The announcement by Secretary Hoover, coincident with the transfer of the Patent Office from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Commerce, that proposals “for the equitable and equal treatment of patentees of all countries” will be made by the American delegation at the forthcoming International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property forecasts an international patent controversy of vital concern to American industry and the industry of all other nations.
The American effort, backed as it is with the threat that “if this convention shall fail to secure primary justice for American patentees, we shall ask for a complete revision of the patent laws of the United States which will bring this about”, is certain, if unsuccessful, to be followed by domestic legislation which will have an important bearing upon the future industrial development of the United States.
The importance of the general subject of patent relations to American industry is indicated by the statement that seven-eights of all industrial enterprises in the United States depend directly or indirectly upon patents or had their origin in patented inventions. Among the industries having important interests in patents are those producing chemicals and dyes, electrical and radio apparatus, agricultural machinery, automobiles, phonographs, typewriters, sewing machines, calculating machines, cameras and photographic supplies. The iron and steel, rubber, wood-pulp and printing industries likewise have important interests in patented processes.