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The German patent law now in force proposes to give, as you are aware, a certain privilege to citizens of countries which grant a corresponding privilege to German subjects.

Notwithstanding the fact, well known in Germany, that the Government of the United States does grant that privilege to German subjects, the authorities of that country refuse to take the single step that their law has made necessary, in order that American inventors may enjoy the reciprocal privilege in Germany, where it is of great importance to them.

The subject is one that calls for earnest and continuous effort, until official steps are taken to guarantee to American citizens the benefit of section 2 of the German patent law.

The liberality of our patent laws towards aliens has practically disarmed this Government for controversies with foreign states in which equality of treatment is sought for American inventors.

It is proper to add, however, that Congress in its last session endeavored to remedy this defect by a bill offered by Senator Platt, July 27 last, entitled "A bill to amend the patent laws."

This bill provided that "no patent shall be granted for an invention which has been patented or officially made public in any foreign coun try, unless such country shall grant the same privilege to citizens of the United States, or unless the application shall be made under a treaty or convention between the United States and such country."

It was read twice and referred to the Committee on Patents.

You will accordingly write again to the minister for foreign affairs upon this subject, unless meanwhile the required publication has been made.

It is not intended that you shall prominently assert the threat of retaliatory legislation, but in mentioning it you may say that Congress having adjourned without final action on the bill it would be very gratifying to the President to announce, at the reopening of its session in December next, that the matter had been disposed of so far as Germany is concerned.

I am, etc.,

[Inclosure in No. 465.] Mr. Connett to Mr. Foster

Acting Secretary.

NEW YORK, August 8, 1892. (Received August 9.)

SIR: I inclose herewith a slip cut from a letter from my correspondent in Berlin, respecting the abominable discrimination of the German Goverment officials against citizens of this country in the matter of patents.

You are doubtless advised as to the new German patent law, which allows three months grace to citizens of such countries as reciprocate, provided the name of such country is published by the German chancellor, as provided by paragraph 2. This country grants to German subjects ample reciprocity, as stated on the slip.

There appears to be no way of meeting arrogant insults of their character except by retaliation, and our Congress should enact at once an amendment of the patent act providing that German subjects shall be subjected to precisely the same restrictions with respect to their applications here that citizens of this country are subjected to there.

I am aware that these matters move slowly, and probably nothing will be done to right us, but the uniform injustice to American applicants for patents in Germany, as contrasted with our exceedingly liberal treatment of German subjects, is exceedingly galling to all of us interested.

Very respectfully,



According to a notice just received from the Patent Office, American inventors must file their cases in Germany before issue in the States, the Patent Office having declared "that United States citizens do not enjoy the privileges offered by paragraph 2 of the new law," in spite of the United States office practice being more than reciprocal as called for by said paragraph.

Mr. Foster to Mr. Phelps.


No. 469.]

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 477 of the 28th ultimo, from which it appears that the German Government is of opinion that the privileges granted German inventors in the United States do not justify the required publication in the "Imperial Gazette," in view of section 2 of the German patent law of October 1, 1891, in order to accord protection to American inventors.

Washington, September 14, 1892.

A copy of your dispatch has been sent to the Secretary of the Interior for the information of the Commissioner of Patents, but the Department awaits the promised note from the German chargé d'affaires here, giving in detail the grounds of the decision of his Government before formally replying to your dispatch.

I am, etc.,

Mr. Phelps to Mr. Foster.


No. 487.]


Berlin, September 22, 1892. (Received October 6.) SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of the Department's instruction No. 465, of the 5th instant.

I presume that soon after this instruction was sent the Department received my dispatch of the 28th of August, No. 477. It will be seen from the note of the foreign office which I inclosed in it that the foreign office preferred not to discuss the subject in question with me, and said it would instruct its chargé d'affaires to give a detailed answer in Washington, where all negotiations up to this time have been carried on.

I have, etc.,

Mr. Adee to Mr. Phelps.


No. 478.]

Washington, October 7, 1892.

SIR: I have received your No. 487, of the 22d ultimo, concerning the protection of American inventors in Germany. You are correct in your inference that the Department's instruction No. 465, of the 5th

ultimo, was indicted and forwarded just previous to the receipt of No. 477 of August 28 last. The note of the German Government referred to in that dispatch has since been received and acknowledged.

For your information and file I inclose a copy of Baron von Ketteler's note of the 15th ultimo, setting forth the reasons that prompt his Government in not making the desired publication provided by section 2, paragraph 2, of the new German patent law of April 7, 1891, in the Imperial Law Journal, in order that protection may be extended to American inventors in Germany, especially in view of the liberality of our patent laws.

In sending a copy of this note to the Secretary of the Interior for the information of the Commissioner of Patents, comment was made as follows:

The Department fails to see the conclusiveness of the German reasoning in this case for its refusal to publish the notice repeatedly requested by this Government through its minister at Berlin.

There is, however, an intimation in Baron Ketteler's note that a reply to the counter proposition of the United States in the matter of the pending negotiation for the protection of patents, samples, and trade-marks may be expected at an early date. The conclusion of such an arrangement may provide a remedy for this unequal and unsatisfactory situation in the absence of a public statute such as was presented at the last session of Congress.

Baron Ketteler's note was simply acknowledged by subject.

This action of the German Government necessarily estops you from carrying out the the direction in instruction No. 465, unless that Government shall voluntarily renew the subject. But it is not to be expected, after the assembling of Congress in December next, unless the conclusion of the proposed convention with Germany alters the situation, that this Government will submit to its citizens being thus denied their clear right in Germany which the laws of that country grant as a reciprocity for the more liberal privileges extended to foreigners by our statute.

I am, etc.,

Mr. Foster to Mr. Phelps.

Acting Secretary.

No. 496.]

Washington, November 18, 1892.

SIR: In 1884 the Government of Her Britannic Majesty put forward a proposal for an international understanding looking to the eventual establishment of a general system whereby the supply of liquors, arms and explosives to the native Pacific Islanders might be effectively prevented. It was at once favorably welcomed, in principle, by this Government, subject to further information as to the scope and form of the proposed agreement.


The subsequent course of the negotiation is not necessary to be herein recounted, nor commented upon further than to observe that, in the absence of a formulated plan of agreement and in the confusion engendered in the course of the comparison of views among the various states, the attitude of the United States in this regard has been seriously misunderstood, and even regarded as obstructive to a general accord.

The recent submission of a draft agreement by Her Britannic Majesty's Government has, however, afforded this Government a gratifying opportunity to set itself right on the record and confirm by favorable action now upon the detailed plan the acquiescence in the general principle which it cheerfully announced in August, 1884.

In the supposition that the British proposal may be under consideration by the Government of Germany, and to enable you to respond to any friendly inquiries which may be put to you respecting the views of the United States upon the subject, I inclose, for your information, copies of a note addressed by me to Her Britannic Majesty's chargé d'affaires on the 11th ultimo, expressing concurrence in the proposed plan, with some necessary minor reservations.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

Same, mutatis mutandis, to the principal powers.

[Inclosure in No. 510.-Translation.]


Mr. Phelps to Mr. Foster.

No. 510.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Berlin, November 29, 1892. (Received December 16.) . SIR: Referring to the case of John Haberacker, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department's instruction No. 381, of March 19 last, the contents of which were embodied by me in a note (F. O. No. 321) to the foreign office on April 12.

I am to-day informed by the foreign office, in a note dated November 28, 1892, a copy and translation of which are herewith inclosed, that, as this case has practically been settled by the desertion of the said Haberacker from the Bavarian army, the Imperial Government prefers not to continue the discussion of the question which it involves.

I have, etc.,


FOREIGN OFFICE, Berlin, November 28, 1892.

Referring to the note of April 12, last (F. O., No. 321) the undersigned has the honor to inform the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, Mr. William Walter Phelps, that, according to information received from the Royal Bavarian Government, John Haberacker deserted on March 31, 1891, and has not as yet been captured.

As the affair has actually been settled hereby, the undersigned assumes that he may refrain from a further discussion of the questions which have arisen, but begs to remark that the Royal Bavarian Government, after renewed investigation, still maintains, as heretofore, the entire correctness of the views which have been set forth in the undersigned's note of December 1 last.

The undersigned avails, etc.,




Mr. Alfons Mumm von Schwarzenstein to Mr. Blaine.


IMPERIAL GERMAN LEGATION, Washington, November 3, 1891. (Received November 5.)

Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE: The envoy of the United States at Berlin proposed, by a note bearing date of April 22, 1891, in connection with the recently introduced reform of German patent legislation, an arrangement between the Empire and the United States of America for the reciprocal protection of patents.

Presuming that this proposition, although it expressly mentioned patents for inventions only, was not, and could not have been, designed to exclude other industrial rights from being regulated by treaty, the Imperial Government welcomes it with satisfaction.

The Imperial Government is consequently prepared, in compliance with the suggestion of the Government of the United States of America, to conclude an arrangement with it for the reciprocal protection of patents, samples, and trade-marks, for which arrangement the principles of the union might, in the opinion of the Imperial Government, serve as a model, so far as this is allowed by the legal institutions and economical interests in the territories of both parties.

I have the honor to inclose six copies of the proposals made by the Imperial Government for the conclusion of an arrangement, together with a few explanatory remarks, and I would at the same time express the hope that these proposals may be taken as a basis for subsequent negotiations.

In case the United States Government may desire to familiarize itself with the German laws bearing upon this matter, I have the honor, in each additional inclosure, to transmit a copy of the law for the protection of trade-marks, dated November 30, 1874; a copy of the law concerning the rights of originators in patterns and models, dated January 11, 1876; a copy of the patent law of April 7, 1891; and, finally, a copy of the law relative to the protection of utility patterns, dated June 1, 1891.

I have the honor to request that I may, as speedily as practicable, be acquainted with the views of the Government of the United States of America as regards these propositions, and I avail myself of this occasion to offer you, Mr. Secretary of State, a renewed assurance of my most distinguished consideration.


Secretary of State of the United States, Washington.

[Inclosure I.-Translation.]

Proposed arrangement between Germany and the United States of America for the Reciprocal Protection of patents, patterns, and trade-marks.


The subjects or citizens of each of the contracting parties shall enjoy the same rights in the territory of the other party that are there enjoyed by its own subjects or citizens as regards the protection of inventions, patterns, and models, and of trademarks, firms, and names.

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