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Patents and Modern Industry seventy times the total amount of money coined in 1911.


that there was a few years ago. Many of the arts are already developed almost to the point of saturation. It is not so easy as it was to find out how they can be improved and to improve them. There should be every possible incentive to seek out and to develop an incessant series of minor improvements which may in the aggregate afford great possi bilities of advancement. The latter are of a kind that especially requires en couragement, for they do not greatly appeal to the imagination and the direct returns from any one of them are not likely to be large. They are not often developed as the result of a happy thought. Close and careful study and scientific effort carried on persistently, systematically and at great expense is generally required for them. Agricul ture and the production of food products may be revolutionized during the com ing century by chemical inventions. In other fields there is room for many great and important improvements, which cannot be realized unless our patent system affords the requisite encourage ment.

Patent System Imperative Under Present Unstable Conditions Up to a recent time we have had an enormous amount of free land which was open to cultivation. This has now been practically exhausted. The prevailing popular sentiment of today and the new laws and new inter pretation of old laws based upon that sentiment require a definite readjust ment of business and of business methods in all their relations. The process of readjustment will surely be one of shock to our industries. Foreign competition is sure to be more serious every year. In our compe tition with foreigners we are hampered in many ways. In our cost of produc tion we are embarrassed by the high cost of our labor as compared with other countries. We have in the past more than held our own in international com petition, chiefly because of our superior ity as inventors and in the quick and comprehensive adoption of inventions. If the process of continuous improve ment is checked, we shall lose this American Patent System Threatened advantage and there will be no alterna The Oldfield Bill that has been re tive except the destruction of some or ported by the Committee on Patents to many of our most important industries, the House of Representatives at Wash or a reduction in the wages and standard ington is a most serious attack upon of living of our workmen. our patent system. It restricts the More Patent Protection Needed for the patent owner in the manufacture, use, There is no longer Future room for the strik sale and license of patented articles and under certain circumstances compels him ing advances in agricultural machinery, to license the invention to any person machinery for making fabrics and shoes, or corporation that requests it. Such a electrical and other power apparatus, requirement would check invention and machinery employed in the production the development of inventions, invade and working of wood and metals and in the established law of the land, and be a other great departments of industry national misfortune.