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Patent Reform

May 25, 1945

Report Outline
The Patent System and Industrial Expansion
Abuses Under American Patent System
Supreme Court Rulings on Patent Misuses
Proposals for Revision of Patent System

The Patent System and Industrial Expansion

Place of Patent Reform in Truman Program

Removal of obstacles to maximum production which result from abuses of patent rights was placed on the program of the Truman administration with the President's request to Secretary of Commerce Wallace, Apr. 24, that he submit recommendations for needed changes in the patent laws. Wallace appointed a special committee to advise him, with Director of Economic Stabilization Davis as chairman, and expressed his hope that a report could be made to the President before June 30.

Numerous investigations during recent years—including investigations conducted by the Truman Committee of the Senate—have shown the need for patent reform. Testimony before congressional committees has revealed many cases in which the limited monopoly rights conferred upon inventors by the patent laws have been made the basis of monopoly practices by corporations which violate the antitrust laws. These practices have included limitation of production, regulation of prices, control of markets, and the use of other devices which restrict employment and deprive consumers a maximum flow of useful goods.

Revision of the patent laws has been recommended by members of Congress, leaders of industry, scientists, and members of the patent bar. Most of the members of Secretary Wallace's committee are themselves on record as urging specific changes in the patent system to make it better serve the public interest.

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