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It is expressly understood and agreed that the acceptance of this license by the Government is not to be construed as an admission of the validity or scope of these patents, or of the titles thereto; and that the Government expressly reserves unto itself the right at any time to contest in any way the validity or scope of these patents, or of the titles thereto, without waiving or forfeiting any right under this license; and also reserves any and all defenses that it may now or hereafter have in connection with the herein-licensed invention or patents; and that this understanding and agreement is binding upon Licensor, and its successors, or assigns.

Witness by signature, signed at Philadelphia, this 20th day of February 1943.

Witnessed by:



Atty. Q. M. M. G.,

Research and Development Branch.


Mr. BRYSON. We want you to take as much time as you need but time is of the essence.

Mr. HOOPER. I observed that.

Our company are manufacturers of plied yarn, heavy fabrics and cotton ducks, and heavy piled yarn fabrics. We spin our own yarns and weave our own ducks and we manufacture filter twills. We employ less than 1,000 people.

We are here today to urge this committee to recommend the enactment of either one of these bills, H. R. 323 or H. R. 4054. But in either event we ask that the committee give serious consideration to the enactment of certain amendments to either of these bills which I have set forth in the brief which we have filed and, in particular, which we have outlined on pages 18 to 20 of our filed brief.

Very briefly, in 1943, our company was the owner of six patents covering a fire-, water-, mildew-, and weather-resistant treatment which, when applied to canvas or other textile fabrics, for the first time in history were able to give them those properties of fire, water, mildew, and weather resistance. Those properties remained in the fabric for the first time and for the useful life of the fabric for outdoor


In 1943 the Government came to us and said that these formulas had become very critical to the war effort and they asked us on what basis we would grant a license to the Government so that the Government could use these formulas for themselves and also so that they could turn the formulas over to the entire industry.

Mr. BRYSON. That, in substance, made them your competitors?
Mr. HOOPER. Yes. It made them all our competitors.

Mr. BRYSON. Making those same arts or formulas available to your competitors?

Mr. HOOPER. In other words, we had a patented formula covering six different patents for our own use which we developed over a period of years and at terriffic expense. The Government said, "We need this information. It is vital to the war effort." They said, "We want to turn these formulas over to the entire textile industry of the United States for the war effort."

They discussed that with us, the terms on which we would grant such license and the outcome was we granted them a royalty-free license for the duration of the war and 6 months thereafter.

It was further agreed that the Government would notify all the other finishers of textiles in the country that in order to use these patents they would have to write to us for permission and we agreed we would give it to them. A great many firms did write in for permission but a good many did not write in for permission. And they used the patents.

The Quartermaster was very remiss in broadcasting this information. In our confirmation we had no idea that the final end of the war would be delayed so long. Our whole idea was that the war would stop with the defeat of Germany, Italy, and Japan when the fighting stopped and when the armistice was declared-which subsequently developed.

During that period, 1941 to 1945, millions of yards-almost thousands of millions of yards-of canvas were treated by our competitors under our formulas on a royalty-free basis. During those years we had no commercial business in this field whatsoever. There were certain critical chemicals that were used in these formulas involving antimony oxide and others as well as mildew inhibitors used in such huge quantities that they were on allocation. You could only get these chemicals by use of priorities so our civilian business went out of the window.

As a matter of fact, before the Ringling fire, the Ringling people had come to us to treat some canvas, to treat their tentage but because we could not get the chemicals on allocation we could not do it for them. After the fire we got the priority and have treated the tentage since. Mr. BRYSON. You have treated the present equipment of Ringling's? Mr. HOOPER. Yes. Since the fire.

Mr. BRYSON. It might have saved a lot of lives.

Mr. HOOPER. Yes, sir. They had actually asked us to treat their canvas prior to the fire and we could not because they could not give us a priority and we had to turn them down until we could get a priority. When these questions of a license came up we could have asked for a royalty. But we did not. It was the war and we did not want a royalty. We felt we would be glad to consider that as part of our contribution to the war effort. I had two boys-both in the Navy and one on a destroyer and I was in the Navy during the First World War. So, we gave our patents as well as ourselves.

Mr. BRYSON. A good many patent holders in other arts and sciences like your company were very cooperative in assigning their patent rights to the Government and I remember the Government had difficulty in turning them back. We had legislation before our committee. We had to have legislation to allow the Government to reassign these patents to people situated like you.

Mr. HOOPER. Yes, sir. There was such a bill came out last fall. In all our dealings there was no question in our minds at all of trying to capitalize on something that was so vital to the war effort. We became an ordinary finisher ourselves and were exactly in the same boat as every one of our competitors and we had no advantage due to the fact that we had invented this particular formula.

The fire-proofing of canvas became a vital thing to the war effort due to the hazard of bombing and the mildew inhibitors we put in the treatment protected the tents from disintegrating so they did not fall off the poles in the South Pacific due to mildew. They increased the life of these materials four or five times. So, it was a very valuable

contribution and when I say that nearly every yard of material was treated with these formulas you can see what a gigantic contribution it was.

In 1945, after VJ-day, we very definitely felt that our obligation as far as royalty-free to the Government ended 6 months thereafter.

The Government during 1946 to 1949 continued to purchase under these same specifications and many of our competitors-in fact most of them continued to supply the Government with these formulas during the period 1946-49 without any permission from us and in many instances took all the business.

We, however, had devoloped these formulas primarily for the commercial trade and we tried to develop our commercial market. We had developed a number of very valuable commercial contacts wherein we would supply them with certain basic ingredients at the price of the chemicals. So, we made the compounds with our knowledge and technique and sold it to them and let them use the formulas.

In 1950 a great many industries who had never had royalty-free licenses from us wrote in to the Quartermaster and called attention to our patents and wanted to get into the finishing business and the Government started to buy tremendous quantities. In 1950 the attorneys from the Quartermaster's office called on us and said, "what is your position?" We said, "We gave the royalty-free license for the duration of the war and the war is over." They said, "Don't you think this is an emergency now?" We said "Yes. But we think there is no war now. We think, under the terms you say we gave our royalty-free license it was unfair to us. Time is running against us. We were supposed to have 17 years to work on these things. We turned them over to you for the whole war period and you have used them during the whole period. Now, if this emergency is going to warrant you taking them again then we might just as well never have had a patent."

They said, "This is our position. The free license is still in effect and if you should sue anyone for infringing them we will defend the suit." Immediately the firms with whom we had worked out an arrangement canceled these contracts, and the chemicals became restricted and were not long available because you cannot get antimony oxide due to the tremendous requirements of the Government for these purposes and the chlorine products became scare as well as the mildew inhibitors and the pigments.

The Government went so far that in every bid going out for the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy they are putting in the Hooper clause. In these clauses they stated as brought out in our brief, a statement to the effect that

(V) Any claim for infringement of any of the following patents assigned to William E. Hooper and Sons Co., or of any reissues, divisions, or extensions of such patents as they relate to contracts for the procurement of fire, water, mildew, and/or weather-resistant fabrics and to contracts for the application of fire, water, mildew, and/or weather-resistant finishes to fabrics: 2,044,176, 2,118,787, 2,172,698, 2,178,625, 2,194,690, 2,299,612. Provided that the contractor, prior to commencing work under this contract, requests William E. Hooper and Sons Co. in writing to grant the contractor a royalty-free nonexclusive license for the period of the war and 6 months thereafter to finish fabrics for the Government in accordance with any of the above patents, and further provided that the contractor certifies that the contract price includes no cost factor to cover the contingency of liability for infringement of any of the above patents owned by William E. Hooper and Sons Co. This subparagraph V applies whether or not William E. Hooper and Sons Co. grants the above license upon request of the contractor.

We claim that is discrimination.

We were glad to give the Government the use of our patents for the war. In the beginning we wanted them to have the use of the patents because they were important to the war effort but we do think this is a two-way road and when we, because of our patriotism, furnish the Government with everything we have, we do not think they should take advantage of us and our statement is that we are not asking now for royalties, we do not want royalties for the war work. We positively do not want war royalties, but we do want to use all our patents for our domestic business.

It has been said we gave the patents for war work. We did. But in doing that we directly and indirectly gave it to them for our civilian work also. In giving it to them for war work it took all the chemicals available and, therefore, we have had no civilian business.

The thing really is that for the great majority of our 17 years we have turned the patents over to the Government and we willingly gave them for the period of the war. They have arbitarily taken them for the period since the war.

What we ask for is not any royalties. All we ask is for an extension of the life of our patents so when the Government is through using them, and when we can start using these formulas for the civilian trade that we have a few years longer because the first of our patent years expire in 1953.

That is covered in our brief and we think we have done the best we could.

Mr. BRYSON. You are familiar with Public Law 694 of the Eightyfirst Congress?

Mr. HOOPER. That was passed in August 1950. As we understand, we have the right to apply to the Quartermaster or the Secretary of War and ask for permission to have our royalty-free license canceled. We do not admit that we gave a royalty-free license indefinitely. We gave it to them for the period of the war and not up until 1950.

Mr. BRYSON. And, technically speaking, the war has not ended yet?

Mr. HOOPER. There are plenty of cases to prove it has and our attorneys have cited some in the brief. There are cases where it has been decided in court that in cases similar to ours-ours was a oneway road, a unilateral agreement which depended largely on our interpretations-our interpretation was that the shooting war had ended and in our communications we so stated.

Also it is not altogether sure under that law that they have to return the patents to us. We are not trying to delay this work. We know it is important to the war effort and would be glad to have industry use these patents for the war effort but if they are going to give them that, we, in turn, should have them extended for a couple of years, in order to use them for the domestic trade.

It has been said to us, if you are that patriotic, what kick have you got? We think that is asinine. It puts patriotism at a premium, and is so unfair that if we are treated this way it will make other people less anxious to turn their patents over to the Government.

We could have made a hard deal in the beginning, but we did not. We did not sit down and make a deal. We said, I am in this. Take it. Now, we say, we have been fair to you. Now, will you be fair to

us? In not being fair to us you put a premium on honesty and patriotism.

Mr. ROGERS. Do I understand the situation to be that during World War II that the patentee in this instance handed to the Government a royalty-free right to use the ingredients or anything necessary for the war effort?

Mr. HOOPER. Yes, sir.

Mr. ROGERS. And that during that period of time a group of manufacturers took these with the know-how and continued to make these articles for the Government?

Mr. BRYSON. In competition with them.

Mr. ROGERS. Yes. Now, the cease-fire in World War II happened in 1945 and since that time the Government has continued to tell manufacturers who had this royalty-free that if they will sell to the Government that the Government will defend any infringement suit that your company may institute?

Mr. HOOPER. Yes, sir. This is exactly that.

Mr. ROGERS. Is that the case?

Mr. HOOPER. May I show you this? Here is a bid that will open tomorrow for 5,000,000 yards-5,122,247 yards. This is only one bid. Here is a clause that is added on page 3, at the foot of the page. Here is a clause that is added-an additional provision to the patent law. It states that if they will write in to us, and so forth.

Mr. ROGERS. Do you know of any authority, that any department of the Government, even the Defense Department or the Quartermaster, has to obligate the Government? Did you ever look into that; or do you think the general war powers give them the right to assure any bidder they will stand back?

Mr. HOOPER. I would not know, sir.

I do know that they put that right in the bid. I have never seen anyone else treated that way. They say if you violate any one of the patents we will protect you.

Mr. BRYSON. When the Government says they defend a thing they do it. Judge Goldsborough spent $125,000 to get one man out of the Printing Office.

Mr. HOOPER. But, Mr. Chairman, we are not here asking for royalties. We do not want a nickel. We gave our patents to the Government for the war effort. Our interpretation of the war effort was VJ-day. We think that in the postwar period it was not fair that the type of license that the Government asked from us was not fair. We expected them to be fair and they did not want to be.

Now, they are saying again, This is still the emergency. We are not trying a squeeze play to squeeze people out of the troubles we are in today. We are saying, We will give them the license and let them use it and let the whole industry have the advantage of the millions of dollars we have spent to develop these things but we do say in return for that, when they get through using it, and when this emergency is over, we ought to have a little time to use the patents in the domestic trade. We think that is fair.

Mr. BRYSON. Under this type of pending legislation, because of the running of the time against your patent, you say you should have a similar amount of time after the emergency?

Mr. HOOPER. That is what we are asking.

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