Spevack v. Strauss

PETITIONER: Spevack
RESPONDENT: Strauss
LOCATION: Fargo, North Dakota

DOCKET NO.: 339
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 359 US 115 (1959)
ARGUED: Mar 05, 1959
DECIDED: Mar 23, 1959

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Spevack v. Strauss

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 05, 1959 in Spevack v. Strauss

Earl Warren:

Number 339, Jerome S. Spevack, petitioner versus Lewis L. Strauss et al.

Mr. Houghton you may proceed.

Joseph Y. Houghton:

Mr. Chief Justice and members of the Court.

I would like at first to introduce Mr. Calvin Cobb who is a counsel for the American Chemical Society, amicus in this case.

Mr. Cobb is not asking to address the Court, but has offered to answer any questions that might come up about the amicus brief if Your Honors should have any.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

(Inaudible)

Joseph Y. Houghton:

No, Your Honor.

The application stands allowed in the patent office and will issue when the final fee is paid.

(Inaudible)

Joseph Y. Houghton:

That time limit is, at the present time under the statute expires May 25th.

William O. Douglas:

Well now would you explain what expires on May 25th.

Joseph Y. Houghton:

The six months statutory period for payment of the final fee in the case.

Under the law the issuance of the patent can be deferred another three months after the payment of the final fee, but the patent must issue within three months after the payment of the final fee.

William O. Douglas:

So the last date is May 25th, that's the latest it could issue?

Joseph Y. Houghton:

No that's the last date for payment of the final fee.

There would be three months after that date, the last Tuesday, within the three months period, when we run -- the patent would have to issue under the statute.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

That would be August?

Joseph Y. Houghton:

That would be in August.

Charles E. Whittaker:

(Inaudible)

Joseph Y. Houghton:

That is patent would be allowed?

The first indication of that of course was the allowance of the claims.

Now the claims were allowed and at that time there were several other matters which had to be attended to.

There were requirements for correction of the drawings.

There were certain other procedural matters which had to be attended to and those matters were taken care of and finally a notice of allowance was issued in the case.

The first notice of allowance which was issued was defective.

We called that properly to the attention of the patent office, and in response to that in due course they issued the corrected notice of allowance under which the final fee is due as I have reported to Mr. Justice Douglas.

Earl Warren:

Does anything remain now except the payment of the fee as a requirement for the issuance of the patent?

Joseph Y. Houghton:

Not so far as the US Patent Office is concerned, Your Honor.

We have a peculiar situation which is that one foreign country in which we have filed has issued a secrecy order.

We are strenuously endeavoring to have this secrecy order rescinded and that there is a problem as to whether the payment of the fee in the US case by the inventor which under the law would require that the patent issue within three months, whether that could be a violation of this secrecy order in the other country.