Minister Conger to the Secretary of State.

No. 1553.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose copy of correspondence with the foreign office concerning the putting in force of the provisions of our treaty in regard to copyrights, trade-marks, and patents, which is self-explanatory.

After waiting a reasonable time, if I am not informed of the completion of its work by the board of commerce, I shall write the foreign office again, and at the same time if a trade-mark should be presented for registration, or any work to be copyrighted, I shall ask that some temporary provisions be made to fit the case.

I have the honor, etc.,

E. H. Conger.


Mr. Conger to Prince Ch’ing, March 12, 1904.
Foreign office to Mr. Conger, March 26, 1904.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Conger to the Prince of Ch’ing.

Your Imperial Highness: I have the honor to remind your imperial highness that the new commercial treaty between the United States and China, signed on the 8th of October last, and ratifications of which have been duly exchanged, is now of force, and that Articles IX, X, and XI provide that the Government of [Page 235]China shall fully protect any citizen, firm, or corporation of the United States in the exclusive use in China of any lawful trade-marks, to the exclusive use of which in the United States they are already entitled or which they have adopted and used, or intend to adopt and use as soon as registered, for exclusive use within the Empire of China; and that it will establish a patent office and adopt special laws with regard to inventions and issue certificates of protection, valid for a term of years, to citizens of the United States on all their patents issued by the United States in regard to articles the sale of which is lawful in China, which do not infringe on previous inventions of Chinese subjects; and that it will give full protection, in the same manner in which it agrees to protect trademarks, to all citizens of the United States who are authors, designers, or proprietors of any book, map, print, or engraving especially prepared for the use and education of the Chinese people, or translation into Chinese of any book, in the exclusive right to print and sell such book, map, print, engraving, or translation in the Empire of China during ten years from the date of registration.

I have the honor to inform your imperial highness that I am continually in receipt of inquiries regarding these matters from citizens of the United States, and I have to request that your highness will inform me what procedure it is necessary for Americans to take in order to secure the promised protection of their trade-marks, patents, and copyrights.

Trusting that your imperial highness will give this matter your early attention and favor me with a reply, I avail myself of the opportunity to renew to your imperial highness the assurance of my highest consideration.

E. H. Conger,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States.

To His Imperial Highness Prince of Ch’ing,
President of the Board of Foreign Affairs.

[Inclosure 2.]

The foreign office to Mr. Conger.

On the 26th day of last month (March 12, 1904) we had the honor to receive a note from your excellency, saying:

“Whereas the Chinese-American commercial treaty has already been ratified and exchanged, it should be put into full operation. It is clearly stated in the 9th, 10th, and 11th articles of said treaty that duly registered trade-marks and all new inventions shall be protected, and it is agreed to establish a special office to deal with such matters, and to decide upon special rules for inventions and the issuance of patents. Books and maps, and printed or engraved matters as well, are all to be protected in the same manner as trademarks. The treaty calls for complete protection of all such rights. The United States minister has received inquiries in regard to the above matters from an American merchant, and it therefore becomes his duty to write and ask how this protection is to be afforded and the benefits derived. He hopes that the matter will be given immediate consideration, so that he may expect a reply at an early date.”

On the receipt of the above we at once addressed a communication to the board of commerce for their information. They have discussed the matter and now reply as follows:

“The board of commerce, having special charge of trade affairs, and being just now in the beginning of its work, has a great many matters on hand. In regard to registering trade-marks, making rules for the protection of new inventions, books, etc., the board is just now considering satisfactory regulations and compiling specific rules. As soon as the rules have been drawn up in order, the board will memorialize the Throne asking for their official publication. Then the foreign board may communicate by dispatch with the foreign ministers of the various countries, who may, in turn, instruct the foreign merchants to act accordingly.”

Such is the report of the board of commerce; so it seems that the said board are at present just deliberating upon satisfactory rules, and that they intend to memorialize the Throne asking for official publication of the same.

[Page 236]

We beg to state that as soon as we have been notified of this memorial we will again communicate with your excellency giving detailed information. As in duty bound, however, we send this answer first for your excellency’s information.

We take the opportunity to wish you daily happiness.

Cards inclosed.