File No. 811.54262/169

The Ambassador in Spain ( Willard ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1159

Sir: Referring to the Embassy’s despatch No. 1060, of January 15, 1918,1 and the Department’s telegram No. 950, of March 11, 1918,1 concerning “Trading with the Enemy Act,” which was transmitted to the German Government through the Spanish Embassy in Berlin, I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of the reply received from the German Foreign Office to which a copy of the Reichs-Gesetzblatt No. 2, is attached.

I have [etc.]

Joseph E. Willard

The German Foreign Office to the Spanish Embassy at Berlin

No. 11M214–28947

Note Verbale

The Foreign Office has the honor to forward herewith to the Royal Spanish Embassy, in reply to note verbale Am. Div. 232/1371 of the 14th of last month, Reichs-Gesetzblatt No. 2 of 1918,1 containing three notices of the Chancellor of the Empire of the 3d of last month, viz.:

  • No. 6198 concerning the extension of the period of priority in the United States of America;
  • No. 6199 concerning the mitigations in the matter of the protection of industrial property rights in the United States of America;
  • No. 6200 concerning the industrial property rights of citizens of the United States of America.

[Page 332]

The effect of the notice issued under No. 6198 is that the extension of the priority period in article 4 of the revised Paris convention for the protection of industrial property of June 2, 1911, provided for subjects of the German Empire, holds good in favor of citizens of the United States to the same extent as the American act of October 6, 1917, allows in section 10, second sentence of paragraph (a), enemies to file applications for extension of time.

Under the second notice, No. 6199, citizens of the United States enjoy, with regard to their German patents, utility models and trademarks, the advantages that flow from the ordinance of the Bundesrat of September 10, 1914 (Reichs-Gesetzblatt, p. 403), and from the ordinances of March 31, 1915 (Reichs-Gesetzblatt, p. 212), and of April 13, 1916 (Reichs-Gesetzblatt, p. 278); citizens of the United States of America will also, in the matter of the mitigations introduced by reason of the war, receive the same treatment as the Germans and enjoy in Germany advantages similar to those that are set forth in section 10, paragraph (a), sentence 2 of the American act of October 6, 1917.

The right of American citizens to file applications for protection of all kinds of property, to pay dues, to appoint and remove attorneys is not affected by the war. There is no occasion or legal ground for expressly conferring that right upon them as is done in paragraph (a), sentence 1, of the above-cited section 10. They would only have lost that right if it had been taken from them by a special order. Such an order has not been issued.

Special measures for the protection of the patents, trade-marks, designs, and copyrights of citizens of the United States of America have not been adopted in the German Empire.

The question as to whether Germans may use during the war the patents, trade-marks, or copyrights of American citizens is to be answered in the affirmative after the manner of the American provisions in paragraph (c) of the above-cited section 10.

The notice issued under No. 6200 bears upon this point. No use has yet been made of the power therein granted to cancel or restrict, in the public interest, the patents, utility models, and trade-marks owned by citizens of the United States.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.