Pasquale Joseph Federico

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Pasquale ("Pat") Joseph Federico (March 25, 1902 – January 2, 1982[1]) was a lifelong mathematician and longtime high-ranking official of the United States Patent Office.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania. About 1910 the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he gained a bachelor's degree in physics at Case Institute of Technology in 1923.[2]

He was instrumental in several major changes to how patents were issued and how intellectual property is treated.[3]

Federico also served for many years as the Patent Office's unofficial historian and editor of the "Journal of the Patent Office Society""(JPOS).[citation needed] Some of his most well known contributions to the field of mathematics focused on the study of perfect squares[4] and the writings of Descartes.[5]

Federico is credited for providing the quotation said to underlie the scope of patentable subject matter under United States law when he testified before a House subcommittee in 1951 that "under section 101 a person may have invented a machine or manufacture, which may include anything under the sun that is made by man,"[6] so long as it satisfies the requirements of the patent statute. This testimony was later quoted by the United States Supreme Court when the Court held in 1980 that living organisms were proper subject matter for patents. The language is often misunderstood, however, because there are many things men make under the sun that cannot be patented: "Laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas," for example, cannot be patented.[7]

Judge Giles S. Rich of the Federal Circuit made these eulogistic remarks about Federico in a JPOS article[8] published shortly after Pat's death:

Pat Federico was the ideal public servant. Politicians may come and politicians may go and in the process get most of the publicity in governmental affairs, but it is people like Pat who make government work. It was my privilege and greatly to my benefit to come to know Pat some thirty-four years ago, to have worked with him on a couple of lengthy legislative projects, and to have remained in touch with him throughout the rest of his fruitful life.

Bibliography[edit]

Mathematics[edit]

  • Vector Differential Geometry of Curves, By Pasquale Joseph Federico, Published by George Washington University, 1925
  • "Descartes on polyhedra: a study of the De solidorum elementis," By Pasquale Joseph Federico. Edition: illustrated, Published by Springer, 1982 ISBN 0-387-90760-2, ISBN 978-0-387-90760-4

Patent Office[edit]

  • "The First Patent Act," By Pasquale Joseph Federico, Journal of the Patent Office Society 14:237-252 (April 1932)
  • "Statutory Disclaimers in Patent Law," By Pasquale Joseph Federico, Published by P. Pearlman, 1935
  • "Operation of the Patent Act of 1790," By Pasquale Joseph Federico, Journal of the Patent Office Society 18:237-251 (April 1936)
  • "A Fragment of Texas History", By P.J. Federico and J.R. Nunn, Journal of the Patent Office Society 18:407-410 (1936)
  • "Outline of the History of the United States Patent Office," By P.J. Federico, Volume 18, Journal of the Patent Office Society, 251 (1936).
  • "Treaties Between the United States and Other Countries Relating to Trademarks," By Pasquale Joseph Federico, Published 1949
  • "Distribution of Patents Issued to Corporations (1939-55): Study of the Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-fourth Congress, Second Session, Pursuant to S. Res. 167," By Pasquale Joseph Federico, United States Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights, United States Patent Office, Published by U. S. Govt. Print. Off., 1957
  • "Opposition and Revocation Proceedings in Patent Cases: Study of the Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-fourth Congress, Second Session, Pursuant to S. Res. 167," By Pasquale Joseph Federico, United States Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

Published by U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1957

  • "Renewal Fees and Other Patent Fees in Foreign Countries: Study of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-fifth Congress, Second Session, Pursuant to S. Res. 236," By Pasquale Joseph Federico, United States Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights, Published by U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1958

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Descartes on polyhedra: a study of the De solidorum elementis", page vi, By Pasquale Joseph Federico. Edition: illustrated, Published by Springer, 1982 ISBN 0-387-90760-2, ISBN 978-0-387-90760-4
  2. ^ Rich, Giles S. (1982). "P.J. (Pat) Federico and His Works". Journal of the Patent Office Society. 64 (1). ISSN 0096-3577. 
  3. ^ Most notably,in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Patent Office (as it was then known) lent Pat to the U.S. Congress to assist them in preparing a codification of the patent laws that became the 1952 Patent Act (Title 35 of the U.S. Code). He was largely instrumental in the preparation of the House Report on the bill. As an Examiner-in-Chief and member of the appellate board, he prepared many administrative opinions on patents and trademarks. One of his most notable opinions for the Patent Office allowed, over the objection that it was "scandalous," a trademark registration on the term "$50,000 Treasure Chest" describing the 39½-inch bosom of Evelyn West, "a burlesque legend of the forties, fifties, and sixties" according to the Wikipedia article on her. (The subject of this trademark is illustrated in the Wikipedia article.) The Patent Office recognized that the trademark was not deceptive (which would preclude trademark registration) because Lloyd's of London insured West's breasts for $50,000. See Obituary, St. Louis Post Dispatch, March 13, 2005.
  4. ^ See "Compound Perfect Squares", By A.J.W. Duijvestijn, P.J. Federico, and P. Leeuw, published in American Mathematical Monthly Volume 89 (1982) pp 15-32; P.J. Federico, Note on some low-order perfect squared squares, Canad. J. Math., 15. pp 350-363 (1963).
  5. ^ See, e.g., "Descartes on polyhedra: a study of the De solidorum elementis," by Pasquale Joseph Federico. Edition: illustrated, Published by Springer, 1982 ISBN 0-387-90760-2, ISBN 978-0-387-90760-4.
  6. ^ The phrase is based on language in the Book of Ecclesiastes, 1:2-9, 14.
  7. ^ Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347, 2354 (2014). Nor can jokes or songs or electrical signals. In re Nuijten, 500 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2007)
  8. ^ G.S. Rich, P.J. (Pat) Federico and His Works," 64 J. Pat. Off. Soc'y 3 (Jan. 1982).