Friday, October 15, 2004

we do not have a monopoly

Arguments Before the Committee on Patents of the House of Representatives on H.R. 1885, 59th Congress (May 17, 1906).

Mr. Chaney: If you proposed to do this in horticulture, might you not authorize a man breeding horses to get out a patent on an improved breed of horses?

Mr. Walker: The difference is very marked. In horticulture you produce new varieties, while in animals you do not. If somebody could produce an animal that had the speed of the horse, the patience of the ox, the intelligence of the dog, and the wisdom of the elephant all combined, then perhaps he ought to have a patent on that animal.

Mr. Southall: Then you would give a man a patent on a mule?

Mr. Walker: Yes, although the patent on the mule would have expired by now.

The Chairman: But in the first instance you would give a patent on a mule?

Mr. Walker: Yes, we would on that principle give the man who bred together the horse and the ass a patent on the animal produced; that was undoubtedly a benefit to mankind.

Mr. Chaney: The late Mr. Ingalls would object, because he said that the mule has neither pride or ancestry nor hope of posterity.

H.R. 18851 did not become law.

this amused me no end. :)


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