The American Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Soong)9
My Dear Mr. Minister: Sometime ago, I was informed by my Government that inquiries were being received from American companies in regard to the re-registration of trade marks in China under present war-time conditions; that forms for re-registration of trade marks in China are not available in the United States; and that, moreover, [Page 987]many American firms that were formerly engaged in business in China do not now have agents or representatives here who might file the necessary papers for re-registration on behalf of their principals.
Under date of February 23d, the Commercial Attaché of the Embassy addressed the Director of the National Trade Mark Bureau in regard to this matter. A reply was received, dated March 9th, stating that the Trade Mark law provides that foreign merchants who do not reside or have business offices in China may not make application for the registration of trade marks except through resident agents holding power of attorney, and that the renewal of registrations should be treated in accordance with that provision of the law.
You will recall that I mentioned this matter to you in conversation on April 25th. Following that conversation I inquired of my Government as to the special war-time procedure, if any, being followed by the American and other governments in regard to this matter.
I am now in receipt of information from the Department of State10 to the effect that under present practice in the United States, if the proprietor of a registered trade mark has not been able as a consequence of the war to comply fully with all prescribed requirements for the renewal of registration but has, for example, made payment for re-registration, such payment would be considered as evidence of intention to renew the registration pending the receipt of other documents which the Patent Office would request the proprietor of the trade mark to forward.
In Great Britain, I am informed, under the Patents, Designs, Copyright and Trade Marks Emergency Act of 1939, the time for fulfilling requirements prescribed by law may be extended if, by reason of circumstances arising from the existence of the war, the interested party is unable to comply with the usual requirements.
And in Brazil, as another example, under a decree law of April 6, 1942, the requirements concerning the time for completion of formalities, including the payment of taxes, are suspended until the termination of the war.
In bringing this information to your attention, may I request that consideration be given by the appropriate authorities of your Government to the adoption of measures which will give a reasonable measure of relief and protection to American holders of trade mark rights in China who, due to the wartime conditions, may not be able fully and punctually to comply with the precise re-registration requirements for the protection of such rights.
I am [etc.]