William O. Douglas Quotes

The Constitution never sanctioned the patenting of gadgets. Patents serve a higher end—the advance of science.

One major purpose of the patent system is to get inventors to disclose their inventions and explain how they work and in exchange they get a temporary monopoly to profit from the invention. That is why all patents are available to the public so that science can advance if all other see how something was done. Despite the Douglas View, gadgets have been patented if they had some novel element to their functioning.
William O. Douglas
William O. Douglas
  • Born: October 16, 1898
  • Died: January 19, 1980
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Judge

William Orville Douglas was an American jurist and politician who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Douglas was confirmed at the age of 40, one of the youngest justices appointed to the court. His term, lasting 36 years and 211 days (1939–75), is the longest in the history of the Supreme Court. In 1975 Time magazine called Douglas "the most doctrinaire and committed civil libertarian ever to sit on the court".