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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/1289

Title: US Alien Property Custodian patent documents: A legacy prior art collection from World War II - Part 1, history.
Authors: White, Michael J.

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Keywords: Alien Property Custodian
Enemy Property
Patent Applications
United States Patent Office
World War II
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: World Patent Information, 29, 4, 2007, 339-345
Abstract: In 1943, at the height of World War II, the U.S. Patent Office, by the authorization of the Alien Property Custodian (APC), published 2,964 pending patent applications that had been seized from nationals of enemy and enemy-occupied countries. This unusual act—only in 2001 did the USPTO begin publishing some pending patent applications—was prompted by the APC’s wartime mandate to make enemy technology available to American industry. During and after the war many of these applications were issued as patents assigned to the APC. However, up to 58 percent were abandoned, becoming, in effect, orphan documents. APC documents, although they resemble contemporary patents and are granted prior art status by the USPTO, are virtually unknown today, even among patent professionals. This two-part paper investigates the origins, history and profile of this unique collection of prior art documents. Part one reviews the wartime organization and activities of the Office of the Alien Property Custodian, the agency responsible for the creation of APC documents, the use of vesting orders to seize patents and the APC’s patent portfolio. Part two describes applications published by the APC, their national and technological profiles, and snapshots of the inventors and companies who lost and, in some cases, regained their patent rights.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/1289
ISSN: 0172-2190
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