This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I presume Mr. Eugene Glen is the author of the phrase "novelty entitling to protection," and if so to him must you look for the definition you require. Also I refer you to Downing's work "Fruit and Fruit Trees of America " for definition or descriptions of varieties. The long lists of synonyms that work contains prove conclusively that varieties can be and are identified. Doubtless it would be necessary to describe protected sorts as completely and minutely as possible, and in addition furnish a correct painting of the fruit, plant or flower, with outlines of various parts as might be deemed requisite. It is necessary to call attention to the fact that one feature of my system of protection is to give protective letters only for sorts sufficiently distinct to be identified, and to remind objectors that the system itself is in part only based on the patent laws. The word exotic in previous communication should be existing.
[Downing's works nor any work would describe novelties with the precision required for patent purposes; nor would they if accompanied by colored plates. These works are useful as approximate guides; they help us by indicating what any kind is not. If a person were to have a Rhode Island Greening Apple, and ignorant of its name, and search Downing, he might feel sure it is not Baldwin or Red Astrachan, or some hundreds of others, but out of the two thousand kinds described there he would come at last to a few dozen wherein the descriptions are so nearly alike that he nor any man could tell what it was; and the man who did decide the variety for him at least would be some one who had had personal experience with the fruit. Not even Mr. Downing with his vast knowledge would undertake to name a score of apples that he had never seen before from descriptions alone. These facts are so well known to experienced pomologists that we are compelled to look on the discussion about patents for fruits as so much waste paper.
No Board of men at Washington would undertake to decide questions of novelty involving legal claims on the best worded descriptions or drawings, unless they were of that class which the poet says will go "Where angels fear to tread".
We have given more latitude than perhaps we ought to these discussions out of good feeling to our correspondents, but believing that no better suggestion than this of Mr. Moore can be offered, we must decline further articles on the subject. - Ed. G. M].