No. 532.
Mr. Bell to Mr. Bayard.

No. 249.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s No. 93 of the 13th ultimo, covering a copy of a letter addressed to the Department by John H. Flagg, esq., attorney for the Devoe Manufacturing Company of New York, in relation to the alleged action of Messr. Engelhard & Co., of Java, in fraudulently filing the Devoe Company’s trade-mark for registration in the Dutch East Indies.

In accordance with your instruction, I at once brought the subject to the attention of His Majesty’s Government in a note addressed to his excellency the minister of foreign affairs, a copy of which is herewith inclosed and marked No. 1.

In this connection I beg to inclose herewith, as of possible interest to the Department, a clipping from the London Times of June 8 in relation to British trade-marks in the Netherlands Indies.

I have also to report that the journals of Batavia of the 14th May, recently received here, represent that the j udicial authorities of Batavia have denied the application of Engelhard & Co. to file for registration the trade-marks used by the Devoe Manufacturing: Company.

[Page 902]

This decision is represented to have been prompted by the consideration that the marks or brand used by the Devoe Company can not be recognized as a trade-mark.

It is also represented that for the same reason the Devoe Manufacturing Company will be denied the right to register the brand as a trademark.

I have as yet no official information upon the subject.

I have, etc.,

Isaac Bell, Jr.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 249.]

Mr. Bell to Mr. Karnebeek.

Sir: I have the honor to apprise your excellency that I have been instructed by the Government of the United States to bring the following facts to the attention of His Majesty’s Government, and to request that the necessary steps may be taken for the protection of the rights of the Devoe Manufacturing Company.

The Devoe Manufacturing Company is a corporation existing under the laws of the! State of New York, whose business is the refining and packing of petroleum wholly for export. That for many years it has exported annually a very large proportion of all the refined oil of every description consumed in the Dutch East Indies. That during the entire period covered by the exportation s the Devoe Company has had its own exclusive trade-mark or brand legally authorized in the United States.

Owing to the high grade of oil known under the brand used by the Devoe Company, it has become well known to consumers, and is in greater demand than any other brand known to the trade. It appears that in February last that the firm of Engle-hard & Co., of Java, filed the Devoe Company’s trade-mark for registration in the colonies without the knowledge, consent, or authority of the Devoe Company,

It is represented that Englehard & Co. claim that their action was authorized by a recent law of the Netherlands Government (Staatsblad, 109), which appears to have been officially promulgated in the colonies June 8, 1885, and which Englehard & Go. assert gives them the right to register the trade-mark of any other person as their own, even without the authority of such person, and notwithstanding his protest against such action.

The motive of the said Englehard & Co. in thus seizing upon and attempting to register the trade-mark of the Devoe Company clearly appears to be for the purpose and with the sole object of depriving the lawfulowners thereof of the right to its use, and to exclude from importation into the colonies the brand of oil covered thereby, the said Englehard & Co. being interested in another brand of oil, which they desire to promote by this bold proceeding.

Should the effort of Englehard & Co. prove successful, the business of the Devoe Company, which has taken years to establish, will be irreparably ruined, as any agent of that company who attempted to sell its brand of oil is liable to fine and imprisonment.

Such a result is so manifestly repugnant to the commercial interests of the two countries that it is believed that the construction given to the new statute by Englehard &, Co. was never contemplated by the law-making power of His Majesty’s Government. If Englehard & Co. are permitted to seize upon and appropriate to their own use, to the exclusion of the legitimate owner, a well-established trade-mark, the trade will have no protection against fraud, and will be placed entirely at the mercy of a monopoly, which will deprive the lawful owners of the valuable benefits, advantage, and commercial facilities which rightfully belong to them. I venture, therefore, to request that His Majesty’s Government will take such steps as may avert the impending injury to the commerce of the two countries.

I seize, etc.,

Isaac Bell, Jr.

(Inclosure 2 in No. 249.)

British trade-marks in the Netherlands Indies.

Her Majesty’s consul at Batavia reports that in certain instances unauthorized persons have registered and used in the Netherlands Indies trade-marks the property of British firms. To prevent these proceedings Her Majesty’s consul recommends British [Page 903] owners to empower their agents in the Netherlands Indies to register on their behalf such trade-marks as they wish protected, and to protest against the registration, if it has already been effected, by others. The documents necessary are as follows:

Power of attorney in favor of the owner’s agents, authorizing them to register their trade-marks and to protest against others registering it. Power of attorney must first be legalized by a Dutch consular official in the United Kingdom, and afterward by the foreign and colonial ministers at The Hague.
Certificate proving the ownership of the trade-mark, and that it is duly registered in England.;
Three copies of any trade-mark the owner may wish to have registered, with particulars of the class of goods on which same is used. Protests against registration have to be lodged within a year of the original registration.