Page images

that she must therefore be prepared to secure at all costs the safety of Korea, is well known to the powers interested in the affairs of the Far East.

To Russia, who recognized the large development of commercial and industrial enterprises of Japan in Korea by an international compact as far back as 1898, this state of affairs must be better known than to any other power, and it can not be a matter of surprise to her that Japan finds it impossible to acquiesce in an exceedingly abnormal and precarious condition which would inevitably result from Russia's remaining indefinitely in the flank of Korea, which is an important outpost of Japan's line of defense, and from the neutralization of a considerable territory of Korea comprising about one-third of the whole peninsula.

The Imperial Government are enabled by these considerations to still entertain the hope that the Russian Government will find it possible to reconsider their position, as they have just been invited to do so by the Imperial Government.

In making the foregoing communication you will express the hope of the Imperial Government that Japan's course of action, which is invariably faithful to the cause of peace and solicitous to respect the legitimate interests of all other nations, may be appreciated by the Government of the United States.

Mr. Griscom to Mr. Hay.

No. 31.]

UNITED STATES LEGATION, Tokyo, December 24, 1903. SIR: I have the honor to confirm my telegram of the 18th instant. In an interview on the 17th instant the minister for foreign affairs informed me that he had received the long-expected reply of Russia to the proposals made by Japan in July last for an agreement in regard to the situation in Manchuria and Korea. He said that the reply is entirely unsatisfactory to Japan in view of the fact that it treats solely of Korea and ignores the suggestions made in regard to Manchuria. As the minister stated, it is practically a flat refusal to treat with Japan on the Manchurian question. He gave me no idea of the position Russia has taken with regard to Korea. I may mention, however, that the British minister tells me he has seen the reply and that Russia offers to concede that Japan has some special rights in Korea and proposes a neutral zone of territory between the thirty-ninth parallel and the Yalu River; the Japanese to refrain from endeavoring to extend their sphere of influence north of that parallel, and Russian troops to remain west and north of the Yalu.

However that may be, the foreign minister informed me that the treatment of the question in the reply is not satisfactory to his Government, as the original basis of negotiations proposed by Japan is entirely lost sight of. The two points upon which Japan wishes to insist are that the integrity of the Chinese Empire be maintained and that Russia recognize the rights which Japan has acquired from China by treaty or convention. These points, declared the minister, are of vital import and no negotiations which ignored them could be satisfactory to Japan. In conclusion he stated that his Government would

refer the reply back to the Russian Government and ask for a reconsideration upon the basis originally proposed by Japan.


* *

The Japanese press is almost unanimously clamoring for war, but there is every evidence that the Government has the situation well in hand. The foreign minister said to me that it would probably be a month before Russia would be heard from again, and he spoke in general as if the prospect offered a vista of negotiations rather than of war. I have, etc., LLOYD C. GRISCOM.

Mr. Griscom to Mr. Hay.



Tokyo, December 31, 1903.

(Mr. Griscom reports that he has to-day been informed by the Japanese minister for foreign affairs that the Japanese minister at Washington has presented to Mr. Hay a full account of the negotiations between Japan and Russia up to the 21st of December, when the Japanese Government referred back the reply of Russia, with a request for reconsideration. The minister for foreign affairs says the situation is extremely critical, and that the outcome depends entirely on the position Russia will take. He says also that Japan will not wait more than a reasonable time for a reply, as negotiations must not be protracted to the military advantage of Russia. the Government of the United States appreciate the moderation and patience with which Japan has conducted the negotiations and repressed the public clamor for war. The whole tenor of his conversation implies that war is now almost inevitable.

He is most anxious that

Mr. Griscom states that he has reliable information to the effect that the Emperor's advisers among the elder statesmen have changed within a week from a peaceable attitude to a firm stand, which the cabinet all along seem to have favored. When, on December 21, Russia was asked to reconsider her reply, the intentions of the Japanese Government were quite pacific. The council of ministers and privy council practically determined at the last meeting that if a satisfactory reply was not received from Russia by about January 4, an ultimatum would be sent fixing a definite time within which a reply would be expected. At the same meeting an emergency ordinance was passed authorizing the government to make almost unlimited expenditure for war purposes. War seems very imminent unless Russia recedes from her position.)


Mr. Hay to Mr. Griscom.

No. 14.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 2, 1903.

SIR: I transmit copies of a letter from the G. & J. Tire Company, and its inclosure, addressed to the Imperial consulate of Japan at Chicago, protesting against the copyrighting of their trade-mark in Japan by Rikicki Sumi, a bicycle dealer of Osaka.

The company expresses the hope that the Department will take some steps to protect its interests in Japan.

You are instructed to investigate the matter and to furnish the Department with a report thereon.

I am, etc.,



G. & J. Tire Company to Mr. Hay.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., August 28, 1903.

SIR: It has just come to our notice that there is in existence a law in Japan and some other foreign countries which permits anyone to make application for a trademark whether or not he manufactures or controls the goods covered by the trademark, and we find ourselves in an awkward situation in regard to Japanese trade by this same patent regulation.

In the United States words or combination of ordinary letters are not patentable and we were under the impression that the name of our tire ("G. & J.") could not be copyrighted in other countries. We inclose copy of letter which we have to-day written to the Japanese consul in Chicago. It is certainly an outrage that an insignificant bicycle dealer is to be permitted to blackmail the whole American cycle trade in the manner in which Rikicki Sumi proposes doing, and we hope that it will be possible for some steps to be taken to protect this company and the other companies that are affected in the present instance.

We shall esteem your reply and any action you can take to assist us in this matter. Yours, very truly,

C. H. SEMPLE, Secretary.


G. & J. Tire Company to Imperial consulate of Japan.

AUGUST 28, 1903. GENTLEMEN: We are just in receipt of advice from one of our esteemed customers in Japan that Rikicki Sumi, bicycle dealer, of Osaka, Japan, has registered as a trademark on bicycle tires the name which we have used for years, "G. & J.," in the Official Gazette 6023, July 30, 1903, Patent Office No. 19792.

We were not aware that a combination of letters, such as "G. & J.," could be copyrighted in Japan, as nothing of that sort is capable of being copyrighted in the United States. This information, therefore, comes to us as a surprise. We have a very extensive trade on our goods in Japan, and if we are to be prevented from shipping our goods into Japan except through this small dealer, Mr. Sumi, being compelled to discontinue our connections with the several large and reputable jobbing houses who have handled our goods in the past, it is not only putting us to a great disadvantage but is also unfair to the houses that are pushing and advertising our goods. We should like you to advise us if there is not some action we can take to obtain justice in this matter.

This same man, Sumi, has registered the following trade-marks of popular American goods:

**20th Century," for lamps.

"Queen," for lamps.

"Two wheels and two rings," for tires (Dunlop mark).

"U. S.," for wrenches

"New Departure," for bells (

Jno. H. Graham & Co., 113 Chambers street, selling agents.

As his action in this matter strikes us as being nothing more or less than a theft, we hardly think it possible that the Japanese Government can stand back of him in a matter of this kind.

We shall greatly appreciate any information and suggestions that you can give us.

Yours, very truly,

C. H. S., Secretary.

No. 17.]

Mr. Griscom to Mr. Hay.

Tokyo, October 17, 1903.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction No. 14 of the 2d ultimo directing me to investigate and report upon the protest of the G. & J. Tire Company against the copyrighting of their trade-mark in Japan by Rikicki Sumi, a bicycle dealer of Osaka.

As mentioned in the company's letter to the Japanese consulate in Chicago, Rikicki Sumi has in fact registered as a trade-mark for bicycle tires "G. & J." in roman letters, and the registration was published as No. 19792 in the Official Gazette of July 30, 1903. The rights to use this well-known American trade-mark in Japan thus belong exclusively to Rikicki Sumi unless the cancellation of his registration can be brought about.

Subject to certain conditions, anyone may register any trade-mark to use for his goods unless such trade-mark has already been registered by another in the Japanese patent office.

Among trade-marks which may not be registered, according to Article II, of the trade-mark law, are:

Article II, 4. Those which are exactly similar to or resemble one already in use for the same article by other persons, or one which has not for more than one year lost the effect of registration.

Article II, 5. Those which are exactly similar to or resemble one in use by another person prior to the coming into force of these regulations.

Article II, 6. Those which show the common name of an article or its place of production, or which show its grade, quality, or shape by customary commercial letters, diagrams, or marks, or which mention commonly used names of persons, companies, or partnerships, or business names by common type of letters.

With reference to Article II, clause 5, Mr. W. Silver Hall, the bestknown patent agent in Japan, says, in his Manual of Japanese Patent, Trade-Marks, and Designs Law:

Apparently this would prevent A from registering a trade-mark similar to a foreign trade-mark previously known and used in Japan as distinguishing goods imported by B; but in several test cases, one of which was carried to the supreme court, in which the plaintiff B applied for the cancellation of a trade-mark registered by the defendant A on the ground that he, B, had used it for many years to distinguish goods of the same class which he had been in the habit of importing, and which were extensively known and used in Japan, it has been decided that no such protection against infringement of a trade-mark of this class can be granted, nor can it be recognized in any way unless it has been actually registered in the Japanese patent bureau, and in fact the continued use of such a mark by B renders him liable to prosecution for infringing A's registered trade-mark.

As there are many such trade-marks which were known and used in Japan by foreigners before they were entitled to claim registration, these decisions are of considerable importance and emphasize the necessity of registering a foreign trade-mark before it becomes known and valuable in Japan.

Mr. Hall further sets forth that the decisions of the Japanese patent tribunal have been explicit that Article II, clause 5, could only refer to trade-marks registered here, although that class of marks was already fully covered by clause 4 of the same article. Such has been the interpretation of the law. Redress under that section would seem to have proved thus far unobtainable.

[ocr errors]

The trade-mark "G. & J." is perhaps debarred from registration under Article II, clause 6, as among those which mention business names by common type of letters."

Any registration may be annulled if within three years it be proved to have been illegal, and the only course which suggests itself to me would be for the G. & J. Company to authorize an agent in Japan to apply to the patent bureau for the cancellation of Rikicki Sumi's registration, taking the matter into the law courts if thought advisable. The Japanese patent bureau recognizes only the legally authorized agents of interested parties. This legation can not represent the G. & J. Tire Company, of Indianapolis, vis-a-vis that bureau, and it is presumed that the Department does not desire the legation to take up the matter until the G. & J. Company have exhausted the legal remedies which they have directly available.

I have, etc.,

FR 1903



« PreviousContinue »