[D8846ACG], Letter from Dyer and Seely to Alfred Ord Tate, November 5th, 1888


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[D8846ACG], Letter from Dyer and Seely to Alfred Ord Tate, November 5th, 1888

Editor's Notes

We have carefully considered the letters of Col. Gouraud and Mr. Hardingham enclosed with your letter of October 31. In neither of these letters is the date of the Portugese patents, granted on cases 84 and 85,mentioned,and it is therefore impossible to say definitely how the United States Patents are affected by them. The dates of these Portugese patents were given us in a letter from Mr. Brandon,our agent in Paris,which letter I think we handed to you. sometime ago. We would be glad if you would look for it.##Case 84 included two United States cases, Nos.741 and 742, on which the patents have been issued, viz. patents 382414, dated May 8th 1888 and 386974 dated July 31st 1888. If the five-year Portugese patent was dated prior to May 8th 1888, there is no question that under the present construction of the Statute these two United States patents are limited to five years from the date of the Portugese patent. The prolongation of the Portugese patent after the issue of the United States Patent has no affect upon them for the Courts have held that what controls the term of the United States patent is the term for which the foreign patent was originally granted and not the term to which it may subsequently be prolonged.##With regard to Case 85, this included six United States applications, and patents have been granted here on two of these, viz. Nos. 382417 and 382462 both dated May 8th 1888; and the same remarks apply to these two patents. If the Portugese patents were dated after May 8th and before July 31st, apparently the only patent affected by them is No.386974.##If Col.Gouraud succeeds in getting the Portugese patents extended to fifteen years, before any of the other United States Patents included in Case 85 are issued, it will probably save these patents, when issued, from the limitation to five years. In our opinion this will probably be the case. It is not however entirely beyond question, since it is a point which has never yet been decided by the Courts whether if a foreign patent is originally issued for a short term, and before the issue of the United States patent is extended to a longer term, it is the original term or the prolonged term which controls the United States patent. You will see that the whole matter depends on what is found to be the date of the Portugese patents. If Col.Gouraud had followed the understanding we had with him to furnish us constantly with the dates and numbers of all foreign patents which he obtained, we would be in possession of all necessary information, but he has never sent us any information of this character. Mr. Hardingham's views seem to be substantially correct, on the supposition that he believed the Portugese patents would be extended to fifteen years before the issue of the corresponding United States patents, which seems to be his idea; but as you will see, this is not the true state of the case.##We return the letters of Col.Gouraud and Mr. Hardingham herewith.





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