China IPR

Another Early Chinese “Imperial” Patentee: Young Kie Buell

In our posting of 2012/01/12 (“China’s First Overseas Patent Filer?”), we talked about Jin Fuey Moy, the first Chinese citizen who filed a patent application in the United States. In fact, there are other pioneers. Another “subject of the Emperor of China” received approval earlier than him. On Sep. 18, 1907, Young Kie Buell, also residing in New York, filed his patent on an improved pepper holder (“Receptacle For Powdered Substances,” USPN 873,497), which was granted in less than three months, on Dec. 10, 1907.

Buell’s patent was cited by two subsequent granted US patents (USPN 6,293,438 [2001] and USPN 7,438,204 [2008]). Buell also filed in 1909 for another patent (“Lamp Chimney,” USPN 1,022,353), which was patented in 1912. Both patents describe new apparatus, like Moy’s 1908 patent.

Unlike Moy, however, Buell continued as an inventor into the Republican period. There are at least two more patents later filed by Buell, as “a citizen of the Republic of China.” His Jan. 1920 patent (“Safety Compartment For Ships,” USPN 1,328,122) was cited by U.S. Patent 6,431,108 [2002]; his Feb. 1920 patent (“Reinforce For Shirts,” USPN 1,331,413) was cited by U.S. Patent 7,849,520 [2010].

And who was Young Kie Buell, the Chinese inventor? According to Scott Seligman, Buell was born in Canton – on December 26, 1886 and he lived until December, 1964. He even had a Social Security Number: 106-22-9720. Although he did not become a citizen until March 2, 1959 (in New York), he actually registered for the draft for both World War I and World War II.  The latter draft was also known as the “Old Man’s Draft.” According to the first record, from 1917, he was single, a student and was living in Chinatown at 22 Mott Street. He was 5’10” and was nearsighted. In 1942, he was living in Brooklyn – 225 E. 31st Street – and working for Luther Lee at the New Fulton Royal Restaurant.

Attached are all four patents.

Receptacle For Powdered Substances” (USPN 873,497), Dec. 10, 1907

Lamp Chimney” (USPN 1,022,353), Apr. 2, 1912

Safety Compartment For Ships” (USPN 1,328,122), Jan. 13, 1920

Reinforce For Shirts” (USPN 1,331,413), Feb. 17, 1920

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