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File No. 763.72112/4792
The Secretary of State to Messrs. Dowell & Dowell, Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON, September 21, 1917.
GENTLEMEN: In reply to your letter of September 13, 1917,1 you are advised that up to the present time no arrangement has been devised for the transmission to Germany of patent taxes, annuities, etc., as authorized under the President's proclamation of May 24, 1917. It is considered doubtful whether such an arrangement may be placed in operation, prior to the passage of the "trading with the enemy" legislation now pending before Congress. As soon as a decision in the matter is reached, however, you will be promptly informed.
I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
BRECKINRIDGE LONG Third Assistant Secretary
File No. 811.54262/155a
The Secretary of State to the Federal Trade Commission
WASHINGTON, October 22, 1917.
GENTLEMEN: Because of the fact that the Executive order of October 12, 1917,2 issued in connection with the " Trading with the Enemy Act," empowers the Federal Trade Commission to grant licenses for the payment of patent taxes and for the filing and prosecution of patent applications in the Central Powers, this Department deems it proper to advise you of its practice, up to the commencement of hostilities between the United States and Germany, of forwarding for American citizens, patent documents and remittances through diplomatic channels to points in the Central Powers.
Upon the entry of the United States into the war this practice was discontinued. As you are probably aware, however, on May 24, 1917, the President issued a proclamation authorizing the transmission to Germany by American citizens of funds for the payment of patent taxes, annuities, fees, etc., on American-owned patents. Subsequent to the issuance of the proclamation in order that patent attorneys in the United States could safely transmit taxes due on foreign patents through the open mail, this Department obtained assurances from the British and French Governments that such remittances would be passed by their censors. The actual forwarding of funds to points in the Central Powers for the protection of
Foreign Relations, 1917, Supplement 2, vol. II, p. 963.
American patent rights has, however, been held in abeyance pending the enactment of the "trading with the enemy" legislation.
The foregoing is communicated to you in order that the Commission may be fully informed concerning the activities of this Department in assisting American citizens in the protection of their patent rights in territory occupied by Germany and her allies.
I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
File No. 811.54262/152
The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State No. 7128
LONDON, September 21, 1917.
[Received October 23.]
SIR: With reference to the Department's telegram No. 4742 of April 21, 1917, requesting information as to whether the British Government had made any arrangements with enemy countries in order to secure to British subjects the right to communicate with enemy subjects and to take the necessary steps in connection with the filing of patent applications and the payment of patent fees, I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a note I have received from the Foreign Office, together with its enclosures,2 in reply to the enquiry I made in the premises on the 23d of April last.
For the guidance of the Department, I venture to add that the contents of Mr. Balfour's note of July 10, 1917, to which reference is made, were communicated to the Department by my telegram No. 6705 of July 11, 12 m.
I have [etc.]
(For the Ambassador)
The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Balfour) to the American Ambassador (Page)
LONDON, September 17, 1917.
YOUR EXCELLENCY: With reference to the note which Your Excellency was good enough to address to me on April 23 last (No.
3787), requesting information as to whether His Majesty's Government had made any arrangements with enemy countries in order to secure to British subjects the right to communicate with enemy subjects and to take the necessary steps in connection with the filing of patent applications and the payment of patent fees, I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that no express arrangements have been made with enemy governments regarding these matters. 2. Applications for patents, designs and trade marks, and payments of application and renewal fees, have been accepted in this country from enemies under the conditions set out in the Patent Office notice of June 1, 1915, copies of which are enclosed.1 Persons in this country have also been allowed to make corresponding applications and pay corresponding fees in enemy countries to the extent set out in the Board of Trade's general licence of December 7, 1915 (copies of which I also enclose)1 and the Board's information is to the effect that such applications and fees have been accepted by the enemy governments.
3. As regards the payment of royalties by British nationals to enemy nationals, I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that no such payments are, of course, permitted during the war, but where licences have been granted by the Board of Trade under the Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (Temporary Rules) Acts, 1914, and the rules made thereunder, the royalties reserved are paid to the Public Trustee.
4. As regards the revocation of patents worked outside, I would call Your Excellency's attention to the Patents and Designs Act (Partial Suspension) Act, 1915 (5 and 6 Geo. V, ch. 85), copies of which are also enclosed.1
5. I had the honour to inform Your Excellency in my note of July 10 last that remittances sent from America to enemy countries for the preservation of patent rights are allowed to go forward to their destination, and in this connection, I have the honour to transmit to Your Excellency herewith, copy of a general licence just issued by the Board of Trade amending their general licence of December 7, 1915, and authorising persons of British, neutral or Allied nationality in this country to pay patent fees in enemy countries on behalf of persons of British, Allied or neutral nationality in Allied countries.1
I have [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
1 Not printed.
File No. 811.54262/149
The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Spain (Wilson)
WASHINGTON, November 1, 1917. 737. Paragraph (a), section 10, Trading with Enemy Act, approved October 6, 1917, provides:
An enemy, or ally of enemy, may file and prosecute in the United States an application for letters patent, or for registration of trademark, print, label, or copyright, and may pay any fees therefor in accordance with and as required by the provisions of existing law and fees for attorneys or agents for filing and prosecuting such applications. Any such enemy, or ally of enemy, who is unable during war, or within six months thereafter, on account of conditions arising out of war, to file any such application, or to pay any official fee, or to take any action required by law within the period prescribed by law, may be granted an extension of nine months beyond the expiration of said period, provided the nation of which the said applicant is a citizen, subject, or corporation shall extend substantially similar privileges to citizens and corporations of the United States.
It would appear from two notes dated May 5 and 6 respectively, issued by German Government and published in La Propriété Industrielle, May 31, that German Government held that United States after its entrance in the war no longer granted to German subjects extensions for filing patent, utility-model and trade-mark applications, and for payment of fees which would entitle American citizens to similar privileges under German law.
Submit foregoing to Foreign Office with request that it ascertain through proper channels and inform this Government whether German Government is extending or is prepared to extend to citizens of the United States privileges similar to those provided in above paragraph, law of October 6.
File No. 811.54262/155
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Willard)
WASHINGTON, December 22, 1917. 799. Fees being received from enemy subjects in Germany with request that they be accepted under provisions section 10, paragraph (a), Enemy Trading Act. Important therefore to have information requested Department's 737, November 1. Request Foreign Office
to renew inquiry as to whether and to what extent German Government accords American citizens and corporations: (1) privilege of filing and prosecuting applications and paying fees similar to provisions first sentence, paragraph (a), section 10; (2) extensions of time similar to those provided in second sentence, paragraph (a).
Endeavor also to obtain information as to any measures taken by Germany to protect patents, trade-mark, print, label, and copyright registrations already granted American citizens, and whether Germany is granting her subjects during the war licenses to make use of same similar to licenses authorized United States, by section 10, paragraph (c).
File No. 841.711/2462a
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain
WASHINGTON, January 23, 1918.
6330. Please ascertain from Foreign Office and cable Department whether communications containing patent documents and remittances of American citizens from patent attorneys in United States to patent attorneys in neutral countries for ultimate transmission to Central Powers, forwarded under license from War Trade Board and examined by United States mail censor, will be passed by British censors without further requirements. Envelopes bear War Trade Board stamp, "Licensed by War Trade Board, date blank, Bureau of Enemy Trade, by John Henry Hammond," and mail censor's stamp, "Passed by Censor No.
File No. 763.72113/447
The Secretary of State to the Swiss Minister (Sulzer)
WASHINGTON, February 13, 1918.
With regard to your memorandum of October 31 last,3 transmitting the inquiry of the German Government concerning patents, I have
1 The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, to the Ambassador in France (No. 3103).
2 Printed in full, ante, p. 285.
Ante, p. 266,