Edward Bruce Moore


Edward Bruce Moore was born at North Anson, Maine, December 25, 1851. At the age of fourteen he came to Washington, serving as a page in the Senate. In 1876 he became interested in newspaper work, becoming editor of the Washington Daily News and the Washington Daily Telegraph. He was admitted to the bar in 1881, and in 1883 entered the Patent Office as an Assistant Examiner in Division 1.

He became Law Clerk, Principal Examiner, and then served as Assistant Commissioner under Commissioner Allen during the latter's term, from 1901 to 1907. Upon the recommendation of Secretary of the Interior James R. Garfield, he was made Commissioner in 1907.

In 1900, while a Principal Examiner, he was appointed United States Special Commissioner to the Paris Exposition, and eight years later, as Commissioner, was United States delegate to the International Patent Congress in Stockholm.

He was appointed by President Taft in 1909 as expert special attaché to the Fourth International Congress of American States in Buenos Aires. He prepared the patent regulations and observances which were ratified by the Congress and are now in force.

In 1911 he was again appointed by President Taft as chairman of the American delegation to the Conference of the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property, which met at Washington, D. C., forty nations being represented.

During Commissioner Moore’s administration the personnel of the Patent Office was again increased, and salaries were raised for the first time since 1848.

During this administration of the Patent Office a number of minor changes in the patent laws were effected, as well as a number of changes in the Office procedure. The seniority plan of promotion was adopted, and the practice of closing the prosecution of cases as soon as an issue had been reached was encouraged by the decisions of Mr. Moore. In addition to the changes actually effected, Commissioner Moore was an earnest advocate of the establishment of a Patent Bar, and of a Court of Patent Appeals.

Mr. Moore left the Office in 1913 to become the senior member of the firm of Moore and Clark, in Washington and New York City.

The Office lost a good friend when, after failing health for nearly a year, he died of heart disease September 7, 1915, in his sixty-fourth year.


*Republished with permission of the Patent and Trademark Office Society from the article Biographical Sketches of the Commissioners of Patents, 18 J.P.O.S. 145 (1936).  The United States Patent and Trademark Office is grateful for the Society’s assistance.