I would like to introduce a novel in which a patent attorney is the main character. The title is “Tokkyo Tawan Ningen Hoshiki (Patent Multi-Armed Human Method)” and it is a novel written by “Unno Juza” (海野十三), a writer in the early Showa period.
Unno Juza (real name: Sano Shoichi) published many mystery and science fiction novels and is called the “father of Japanese science fiction novels”. After his debut as a writer, in 1936, at the age of 39, Mr. Unno qualified as a patent attorney, and two years later, he opened “Sano Electric Patent Office.
The “Tokkyo Tawan Ningen Hoshiki” was published in 1941, when Mr. Unno was 44 years old. The story begins when an inventor visits a patent attorney who runs a patent office and requests a patent application for a “third arm”. A humorous and surreal scene appears in which the patent attorney writes the specification for the application while interacting (playing two roles) with the 100-yen bill (a large sum of money in those days) received from the inventor as the application fee and the application stamp fee. There is also a scene in which the patent attorney shows off his skills as a patent attorney by using the expression “at least” in the description of the claims, claiming that he has expanded the scope of the patent (scope of rights), and another scene in which he receives a notice of reasons for refusal after filing an application, meets with the examiner, and struggles to resolve the reasons for refusal. I feel that this is a story that is also relevant to the current practice of patent attorneys.
There is a lot of humor scattered throughout, and the punchline is quite good. Because it is a short novel, I finished reading it in no time.
Since more than 50 years have passed since Mr. Unno’s death and the copyright protection period has expired, this work can be freely read at Aozora Bunko and other libraries (Hiro).
Tokkyo Tawan Ningen Hoshiki (Aozora Bunko) (only available in Japanese)