RAMSAY’S AND SOME OTHER SEALED PACKETS

BY MICHAEL JEWESS

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This work was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry, Historical Group, Newsletter and Summary of Papers, 71,  (Winter 2017).

Abstract

In August 1894, Lord Rayleigh, fearing that he and William Ramsay might be beaten to publication for their great discovery of argon, deposited with the French Académie des Sciences a sealed packet containing their preliminary conclusions, so as to provide impeccable proof of priority.  The Académie’s system was established in 1735 and continues today.  The French national intellectual property office, INPI, has a similar system, very intensively used by companies because deposits provide a defence to patent infringement under French law.

 

Michael Faraday deposited a sealed packet with the Royal Society in 1832 to secure priority for some (prescient) theoretical ideas on electromagnetism.    

 

 

Keywords:  French patent law, INPI.

 

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