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PATENT POLICIES RELATING TO
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE ON
H.R. 1934 and H.R. 6030
MAY 26, JUNE 1, 8, 20, 22, AUGUST 14, 15, 16, AND 17, 1961
Printed for the use of the Committee on Science and Astronauties
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND ASTRONAUTICS
GEORGE P. MILLER, California, Chairman OLIN E. TEAGUE, Texas
JOSEPH W. MARTIN, JR., Massachusetts VICTOR L. ANFUSO, New York
JAMES G. FULTON, Pennsylvania JOSEPH E. KARTH, Minnesota
J. EDGAR CHENOWETH, Colorado KEN HECHLER, West Virginia
WILLIAM K. VAN PELT, Wisconsin EMILIO Q. DADDARIO, Connecticut
PERKINS BASS, New Hampshire WALTER H. MOELLER, Ohio
R. WALTER RIEHLMAN, New York DAVID S. KING, Utah
JESSICA MCC. WEIS, New York J. EDWARD ROUSH, Indiana
CHARLES A. MOSHER, Ohio THOMAS G. MORRIS, New Mexico
RICHARD L. ROUDEBUSH, Indiana BOB CASEY, Texas
ALPHONZO BELL, California
THOMAS M. PELLY, Washington
CHARLES F. DUCANDER, Executive Director and Chief Counsel
SPENCER M. BERESFORD, Special Counsel
PHILIP B. YEAGER, Special Consultant
FRANK R. HAMMILL, Jr., Counsel
C. OTIS FINCH, Assistant Clerk
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE ON PATENTS AND SCIENTIFIC INVENTIONS
EMILIO Q. DADDARIO, Connecticut, Chairman DAVID S. KING, Utah
JAMES G. FULTON, Pennsylvania BOB CASEY, Texas
J. EDGAR CHENOWETH, Colorado WILLIAM J. RANDALL, Missouri
PERKINS BASS, New Hampshire WILLIAM F. RYAN, New York
ALPHONZO BELL, California
PHILIP B. YEAGER, Staff Consultant NOTE.-The chairman of the full committee and the ranking minority member, Hon. Joseph W. Martin, Jr., are ex officio members of all subcommittees.
Burke, Oliver W., Jr., chairman, Burke Research Co.; accompanied
by Joseph Y. Houghton, patent attorney---
Arma Bosch Corp-------
Roberson, patent attorney, The Martin Co...
O'Brien, Assistant General Counsel for Patent Matters, National
Waite, Laurence L., senior vice president, engineering and planning,
accompanied by William Roy Lane, patent counsel, North American
PATENT POLICIES RELATING TO AERONAUTICAL AND
Members of the cond and status of und in particular t
FRIDAY, MAY 26, 1961
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:15 a.m., in room 214-B, New House Office Building, Hon. Emilio Q. Daddario (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. DADDARIO. The hearing will come to order.
Members of the committee and gentlemen, I should like briefly to review the background and status of Government patent policy as it relates to the national space program and in particular to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Present law-that is, section 305 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958-requires NASA to secure ownership of any inventions arising out of its research and development contracts. It also provides that no patent may be issued to any person if the invention involved appears to the Commissioner of Patents to have “significant utility” for the space program unless the applicant swears under oath that he developed his invention without aid from NASA, even then, the applicant may be overridden by the NASA Administrator and compelled to find any remedy due him through appeal procedures. Finally, NASA may waive title to inventions provided that it can show that such waiver will be in the best interests of the United States.
Let's back up a moment and see how this provision became part of the law.
When the administration draft bill to create a space agency was sent to Congress by President Eisenhower early in 1958 it contained no provision whatever relating to patents. Patents were not, in fact, discussed during the public hearings leading up to the creation of NASA.
During consideration of the bill by the House Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration—chaired by Mr. McCormackit was decided that some patent provision should be included. The reason for this was that select committee members, not then knowing whether the successful exploration of space might hinge upon some single key invention or discovery, felt that there should be a provision in the law to prevent such a crucial discovery from becoming the property of a single private organization.
Consequently the select committee adapted several sections of the Atomic Energy Act which required Government ownership of patents