The 1952 Patent Act was a major event in terms of cutting and pasting together the various patent laws from the previous eighty or so years into the first patent law codification of the twentieth century. The great bulk was a mere codification of principles, going back in some cases to the earliest patent laws of the eighteenth century, that was the work of P. J. Federico.2 Of the three major changes made to the patent law in 1952, each was primarily the work of the late Giles Sutherland Rich,3 with his revision of Section 112 to introduce “means” claiming-perhaps representing the most problematic change in the patent law that still plagues practitioners, now, more than fifty years after the effective date of the new law.

The first problem here is the judicial activism from several panel opinions that created a “written description” requirement apart from the original “new matter” proscription.

The second major problem is the mistaken inclusion in the 1952 Patent Act of the requirement that the “best mode contemplated” be disclosed.

The second portion of this paper deals with the final paragraph of 35 U.S.C. § 112 – originally the third but now the sixth paragraph – that provides for “means” claiming.

The final section deals with the United States patent law as part of the global village: what statutory changes make sense for the United States to retain its leadership position in the world patent community?

As an appendix, a new statutory scheme to modify the existing model of 35 U.S.C. § 112 is proposed.