27 Jul 2018

Summertime reading - Charles Dickens on patents


"Look at the Home Secretary, the Attorney-General, the Patent Office, the Engrossing Clerk, the Lord Chancellor, the Privy Seal, the Clerk of the Patents, the Lord Chancellor's Purse-bearer, the Clerk of the Hanaper, the Deputy Clerk of the Hanaper, the Deputy Sealer, and the Deputy Chaff-wax. No man in England could get a Patent for an Indian-rubber band, or an iron-hoop, without feeing all of them. Some of them, over and over again. I went through thirty-five stages. I began with the Queen upon the Throne. I ended with the Deputy Chaff-wax. Note. I should like to see the Deputy Chaff-wax. Is it a man, or what is it?" 

'John, if the laws of this country were as honest as they ought to be, you would have come to London - registered an exact description and drawing of your invention - paid half-a-crown or so for doing of it - and therein and thereby have got your Patent.' 

A Poor Man's Tale of a Patent, by Charles Dickens

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