[D8849ACE], Letter from G G M Hardingham to George Edward Gouraud, September 29th, 1888


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[D8849ACE], Letter from G G M Hardingham to George Edward Gouraud, September 29th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"I have perused the letter addressed to you by Mr. T.A. Edison under date 6th I remember 1888 and expressing apprehension that his United States Patents in connexion with his Phonograph are being unduly limited in view by the influence of Foreign Patents granted for the same invention. I have also examined the schedule furnished by you [unclear] the companies in which Patent Application have been lodged in connection with the inventions referred to as Cases 84 and 85. ### From this schedule I gather tthat you have applied in Belgium and Spain for 20 years a patents and in Austria, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Turkey and Brazil for 15 years patents. In Portugal, I assume the same applied for to be 15 years, as distinguished from 5 or 10 years. I also understand you have applied in Great Britain, a Cape Colony, New South Wales. New Zealand, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria for 14 years Patents. Dealing with each of the cases 84 and 85 independently, if any Patents in the above [unclear] Companies be granted previously for the issue of the United States Patent, the [unclear] of the latter will be limited to the [unclear] of the same of the previously granted Foreign Patent having the [unclear]. I apprehend that none of the above Patents would be regarded by Mr. Ediosn as 'shert term' Patents, and that his apprehensions do not infer to a limitation such as 14 years or thereabouts. ### In the [unclear] category of Foreign Application I find the Argentine Republic, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico, Cuba and Russia. The [unclear] in each of these cases would be 15 years; but there would I apprehend be no difficulty in delaying the issue of the Patents in those countries until-after the issue of the United States Patents. As regards, the Argentine Republic, I have had occasion to delay issue in this manner; and with reference to Russia, it usually occupies a period of more be ommitted from the 'Supplementary Oaths' which Mr. Edison will find it necessary to fill previously to the issue of his United States Patents. ### Should any of the above mentioned Patents be allowed to [unclear] by reasons of a non-obersevance of the neccesary conditions for maintenance, such as the payment of renewed fees, working, et, such [unclear] would not entail the fall of the [uncear] United States Patent." Having regard to the decision in the case of Gold + Stock Telegraph Co v. Commercial Telegraphy Coy. (23 Federal Reporter 343), there is ground for stating that British Patent, although dared previously to the issue of the United States Patent, need not limit the view of the latter in a case where the British specification are in all probablility applicable to the cases under consideration. Shall more probable is it that the terms of the of the United States Patents, are not influenced by the Australian Patents, as the publication of the [unclear] to the letter is still less likely to have proceeded the issue of the United States Patents, unless completed instead of Provisional Specifications have been filed in these colonies. It is however, in many cases difficult to determine beforehand the [unclear] of issue of a Unitd States Patent and the conditions which will then prevail in remote colonies, as delays [unclear] occur in connection with Office formalities, during which the condition of affairs in some Foreign Countries with regard to the corresponding Patent changes materially. It is therefore sugest [?] to include British and Colonial 14 years' Patents in the supplementary [unclear] in case either of them becomes operative. In my opinion, the essential point is to disclose the previously granted Foreign Patents having the shortest term to run. As longer term patents cannot influence the restul, I do not think the omission to disclose one or more of these would in any way affect the validity of the United States Patent." I am, yours faithfully, G.G.M. Hardingham




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