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The American proceeding conflicts not only with the general principles of modern international law, but also with the treaties of 1799 and 1828 in force between the German Empire and the United States, which aim to protect the property of peaceable citizens even in the event of a war and spare them its burdens as far as possible.
The German Government, therefore, enters the most emphatic protest against the treatment which the American Government has accorded to private German property in the Philippines and holds it wholly responsible for all damages resulting therefrom.
The Foreign Office would be thankful to the Swiss Legation if it would kindly make the foregoing known to its Government and ask it to telegraph the protest to the Government at Washington through the Swiss Legation there.
BERLIN, September 30, 1918.
File No. 763.72113/822
WASHINGTON, January 2, 1919.
[Received January 4.] Sır: I have your letter of the 27th ultimo, signed by Mr. Phillips Assistant Secretary, your file So 763.72113/746, enclosing protest from the German Government against the treatment which this Government is alleged to have accorded German private property in the Philippines.
In reply thereto I beg to say, no property belonging to German citizens in the Philippine Islands has been disposed of except where it came strictly within the provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act. German subjects residing in the Philippine Islands, who have not been interned, will receive their property or the value thereof as soon as the same has been segregated from that of their German associates and partners residing in Germany. In cases where property has been taken, in which Germans residing in the Philippine Islands have been partners, the German partner himself has generally applied for and been given a license by the War Trade Board to liquidate the firm's interest and to turn over to the Alien Property Custodian the part or value thereof belonging to the enemy under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Several German subjects have been deported from the Philippine Islands by the Governor General, by virtue of his inherent powers, as undesirable residents.
We have treated the enemy property in the Philippine Islands in exactly the same way as the enemy property in the United States
Letter of Dec. 27, 1918, not printed; for protest of German Government see enclosure to Swiss Minister's note of Nov. 27, supra.
has been treated; that is to say, we are administering the same, and when it seems advisable to convert the same into money by liquidation or sale, that has been done.1 Respectfully yours,
A. MITCHELL PALMER
ENEMY INTEREST IN PATENTS, COPYRIGHTS, AND TRADE-MARKS File No. 811.54262/78a
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Sharp) ?
WASHINGTON, April 21, 1917, 5 p. m. 2193. The Department has under consideration the question as to whether it might be possible to effect an arrangement with the German Government, through appropriate channels, respecting patents, copyrights, and trade-marks, such arrangement to deal with the following matters: permission for the nationals of each country to file patent applications in the other, whatever may be their residence the payment of fees required to preserve patent rights in Germany; regulations as to manufacturing of inventions required in some cases to preserve patent rights; the payment of royalties by the nationals of one country to the nationals of another. The Department desires that you inquire of the French Government as to whether they have made any arrangement with enemy countries with a view to securing to their nationals the right to communicate with enemy nationals and to take the proper and necessary steps in connection with transactions of this character, and as to whether permission has been granted to French citizens to take such steps. Call attention in detail to all above-mentioned matters.
Please report promptly to Department, by telegraph, any information you may be able to obtain.
File No. 811.54262/91
The Ambassador in France (Sharp) to the Secretary of State
PARIS, May 8, 1917.
[Received 7.30 p. m.] 2081. Department's 2193, April 21. French Government reports no agreement exists between France and Germany and Austria
1 This letter appears not to have been communicated to the Swiss Minister.
2 The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, to the Ambassador in Great Britain (No. 4742). (File No. 811.54262/78b.)
Hungary concerning patents and trade-marks, war having severed all relations which international unions and private conventions had established between the belligerent countries. The law of May 27, 1915 (see my despatches Nos. 5195, February 23,4 and 5341, April 13, 1917 1) prescribes regulation to be followed in France regarding patents and trade-marks of enemy subjects. Article 6 of this law allows Frenchmen and enemy subjects to fulfill all formalities and all obligations with a view to safeguarding their industrial property rights. This article authorizes payment of royalties.
File No. 102.62/50
The Department of State to the Swiss Legation
MEMORANDUM The Department of State returns, herewith, the patent documents received with the memorandum of the Legation of Switzerland (X-c-19), Department of German Interests, dated May 9, 1917, and states that because of the state of war existing between the United States and Germany, the Department cannot transmit to the Commissioner of Patents papers relating to the patent applications of German subjects.
WASHINGTON, May 18, 1917.
Proclamation No. 1372, May 24, 1917, Authorizing Owners of Letters
Patent Granted by the German Empire to Make Payments Required for Preservation of Their Rights
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WHEREAS, the laws of the German Empire provide that letters patent granted or issued to citizens of other countries shall lapse unless certain taxes, annuities or fees are paid within stated periods;
AND WHEREAS, the interests of the citizens of the United States in such letters patent are of great value, so that it is important that such payments should be made in order to preserve their rights;
Now, THEREFORE, I, WOODROW WILSON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the powers vested in me as such, hereby declare and proclaim that citizens of the United States owning letters patent granted or issued by the German Empire are hereby authorized and permitted to make payment of any tax, annuity or fee which may be required by the laws of the German Empire for the preservation of their rights in such letters patent.
* Not printed.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. DONE at the city of Washington, this 24th day of May, in the year
of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Seventeen and of the [SEAL] Independence of the United States, the One Hundred and Forty-first.
WOODROW WILSON By the President: ROBERT LANSING,
Secretary of State.
File No. 811.54262/128a
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain
WASHINGTON, June 16, 1917, 4 p. m. 5009. On May 24, the President issued a proclamation permitting American citizens owning letters patent granted or issued by the German Empire to make payment of any tax, annuity, or fee which may be required by the laws of the German Empire for the preservation of their rights in such letters patent.
It is presumed that American owners of German patents will take advantage of the President's authorization by sending funds for payment of taxes to Germany through correspondents in neutral contiguous countries. Please bring the matter to the attention of the British Government and request assurances that such funds will not be detained by the censors.
File No. 811.542/76
T'he Attorney General (Gregory) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, July 2, 1917.
[Received July 5.] Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of June 27, 1917, enclosing a copy of a letter from Murray & Murray, patent attorneys, with reference to the payment of fees and annuities on patents in Germany.
1 The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, to the Ambassador in France (No. 2361). ? Not printed.
This is a matter on which I have already communicated with your Department, pointing out the necessity for some arrangement being made for the transmission of funds through the mails or otherwise.
The statement of Messrs. Murray & Murray that the Department has issued an order to banks, trust companies, etc., to refuse the sale of drafts or transmission of funds whose ultimate destination is Germany, Austria and Hungary is not strictly accurate. The Department has already authorized the United States Attorney in New York to inform parties desiring to transmit funds for the specific purpose referred to in the President's proclamation that the Department would raise no objection to such transmission.
Strictly speaking, of course, this Department has no jurisdiction at all in the matter, since, until the Trading with the Enemy bill passes, the transmission of funds is not a criminal offense. Respectfully,
For the Attorney General,
CHARLES WARREN Assistant Attorney General
File No. 811.54262/134
LONDON, July 11, 1917, noon.
[Received July 11, 9.35 a. m.] 6705. Your 5009, June 16, 4 p. m. Foreign Office informs me that remittances sent to enemy countries for the preservation of patent rights are allowed to go forward to their destination according to the existing practice of the censorship and that this procedure will be followed in respect to the remittances which you mentioned.
File No. 811.54262/137
The Ambassador in France (Sharp) to the Secretary of State
PARIS, July 25, 1917, " p. m.
[Received July 27, 8.53 a. m.] 2326. Your 2361, June 16.1 Have today received verbal assurances from Foreign Office that remittances for patent rights will be permitted to pass without detention by the censors.
* See footnote 1, ante, p. 321.