : Mr. MooRE. No, sir; for a great portion of that building was built out of the proceeds of the Patent Office. There used to be a separate fund in the Treasury arising from the proceeds of the Patent Office, and that was used largely in the construction of that building. I mean that that building was constructed largely out of Patent Office money and has been used mainly in the past by other offices.
Mr. JoHNSON. What is the practice in your office about appeals on applications for patents? Has not the practice grown up of having an appeal on every case? Mr. MooRE. No, sir; not on every case. Such cases as are refused by the examiners may be appealed. The law provides for a series of appeals. They may appeal from the primary examiners to the board of examiners in chief; they may appeal from the board of examiners in chief to the Commissioner of Patents, and from there to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. That is the final resort. These are all statutory appeals for which they pay a fee each time. Mr. JoHNSON. The person applying for a patent, then, has to pay a larger fee for his patent when these appeals are taken Mr. MooRE. Yes, sir; he has to pay for each appeal and the fee of an attorney to argue the cases. That is what I have been asking Congress to do away with, one of these appeals, but I have not been able to do it yet. The recommendation has always been opposed by a certain class of attorneys. Of course, patents are granted for the public use and good, and it is the very intent of the patents law that the patent shall be issued as speedily as possible. That is the reason the Government enters into a contract with the inventor, for a patent is nothing but a contract and is in no sense a claim. Mr. GILLETT. How are the applications taken up for examination? Mr. MooRE. The practical operation is this: The application is put in by an attorney in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, because very few men can prosecute their own cases or prepare them for presentation to the office. It is a very special practice. The applications are referred to these various divisions of the office that handle all of the known arts. The assistant examiner reads these cases through in connection with the drawings and finds out what the man is after. Then he makes a search through the records of the Patent Office, by searching the patents over that relate to the same art, and also makes an examination of scientific works. Sometimes he comes to the Library of Congress in making this investigation. Then he reads over the claims. As a rule, the applicant claims everything and leaves the office to do the work, although he is required by law to point out what is new. So that on the first action by the office they reject about half of the claims, and sometimes all of them. The specification concludes with a certain number of claims, and we have had in one case as many as 1,500 claims. Mr. GILLETT. In such cases, if you came across three or four claims that clearly were not allowable, why could you not refuse to consider it further? Mr. MooRE. It is about as easy to do it the other way, because we are considering the whole thing, and all these things are subdivided in such a way—that is, all the patents relating to the art—that the examiners can turn them over and find the references very readily in most cases. So they reject the whole thing or a portion of it and send to the attorney a citation to the references on which the application has been disallowed. They can then procure copies of the references and make amendments.
Mr. GILLETT. Unless it is perfectly clear that there is some reason why it should not be allowed the patent is granted
Mr. MooRE. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILLETT. They tend in favor of the applicant?
Mr. MooRE. Yes, sir; always. Now, if they are not satisfied with the action of the examiner, of course they appeal to the Board of Examiners in Chief. That is a statutory appeal. They can then appeal from that Board of Examiners in Chief to the commissioner.
Mr. GILLETT. There is no appeal allowed on the other side?
Mr. MooRE. These are ex parte appeals I am talking about. Of course, in the case of an interference, where two or more persons are claiming the same invention, the cases are argued by both sides. These cases are bound to be appealed by one or the other, and generally clear up to the court.
So far as my opinion goes, in view of the conditions surrounding the Patent Office at the present time and the fact that an early report will be made by the commission under the direction of Congress, and the matter not having been taken up in the Committee on Patents, there is little to be said concerning these estimates. I understand that the estimates before the Committee on Patents are about four times what these are. They seek to thoroughly reorganize the office, which has been badly needed for years. I brought this matter to the attention of the Committee on Patents. Mr. JoHNSON. Suppose we could not give or would not give you all that you ask for, could you indicate the things that are, in your judgment, more imperatively demanded than the others? Mr. MooRE. As I told you, we are suffering here for help. The committee has never given what we asked. I have never overestimated for the Patent Office. We asked for 25 clerks, for instance, and we got 10. That does not do us much good. If you give the office all the increase asked at this time it would only be about onequarter of what is needed. Mr. Johnson. In 1908 you had $969,150, and in 1909 you had $1,185,610. That was a considerable increase. Mr. MooRE. I think the increases given by this committee are about 4 per cent as compared with 15 per cent of increase in work. Mr. GILLETT. Four years ago we gave you what you asked. Mr. MooRE. No, sir; you did not; you did well, but did not give quite what was asked, only about one-half. If you will look back, you will find that is so. Mr. Johnson. In 1909 you got $1,185,610, which was an increase of over $200,000 over the appropriation of the year before. In 1910 you had an increase of about $54,000 over the appropriation for 1909. In 1911 you had an increase of $47,000 over the appropriation for 1910. In 1912 you had an increase of $25,000 over the appropriation of 1911. In 1913 you had exactly what you had in 1912. In other words, for this fiscal year your appropriation is the same as it was for the last fiscal year. You asked for $1,355,460, and we gave you $44,000 less than you asked for for the current year.
Mr. MOORE. There is one item that I wish to emphasize, and that is the increase in the salary of the Assistant Commissioner of Patents.
Mr. Johnson. Is he under the civil service!
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir. All of these principal examiners have been in there from 15 to 50 years, and every official, from the commissioner down, has come from the bottom.
Mr. Johnson. Has the assistant commissioner been in the Patent Office all that time?
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir; and his work as assistant commissioner is almost wholly judicial.
Mr. JOHNSON. What is your salary?
Mr. MOORE. About six years, and I was for six years the assistant commissioner. Before that I was a law clerk, before that a principal examiner, and before that an assistant examiner.
Mr. Johnson. You were under the classified service long before you were at the head of the bureau?
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir. All of the higher officials of the bureau came up from the bottom.
BUREAU OF EDUCATION.
STATEMENT OF MR. PHILANDER P. CLAXTON, COMMISSIONER.
Dr. CLAxron. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am having to ask about the same that I did last year. Last year I asked for what I am sure appears to the committee a very large increase, but I believe I explained to the committee that it was simply the sum of increases for a great many years that for the good of this bureau I think ought to have been made.
The Bureau of Education received 25 years ago $49,000 a year, then it went to something like $53,000 or $54,000, and stood there for 10 years or more. The Congress has very kindly given small additions to that in the last few years, so that now it stands at about $88,000. Within that period the quantity and variety of educational problems that come to the bureau have increased and multiplied. The country is spending more than four times as much for education now as it did then, and all of the difficult problems of industrial education, vocational education of various kinds, agricultural education, the problems of the high school and the problems of the city school—the very large complex problems of the city schools—especially with our recent large immigration from foreign countries, have made these problems very great. It is no longer possible, Mr. Chairman, for the Bureau of Education to do the work that it ought to do without groups of men in different divisions to work out the problems, to collect infor