Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 269.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction No. 101, of February 14, inclosing a copy of a letter from the Remington Typewriter Company asking for information about legislation regarding patents and copyrights in China.

In reply I have the honor to report that the American commercial treaty of 1903 contains clauses in which China promises to enact legislation for the protection of trade-marks, patents, and copyrights.

When the time came to carry out these stipulations the Chinese Government decided and announced that the question of trade-marks would be taken up first, and that when regulations had been issued which were found to be suitable by experience they would be used for a basis for measures for the protection of patents and copyrights. In accordance with this decision, after much previous consultation with foreign representatives, a system of trade-mark regulations was promulgated by imperial decree to go into effect the 23d of October, 1904. This aroused strong opposition among the commercial communities in the treaty ports, with the result that some of the powers, in joint action, exerted such pressure that the rules were withdrawn a few days after they went into operation, and protracted negotiations were entered upon in the hope of arriving at a solution which would suit all interests concerned.

These negotiations are now practically finished, and the approval of the different governments has been obtained for the very elaborate system which has been evolved. The only cause for further delay is the uncertainty as to whether the American Government will withdraw its objection to section 25, a point on which I can give no information until the answer to my No. 160, of December 1, is received.

If this system goes into force and proves acceptable and effective, patents and copyrights will in their turn occupy the attention of the Chinese Government and the foreign representatives.

At present, though there are no laws regarding patents and copyrights, it is, and has been for many years, the practice for local authorities to give protection to patents and copyrights which have been registered by the owners at their respective consulates.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.