Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Hay.

No. 671.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 454 of February 16 last, with which you inclose a copy of a letter received by the Department from Messrs. Briesen & Knauth, of New York, in which they complain of the trade-mark law of this Republic as it applies to the registration by those doing business here of trade-marks copyrighted in other countries by the manufacturer.

The practice complained of by the Department’s correspondents not only prevails here now, but has done so for a long time past.

The reason the practice has grown up here usually lies in the negligence shown by our manufacturers with regard to having their trademarks entered in the Government Patent Office here in their own names, either before they make any sales here, or, at the time their goods are first sent here. They appear to give no particular attention to the subject until they desire to sell a new customer here, or to change their agency from one firm to another; then they find, in many cases, that the firm that has been handling their goods here has had the manufacturer’s trade-mark registered under its (the selling firm’s) own name in order to protect and hold the trade on the goods in question by making it impossible for any competing house here to sell the same goods under the manufacturer’s trade-mark.

To my personal knowledge this has occurred here with several well-known marks of goods. I therefore conclude either that our manufacturers do not seem willing to go to the expense incident to the registration of their trade-marks here, or that they do not properly realize the great advantage it will be to them to control their own trade-marks from the beginning of their business with this and other countries. If they appreciated well the latter I feel sure they would provide in their contracts with those representing them here and in other countries that their trade-marks should be registered in their (the manufacturers’) own name.

A strong effort is now being made here by manufacturers from Europe to correct the blemishes apparent in the Argentine trade-mark laws, inasmuch as they suffer from the operation of the law to a greater extent than do our own manufacturers.

Owing to the injury being done by imitations, etc., of trade-marks to many lines of French manufacture, the French legation has been for a year interested in this effort.

The question will be again brought forward in the coming Congress, and I some time ago said to the French minister that I would gladly do what I might be able to do to have the law modified during this year’s Congress.

For the present the best course our manufacturers can pursue is to take the requisite steps to register our trade-marks here in their own name.

I shall be happy to render anyone any service I can in any such case.

I have, etc.,

William I. Buchanan.