Mr. Uhl to Mr. Alexander.
Washington , May 16, 1894 .
Sir: Messrs. Richards & Co., patent attorneys of New York and Washington, have lately represented to the Department that their application, through their local representative at Athens, Mr. Constantino D. Ractivanda, on behalf of the Edison United Phonograph Company, for the registration of their trade-mark in Greece, had been refused by the court on the ground that there was no special convention between the United States and Greece.
It is contended by Messrs. Richards & Co. that the Greek law concerning the registration of trade-marks provides that they shall be registered as the property of citizens of foreign countries, where such foreign country grants reciprocal privileges to the subjects of Greece; and they cite the fact that those subjects are privileged to effect the registration of their trade-marks in the United States in virtue of the provisions of the act of Congress approved March 3, 1881, entitled “An act to authorize the registration of trade-marks and protect the same.” (Stat. L., vol. 21, p. 502.) Accordingly they ask that you formally bring this law to the notice of the Greek authorities, “to the end that the objections may be withdrawn and the trade-marks of our citizens may be registered upon proper application.”
Without more precise information than the Department possesses at present concerning the Greek law or the disposition of that Government in the premises, I am unable to instruct you formally to comply with the wishes of Messrs. Richards & Co., who, although representing in this instance a particular firm, speak generally for the interests of American manufacturers.
You may, however, invite the attention of the minister for foreign affairs to the subject, and at the same time suggest that in order to remove all possible doubt and correct any defects that may exist the Government of the United States is willing to enter into immediate negotiations looking to the conclusion of a trade-mark convention, a draft of which I inclose, and which you are directed to submit for the consideration of the Greek Government, should it express a willingness to enter upon such negotiations. This draft embraces the ideas of the United States Patent Officers largely framed after our convention with Denmark of June 15, 1892, and it is hoped that it will prove acceptable to the Greek Government.
A full power will be sent to you at an early date authorizing you to negotiate, conclude, and sign a trade-mark convention; meanwhile you will give the subject earnest attention and may transmit hither copies of the laws of Greece relating to trade-marks; and in this connection your attention is directed to instruction No. 7, of February 16, 1892, to your predecessor, forwarding copies of the laws of the United States on that subject.
I am, etc.,