« 上一頁繼續 »
because if each of the States have a concurrent right, its exercise by them would defeat the twofold object of the grant; which was to secure to the public the benefit and transmission of invention, as well as to reward authors and inventors for their productions and discoveries.
687. If the individual States have a concurrent power with the United States, it is evident that ñeither of those objects can be secured by Congress, for if Congress prescribe fourteen years as the limit of exclusive' rights, and render them common at the expiration of that period; each State might fix a different period, or might secure a right of property to authors or inventors without limitation of time; or might reduce the term of exclusive enjoyment to a minimum, or even declare their writings and discoveries to be common property.
688. If a State in the exercise of any of the independent powers of legislation retained by it, comes into collision with this power of Congress, and privileges granted by the respective authorities of a State, and of the Union come into actual conflict, and are found repugnant or irreconcileable with each other, the State Law, or the right or privilege claimed under it, must, as in other cases of collision, yield to the superior power of Congress.
689. As a coasting licencé not only ascertains the National character and the ownership of the vessel, but confers a right of Navigation ;-and as a right to import goods involves the right to sell them so a Patent or a Copyright not only ascertains the title of the Patentee as an inventor or an author, but confers on him a paramount right of using, and vending to others to use, his discoveries or writings.
690. There is this distinction, however, between
the property which an author may have in his writings, and that which an inventor may have in his discoveries, that the former has no beneficial property whatever in his works independent of what may be derived from their sale; whilst an inventor may, in a very restricted sense, use his invention for purposes of profit.
691. To both authors and inventors, a right of sale is nevertheless indispensable, though more manifestly so in the first case than in the last; as every other subject of property may be partially enjoyed, although the right of sale be restricted or forbidden; but the right of property of authors and inventors is so essentially connected with the right of sale, that the inhibition of that right annihilates the whole subject
692. Accordingly the Acts of Congress passed in virtue of this constitutional power, secure to an author, or his assignee, “ the sole right and liberty of printing, reprinting, publishing and vending,” his work; and to a Patentee,“ the full and exclusive right and liberty of making, constructing, using, and vending to others to be used,” his invention or discovery, within the times limited for the enjoyment of their respective privileges.
693. A State may prohibit the use of any particu." lar invention as noxious to the health, injurious to the morals, or in any respect prejudicial to the welfare of its citizens; but the Government of the Union must possess exclusively the power of determining whether an invention for which a Patent is sought, be useful or pernicious, i. e, whether it be one for which a Patent ought to be granted.
694. As the object of the constitutional power of Congress is the promotion of the useful Arts, an in
vention useless or pernicious would not be a proper subject for its exercise; but should a Patent for such an invention have unadvisedly been issued, the National authority may repeal the Patent, and interdict the use of the noxious discovery.
695. If a thing in itself pernicious, be patented, the Patentee could recover no damages for the violation of his right; as his Patent would confer no right of property: and if a patented invention be useful in itself, but the art or manufacture to which it relates, be injurious in its exercise to the public health, the Patent would afford no protection for the nuisance ; because private interests must in all cases yield to the public good—and not because the Federal power is superseded or controlled by the State Laws.
696. So if the author of an immoral or libelous book prosecute for the invasion of his Copyright, he could recover no indemnity; and if prosecuted for his offence against the State Law in issuing such a publication, the authority of the United States would not protect him ; because, in the one case, his Copyright would invest him with no right of property; and in the other, would convey no right to use his property to the injury of others.
697. Restrictions imposed by State Laws, which are general in their operation, and not confined to Patentees or authors, in no sense derogate from the exclusive power of Congress to promote the progress of Science and the useful Arts.
698. But a construction of the Constitution, admitting that the States, in the exercise of an absolute discretion, may prohibit the introduction or use of any particular invention or writing, for which a Patent or a Copyright has been regularly obtained and continues
in full force, would render the power of Congress nugatory; and the States would substantially retain the very power they had nominally parted with
699. The several States, nevertheless, retain all other means of rewarding genius, promoting Science and the Arts, of encouraging new discoveries, and inviting useful improvements, except this particular power ceded to the Union ; and each State may use them in any way that ingenuity and good policy may dictate, and which does not interfere with the exer: cise of the power veşted for those purposes in Con. gress.
700. The reason of this difference is, that all other modes of rewarding and encouraging genius, promoting Science, and inviting improvements in the useful Arts, may, without danger of being defeated by the conflicting Laws of co-ordinate Legislatures, be safe, ly committed to the several States; whilst from the peculiar nature of the Federal system, the simple mode of securing a right of property to authors and inventors in their writings and discoveries, must, in order to effect that end, be exclusive in the General Government.
701. The next Power of a miscellaneous character which the Constitution vests in Congress, is II. The Power “ to exercise exclusive Legisla.
tion in all cases whatsoever, over such District not exceeding ten miles square, as might, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress," become the seat of the Government of the United States; and “to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislatures of the States in which the saine shall be situate, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings." ..
702. Without complete supremacy and control at at the seat of the National Government, the Federal authority might be insulted, and its proceedings interrupted with impunity; whilst a dependence of the members of the General Government on one of the States for protection in the exercise of their du. ties, might subject the National Councils to the imputation of partiality.
703. This consideration had the greater weight, as the public archives liable to destruction would accumulate, and the gradual multiplication of public documents, at the stationary residence of the Government, would create further obstacles to its removal, and further abridge its necessary independence.
704. The necessity of a like authority over the forts, arsenals, dock-yards, and their appendages, established by the National Government, is not less evident; as the public money expended on such places, and the public property deposited in them, require that they should be exempt from the authority of the particular State in which they are situate.
705. Nor would it be proper that places on which the security of the entire Union might depend, should be in any degree dependent on a particular member; whilst all scruples and objections are obviated by requiring the concurrence of the States concerned, in every such establishment.
706. The cessions of territory contemplated for the first object were duly made, and Congress were thereby enabled to execute this power, by establishing, under their own jurisdiction, a permanent seat for the National Government,