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Civil War Blog

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Best of 2012 – Inventions of the 1860s

Posted By on December 30, 2012

In February,  the post Inventions of the 1860s was published and has become one of the most viewed pages on the blog.


In 1861, the U.S. Patent Law underwent a significant revision.  Among the more important were: the appointment of three examiners-in-chief to hear appeals from the primary examiners of any application that had been rejected twice ; the changing of the term of a utility patent to seventeen years from the date of grant;  and the provision of terms of three and a half, seven, or fourteen years for design patents at the choice of the applicant. Other features of the 1861 revision provided for the printing of copies of the description and claims of patents and a requirement that to secure damages for patent infringement either the patented article had to be marked as such or the infringer had to have been given notice in some other way of the existence of the patent. While patent law had been around in the U.S. since the 1790s, these improvements marked additional protections for inventors and developers of new technologies. Patent law also protects people from being falsely accused of copying someone else’s work. In 1864 the law was further amended saying that , one an application has been submitted, no new material may be added to it.

 


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