April 22, 1942

Legality Not a Consideration
WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) yesterday told a press conference of plans to seize patents held by companies and individuals of enemy nations regardless of impediments presented by the legality of such action. Similar action was taken during the First World War. FDR claims he has the legal authority to make the seizures under the wartime emergency powers if the patents are considered property. Seized patents would be used in the war effort. The president has directed enemy property custodian Leo Crowley to search for enemy-held patents and make them available to war industries. Most patents being considered for seizure are in the fields of chemistry and pharmaceuticals, such as those concerned with artificial food, fuels, rubber, and fabrics.

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