Collection Title: Giles Sutherland Rich (GSR)
Inclusive Dates: 1950-1987
Bulk Dates: 1953-1977
Size: 4.0 linear feet
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of draft legislation, correspondence, and supporting documents dealing with design protection law. Giles Rich headed the Coordinating Committee on Revision and Amendment of Patent Laws of the National Council of Patent Law Associations throughout this period when the bulk of the papers were created, having come to prominence in the field through his work drafting a new federal patent statute which took effect in 1953.
Giles Sutherland Rich was born May 30, 1904 in Rochester, New York and received his law degree from Columbia University in 1929. Practicing patent law in his family’s New York City firm, he became a recognized authority and was appointed to draft a new federal patent statute after World War II. The law (35 U.S.C.) was introduced in Congress in 1951, signed by President Truman in 1952, and went into effect the following year.
President Eisenhower nominated Judge Rich to the U.S. Court of Customs & Patent Appeals in 1956. In 1981, he authored A Brief History of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals in 1981. His court merged with the appellate Court of Claims in 1982, creating the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. At the time of his death on June 15, 1999, he was the oldest living federal judge. Throughout his career, Judge Rich worked to remedy shortcomings of the Patent and Copyright Laws regarding ornamental designs.
The collection was originally donated by Judge Rich’s family to the University of Baltimore School of Law. In May 2003, UB Law Professor William Fryer III arranged to have the collection transferred to Special Collections in Langsdale Library in order to promote public access to the materials.