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Document number: 3881
Date: 25 May 1839
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA39-040
Last updated: 17th April 2010

Lincolns Inn
25th May 1839.

Dr Sir

It appears that the Patent now proceeding in the name of Griffith <1> altho under a very similar title to his first Patent, is for another or further Invention, but whether it relates to the Photogenic principle or not we have no means of ascertaining except by opposition The Attorney and Solr Genl only examine the Inventions, for which Patents are applied, in the event of opposition being entered against the grant, consequently if you do not oppose, Mr Griffiths Patent will be allowed to proceed as a matter of course & in the event of its hereafter appearing that the invention for which he is applying for a Patent, should be the same as the one you have in embryo, you would not be allowed to exercise your Invention without his licence, he being the first to bring it before the public; the mere fact of your having showed the Invention to Mr Solicitor Genl would not invalidate his Patent, and we have no doubt that if such proof of yours being the first invention was produced in a court of Law, the Jury would decide that your [illegible deletion] that no public usage had taken place previous to the date of Griffiths Patent, and that altho you proposed the same Invention you had kept it secret, and that Mr Griffiths having been the first to give the public the benefit of the Invention was entitled to the Patent.

Your only alternative therefore is either to oppose or run the risk of his having discovered a similar invention to you

The time for the opposition on this [text missing] expires today, consequently if you [illegible deletion] wish to oppose on the next stage we shall require your immediate instructions the fees on the 2nd Stage will be heavy, if the Att Genl decides that the inventions are dissimilar, the costs will be 9. 6. 8. but if the Inventions are the same & you stop the Patent, you will have to pay all the expences Griffith had been put to in consequence of your not opposing before the fees will then amount to nearly 30

Poole & Carpmael

W H. F. Talbot
Lacock Abbey


1. No such patent has been traced - possibly it was never finalised.

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