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  • 28/12/1867
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perform in the compound:” or, as it is elsewhere expressed, such a mixture should not receive the sanction of this department “unless perhaps a satisfactory rationale should be given for the use of each of the ingredients in the proportions named.”

If the medical faculty were always satisfied themselves as to the operation of the various remedies they employ, there might be more reason in the objection. But it is well known that different schools disagree widely on this subject, and there are remedies employed with success the effect of which the most intelligent are unable to account for. So long as there is a single one of this character to be found, and while the operations of the vital functions are so concealed from us that we are unable fully to comprehend the process by which any specific operates, so long it is impossible to prescribe as a conditon of patentability, a full explanation of the mode in which any one acts that is brought forward. It would be still less justifiable to require such an explanation as would content any particular class of medical men. Every year new therapeutics are introduced into practice, and not unfrequently some whose beneficial results are not understood. And as long as one such may be found, it is not just to make it a condition of its being protected by a patent, that the discoverer should bring the scientific world to agree with him in his theory respecting it, nor even that he should have one.

The man who stumbles upon a new and useful article is just as much entitled to the exclusive use of it as if he had elaborated it by the most profound and painful study. It is true that there is danger upon this principle of countenancing mere nostrums, and giving them undue prestige This can only be guarded against by the exercise of great caution and requiring convincing proof of utility. Such his been furnished in this case, in abundance.

The application cannot be rejected except upon such grounds as would insure the rejection of nearly all medicines whatever. Nor is the Office responsible for the false importance which the public may attach to its proceedings, so long is they are confined to its legitimate province. Its duties certainly must not be neglected, and meritorious petitions refused, in order to obviate such misapprehensions.

The decision of the Primary Examiner is reversed.

[Transcribers note: full index of volume XVII. left out]