Hull v. United States, No. 20413.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Writing for the CourtBAZELON, , McGOWAN and TAMM, Circuit
Citation390 F.2d 462
PartiesAnn HULL, a/k/a Ann Hastings, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Decision Date23 January 1968
Docket NumberNo. 20413.

390 F.2d 462 (1968)

Ann HULL, a/k/a Ann Hastings, Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 20413.

United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit.

Argued September 12, 1967.

Decided January 23, 1968.


390 F.2d 463

Mr. Donald Cefaratti, Jr., Washington, D. C., with whom Mr. William E. Cumberland, Washington, D. C., was on the brief, for appellant.

Mr. Lawrence S. Margolis, Sp. Asst. U. S. Atty., with whom Messrs. David G. Bress, U. S. Atty., Frank Q. Nebeker and David N. Ellenhorn, Asst. U. S. Attys., were on the brief, for appellee.

Mr. G. Franklin Rothwell, Washington, D. C., filed a brief on behalf of the American Patent Law Association as amicus curiae urging affirmance.

Messrs. Sidney S. Sachs, Joseph A. DeGrandi, Frank L. Neuhauser and Donald R. Dunner, Washington, D. C., filed a brief on behalf of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, urging affirmance.

Before BAZELON, Chief Judge, McGOWAN and TAMM, Circuit Judges.

McGOWAN, Circuit Judge.

After a trial to the court without a jury, appellant was convicted of violating 35 U.S.C. § 33.1 After appellant complained in this court of the trial court's failure to make any findings of fact, the Government moved that a remand be made for this purpose. We ordered such a remand; and the record before us now contains a memorandum by the court which it designates as findings of fact under Rule 23(c), FED.R.CRIM.P. We are, however, unable to say, at least with the assurance requisite in a criminal case, that the conclusion of guilt is founded upon a correct construction of the statute. Since we cannot know with certainty what the verdict would have been if the facts found had been viewed in the light of a proper interpretation, a new trial is required.

I

The Congress long ago gave the Commissioner of Patents regulatory powers with respect to according recognition to "agents, attorneys or other persons" who practice before the Patent Office.2 Appellant,

390 F.2d 464
undisputedly, has neither sought nor been accorded such recognition. She has, however, been engaged for some time in the business of furnishing assistance to applicants for patents. The line she purports to draw is between providing services to applicants who represent themselves, on the one hand, and representing applicants directly, on the other. Her contention is that, so long as she does not hold herself out as being a registered Patent Office practitioner, she does not fall afoul of Section 33

The Government reads that statute differently. It insists that the prohibition is upon holding oneself out as either (1) registered with the Patent Office or (2) qualified to prepare or prosecute patent applications. The thrust of the Government's position seems to be that no one can hold himself out as qualified to prepare a patent application unless he is registered. Whatever degree of practical wisdom there may be in this formulation, it does not appear to us to be the one that Congress has embraced.

Section 33 is itself a product of a general recodification of the patent laws in 1952. The Revisor's Note says of it only that it is based upon Section 11a of Title 35, which was passed in 1938; and that its effect is limited to the fact that "the language has been considerably simplified and the upper limit of the penalty is increased." This penalty increase was repeatedly characterized as the only substantive change.3

The predecessor statute, Section 11a,4 appears in terms to be addressed to the act of holding oneself out to be a registered practitioner when one is not. The Supreme Court so characterized the statute in Sperry v. State of Florida, 373 U.S. 379, 393, 83 S.Ct. 1322, 1330, 10 L. Ed.2d 428 (1963), where it said that "Disclosure that persons were falsely holding themselves out to be registered patent practitioners led in 1938 to the enactment of legislation making such misrepresentation a criminal offense." The legislative events preceding the enactment of Section 11a fully support this description.

The Patent Office, first armed in 1922 with authority to register practitioners, soon found itself confronted with two classes of persons who were functioning in the patent field without registration. One group made no pretense to any legal capacity to represent applicants in Patent Office proceedings, but did assert a technical competence to prepare patent applications in the first instance. The others falsely disseminated the impression that they had been accorded formal recognition by the Patent Office. The Patent Office moved against both groups. In 1924 there was introduced in Congress the first of the so-called Crampton bills, which reappeared five times thereafter through 1932. As its language shows,5 it made it illegal not only to hold oneself out falsely as registered, but also "to

390 F.2d 465
habitually aid or assist" in the preparation of any patent application

The Crampton bills never passed; and one of the principal attacks made upon them was that they disabled all non-registered persons from providing any services in connection with the...

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5 practice notes
  • Southern Machine Company v. Mohasco Industries, Inc., No. 17959.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • September 20, 1968
    ...Local Union No. 260, 391 F.2d 523 (9th Cir. 1968); Houston Fearless Corp. v. Teter, 318 F.2d 822 (10th Cir. 1963); Hull v. Gamblin, 390 F.2d 462 (D.C. Cir. 1968). And when the contract is with a resident of Tennessee, the State's interest in resolving a suit based on the contract and brough......
  • United States v. Blasius, No. 453
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 8, 1968
    ...as being qualified to prepare applications for patent. In support of his position he relies upon the recent case of Hull v. United States, 390 F.2d 462 (D.C.Cir. 1968). The defendant in that case had never been, nor had she ever sought to be, recognized to practice before the Patent Office.......
  • Arnesen v. Raymond Lee Organization, Inc., No. 71-1520.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • October 15, 1971
    ...the establishment of high standards of professional competence in the patent bar. The Court in Hull v. United States, 129 U.S.App.D.C. 47, 390 F.2d 462 (D.C.Cir.1968) was of the opinion that the setting of high standards and high penalties for holding oneself to be qualified when one is not......
  • In re Amalgamated Development Co., No. 10907.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • June 20, 1977
    ...jurisdiction to review and enjoin petitioner's activities. II. Petitioner also argues, citing Hull v. United States, 129 U.S.App.D.C. 47, 390 F.2d 462 (1968), that the challenged activities do not constitute the practice of law. As the hearing judge noted, however, the Hull case is irreleva......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Southern Machine Company v. Mohasco Industries, Inc., No. 17959.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • September 20, 1968
    ...Local Union No. 260, 391 F.2d 523 (9th Cir. 1968); Houston Fearless Corp. v. Teter, 318 F.2d 822 (10th Cir. 1963); Hull v. Gamblin, 390 F.2d 462 (D.C. Cir. 1968). And when the contract is with a resident of Tennessee, the State's interest in resolving a suit based on the contract and brough......
  • United States v. Blasius, No. 453
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 8, 1968
    ...as being qualified to prepare applications for patent. In support of his position he relies upon the recent case of Hull v. United States, 390 F.2d 462 (D.C.Cir. 1968). The defendant in that case had never been, nor had she ever sought to be, recognized to practice before the Patent Office.......
  • Arnesen v. Raymond Lee Organization, Inc., No. 71-1520.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • October 15, 1971
    ...the establishment of high standards of professional competence in the patent bar. The Court in Hull v. United States, 129 U.S.App.D.C. 47, 390 F.2d 462 (D.C.Cir.1968) was of the opinion that the setting of high standards and high penalties for holding oneself to be qualified when one is not......
  • In re Amalgamated Development Co., No. 10907.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • June 20, 1977
    ...jurisdiction to review and enjoin petitioner's activities. II. Petitioner also argues, citing Hull v. United States, 129 U.S.App.D.C. 47, 390 F.2d 462 (1968), that the challenged activities do not constitute the practice of law. As the hearing judge noted, however, the Hull case is irreleva......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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