National Affairs: Patents on Duty

If a research worker for an industrial corporation conceives and patents a new device or process, the corporation usually gets it. But if a U. S. soldier designs a bullet or a U. S. sailor a boatswain's whistle, it is his to sell to the Government.

This principle, formulated by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1870 when it ruled that the Army could not confiscate from Major Henry Hopkins Sibley his design for an Army tent, was upheld last week by Justice Wendell Holmes Stafford of the District of Columbia Supreme Court, who...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!