So you’ve got an invention—you and around 39，000 others each year， according to 2002 statistics!
The 64，000-dollar question， if you have come up with a device which you believe to be the answer to the energy crisis or you’ve invented a lawnmower which cuts grass with a jet of water (not so daft， someone has invented one)， is how to ensure you’re the one to reap the rewards of your ingenuity. How will all you garden shed boffins out there keep others from capitalizing on your ideas and lining their pockets at your expense?
One of the first steps to protect your interest is to patent your invention. That can keep it out of the grasp of the pirates for at least the next 20 years. And for this reason inventors in their droves beat a constant trail from all over the country to the doors of an anonymous grey-fronted building just behind London’s Holborn to try and patent their devices.
The first ‘letters patent’ were granted as long ago as 1449 to a Flemish craftsman by the name of John Utynam. The letters， written in Latin， are still on file at the office. They were granted by King Henry VI and entitled Utynam to ‘import into this country’ his knowledge of making stained glass windows in order to install such windows at Eton College.
Present-day patents procedure is a more sophisticated affair than getting a go-ahead note from the monarch. These days the strict procedures governing whether you get a patent for your revolutionary mouse-trap or solar-powered back-scratcher have been reduced to a pretty exact science.
From start to finish it will take around two and a half years and cost £165 for the inventor to gain patent protection for his brainchild. That’s if he’s lucky. By no means all who apply to the Patent Office， which is a branch of the Department of Trade， get a patent.
A key man at the Patent Office is Bernard Partridge， Principal Examiner (Administration)， who boils down to one word the vital ingredient any inventor needs before he can hope to overcome the many hurdles in the complex procedure of obtaining a patent—‘ingenuity’。
6. People take out a patent because they want to __________.
(A) keep their ideas from being stolen
(B) reap the rewards of somebody else’s ingenuity
(C) visit the patent office building
(D) come up with more new devices
7. The phrase ‘the brain-children of inventors’ (para.5) means _________.
(A) the children with high intelligence
(B) the inventions that people come up with
(C) a device that a child believes to be the answer to the energy crisis
(D) a lawnmower that an individual has invented to cut grass
8. What have the 1600’s machine gun and the present-day laser in common?
(A) Both were approved by the monarch.
(B) Both were granted by King Henry VI.
(C) Both were rejected by the Department of Trade.
(D) Both were patented.
9. Why is John Utynam still remembered?
(A) He is the first person to get a patent for his revolutionary mouse-trap.
(B) He is the first person to be granted an official patent.
(C) He is the first person to be an officer in the Patent Office.
(D) He is the first person to have invented a lawnmower.
10. According to the passage， how would you describe the complex procedure of obtaining a patent for an invention?
(A) It is rather expensive.
(B) It is an impossible task.
(C) It is extremely difficult.
(D) It is very tricky.
6-10 A B D B C