[D0016AAH1], Letter from Dyer Edmonds and Dyer to William Edgar Gilmore, May 10th, 1900


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[D0016AAH1], Letter from Dyer Edmonds and Dyer to William Edgar Gilmore, May 10th, 1900




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University


Letterhead of Law Offices of Dyer, Edmonds & Dyer
31 Nassau Street,
New York.
May 10, 1900.
W. E. Gilmore, Esq.,
Presdt. National Phonograph Co.,
Orange, N. J.
Dear Sir,-
Referring to your letter of May 3rd in re expiration of foreign and U. S. patents, we beg to report as follows:
In the first place, no foreign phonograph patents which in any way limit the life of U. S. patents expire this year.
The broad graphophone patents expired on the 4th inst., the patents having been applied for May 4th 1886 and the term being fourteen years from the date of filing. The expiration of these English patents does not affect the life of the corresponding United States patents, for the reason that the United States patents issued on the same day that the English cases were filed, and therefore the English patents are not prior patents and cannot limit the life of the United States patents.
In regard to the phonograph patents, we give below a list of the patents under the various sets which have any bearing on the life of the U. S. patents.
Foreign Set 84.
This set comprises U. S. patents, No. 382,414 granted May 8th 1888 on attachments for burnishing phonogram blanks, and
<RECEIVED MAY 14, 1900>
<Ans'd ________>

<See last page> No. 386,974 granted July 31st 1888, which was the first modern machine case and contains claims on various features employed in the present types of phonographs. Under the latest authorities, United States patents are not limited by corresponding foreign patents unless the foreign patent was actually granted prior to the granting of the patent in this country; that is to say, although the foreign case may have been filled earlier than the granting or issuing of the patent in this country, the prior issuance of the patent in this country will avoid limitation. In this case, so far as we are able to ascertain, two foreign patents were granted prior to the issuance of either of the two U. S. patents included in this set, viz., Austrian patent granted April 16th 1888, and Portuguese patent granted May 30th 1888, the letter affecting only U. S. patent No. 386,974. These patents expire January 14th 1903 and May 30th 1903 respectively; therefore unless certain of the other corresponding foreign patents affect the life of these two U. S. patents, the U. S. patents will not expire until January 14th 1903. The other patents which may affect the life of these two patents are the following:
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