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the honor to enclose for your information copy of a statement received from the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission on November 2, with reference to the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act to the use by American citizens and corporations of patents and copyrights owned or controlled by enemies or allies of enemy.
Statement by the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission
WASHINGTON, November 2, 1917. The [Trading with the Enemy] Act provides for the issuance by the Federal Trade Commission of licenses under enemy-owned or controlled patents and copyrights. The provisions requiring reports by the licensee of the use and enjoyment of the license, and the deposit with the Alien Property Custodian of an amount not to exceed 5 per cent of the gross sums realized from the sale of the licensed subject matter, or a sum not to exceed 5 per cent of the value of its use as determined by the Federal Traile Commission, amply protect the patentee, or copyright proprietor, whose patent or copyright is licensed.
The amount so deposited becomes a trust fund for the benefit of the licensee and the foreign patentee or copyright proprietor, to be accounted for after the war.
The act further provides that the foreign plaintiff is not limited to the amount so deposited, but may recover whatever may be decreed to be just and reasonable.
The evident purpose of the statute is, therefore, not to abrogate any patents or copyrights or to permit raids upon such property. The war has prevented the exercise and importation by enemies of many useful inventions with the consequence of depriving our citizens of needed articles. This is peculiarly the case with respect to many German-owned patents covering valuable medicines and drugs. Examples such as arseno, benzene, certain hypnotics and the non-toxic substitutes for cocaine used in surgery to produce local anesthesia, will occur to anyone.
The statute secures to our people on equitable terms the use of articles of which, owing to the war, they are now deprived. Its enforcement does not involve confiscation, destruction or sequestration of property. The act merely follows the well-recognized economic
theory behind all patent and copyright legislation established in
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
File No. 851.711/277
The Ambassador in France (Sharp) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6.11 p. m.] 3217. Your 3103, January 23, and 3183, [February] 14.1 Am informed by Foreign Office that as a matter of principle the French censorship permits to pass: (1) remittances for payment on patents or more generally for the maintenance of their validity; (2) documents having object of obtaining for Allies new patents in enemy countries when examination has ascertained that no injury would result thereby to national defense. Foreign Office's note follows by next pouch
File No. 841.711/2468
LONDON, February 19, 1918, 4 p. m.
[Received y p. m.] 8730. Your 6330, January 23, and 6557, February 14.2 Foreign Office informs me that instructions will be issued to postal censors
For No. 3103 see footnote 1, ante, p. 327 ; No. 3183 not printed. · Latter not printed.
that communications of nature in question should be passed and forwarded in accordance with procedure suggested in my representations. Foreign Office adds that if the documents, when passing through this country, are found to contain information which is in possession of British censors but is evidently not available to licensing authority and which necessitates further references to that authority, or if the documents contain information likely to be of naval or military value to enemy, that is, specifications of inventions for use in war, it will be presumed they have been transmitted by means of some fraudulent device, and representative in London of United States board of censorship, appointed to advise on matters of purely military character, will be consulted.
British Government presume senders will have no further access to covers in question after their contents have been supervised by United States mail censor and his stamp has been affixed. Copy of note follows in next pouch.
Executive Order No. 2837, April 11, 1918, Revoking Power and
Authority in Designated Officers under the Trading with the Enemy Act
By virtue of the power and authority vested in me by “An Act to define, regulate, and punish trading with the enemy and for other purposes," approved October 6, 1917, I hereby make the fol
I lowing orders and rules and regulations:
SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
I. I hereby revoke the authority and power vested in the Secretary of the Treasury by Section XI of the Executive Order of October 12, 1917, to issue licenses to send, take or transmit out of the United States any letter or other writing, book, map, plan or other paper, picture, or any telegram, cablegram, or wireless message, or other form of communication intended for or to be delivered, directly or indirectly, to an enemy or ally of enemy, in any way relating to letters patent, or registration of trade-mark, print, label, or copyright, or to any applications therefor; and no such license shall be granted until further order.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
II. I hereby revoke the power and authority vested in the Federal Trade Commission by Section XVII of the Executive Order of
* Foreign Relations, 1917, Supplement 2, vol. II, p. 963.
October 12, 1917, to issue licenses to any citizen of the United States or any corporation organized within the United States, to file or prosecute applications in the country of an enemy or ally of enemy for letters patent or for registration of trade-mark, print, label or copyright, and to pay any fees or agents' fees in connection therewith; or to pay to any enemy or ally of enemy any tax, annuity or fee in relation to patents, trade-marks, prints, labels and copyrights; and no such license shall be granted until further order.
WOODROW WILSON THE WHITE HOUSE,
11 April, 1918.
File No. 811.54262/169
The Ambassador in Spain (Willard) to the Secretary of State
MADRID, April 18, 1918.
[Received May 18.] Sir: Referring to the Embassy's despatch No. 1060, of January 15, 1918, and the Department's telegram No. 950, of March 11, 1918, concerning “ Trading with the Enemy Act,” which was transmitted to the German Government through the Spanish Embassy in Berlin, I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of the reply received from the German Foreign Office to which a copy of the Reichs-Gesetzblatt No. 2, is attached. I have [etc.]
JOSEPH E. WILLARD
The German Foreign Office to the Spanish Embassy at Berlin
The Foreign Office has the honor to forward herewith to the Royal Spanish Embassy, in reply to note verbale Am. Div. 232/1371 of the 14th of last month, Reichs-Gesetzblatt No. 2 of 1918,1 containing three notices of the Chancellor of the Empire of the 3d of last month, viz.: No. 6198 concerning the extension of the period of priority in
the United States of America; No. 6199 concerning the mitigations in the matter of the pro
tection of industrial property rights in the United States
of America; No. 6200 concerning the industrial property rights of citizens The effect of the notice issued under No. 6198 is that the extension of the priority period in article 4 of the revised Paris convention for the protection of industrial property of June 2, 1911, provided for subjects of the German Empire, holds good in favor of citizens of the United States to the same extent as the American act of October 6, 1917, allows in section 10, second sentence of paragraph (a), enemies to file applications for extension of time.
of the United States of America.
* Not printed.
Under the second notice, No. 6199, citizens of the United States enjoy, with regard to their German patents, utility models and trademarks, the advantages that flow from the ordinance of the Bundesrat of September 10, 1914 (Reichs-Gesetzblatt, p. 403), and from the ordinances of March 31, 1915 (Reichs-Gesetzblatt, p. 212), and of April 13, 1916 (Reichs-Gesetzblatt, p. 278); citizens of the United States of America will also, in the matter of the mitigations introduced by reason of the war, receive the same treatment as the Germans and enjoy in Germany advantages similar to those that are set forth in section 10, paragraph (a), sentence 2 of the American act of October 6, 1917.
The right of American citizens to file applications for protection of all kinds of property, to pay dues, to appoint and remove attorneys is not affected by the war. There is no occasion or legal ground for expressly conferring that right upon them as is done in paragraph (a), sentence 1, of the above-cited section 10. They would only have lost that right if it had been taken from them by a special order. Such an order has not been issued.
Special measures for the protection of the patents, trade-marks, designs, and copyrights of citizens of the United States of America have not been adopted in the German Empire.
The question as to whether Germans may use during the war the patents, trade-marks, or copyrights of American citizens is to be answered in the affirmative after the manner of the American provisions in paragraph (c) of the above-cited section 10.
The notice issued under No. 6200 bears upon this point. No use has yet been made of the power therein granted to cancel or restrict, in the public interest, the patents, utility models, and trade-marks owned by citizens of the United States.
BERLIN, February 25, 1918.
File No. 811.542/102
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Willard)
WASHINGTON, July 22, 1918. Sir: Referring to your despatch No. 1032 dated January 1, 1918, transmitting a memorandum of December 4, 1917, from the Spanish