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PATENTS AND COPYRIGHT IN CHINA.

The Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill. No. 101.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 14, 1906. Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter from the Remington Typewriter Company asking what are the present regulations regarding patents and copyrights in China, and what may be proposed for the future.

The department would be pleased to receive from you such information on the subject as will enable it to answer these inquiries. I am, etc.,

ELIHU Root.

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State. No. 269.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, March 27, 1906. 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the treaty ports, with the result that some of the powers, in joint action, exerted such pressure that the rules were withdrawn a few days after they went into operation, and protracted negotiations were entered upon in the hope of arriving at a solution which would suit all interests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.

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

[Extract.)

No. 325.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, China, June 12, 1906. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the department's instruction No. 137 of April 19a inclosing a letter from Mr. Leonard E. Reibold, of the American Book Company, making sug. gestions with regard to a copyright convention between the United States and China “ to replace the existing convention, which merely gives copyright protection for a period of ten years only to such American publications as may be specially prepared for the education of the Chinese.”

There is no such existing convention. Article XI of our commercial treaty with China of October 8, 1903, stipulates that “Whereas the Government of the United States undertakes to give the benefits of its copyright laws therefore the Government of China, in order to secure such benefits in the United States for its subjects, now agrees to give full protection, in the same way and manner and subject to the same conditions on which it agrees to protect trade-marks."

As reported in my No. 269 of March 27 last, the trade mark regulations have not yet been agreed upon, consequently no copyright convention has yet been made, and it would be contrary to the article referred to if we were to make a convention on the lines proposed.

Furthermore, as China has no copyright laws and grants no protection to her own people, it would avail Americans little to be placed upon the same footing with them. I have the honor, etc.,

W. W. ROCKHILL.

MINING REGULATIONS IN CHINA.

(Continued from Foreign Relations, 1905, pp. 234 et seq.)

The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.

No. 76.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 9, 1905. Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter from Mr. F. W. Sutterle, managing director of the American-Chinese Company, repeating his statements that the so-called experimental mining regulations now in force in China are in direct contradiction to the spirit of Article VII of the treaty of October 8, 1903, and complaining that the regulations are an absolute disbarment to the attraction of foreign capital.

You will bring the matter to the attention of the Chinese Government and request that the mining regulations be amended in accordance with the treaty. I am, sir, etc.,

ROBERT BACON,

Acting Secretary.

Not printed.

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

(Extract.]

No. 200.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, China, January 18, 1906. Sir: With reference to my No. 177 of December 23“, transmitting a copy of the “New Chinese Mining Regulations," together with my protest to the foreign office against the enforcement of the provisions of Regulation VII, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of Prince Ch'ing's reply to the above protest.

The reply states that the regulation in question was made to prevent people from making such private sales among themselves as would Iead to fraudulent practice, and that it in no way conflicts with the commercial treaty between the United States and China. It further states that "if American citizens, in accordance with Article VII of the American-Chinese commercial treaty, make application for permission to open mines, it shall be the duty of the local Chinese officials to delimit the concession and consult with the owner of the property as to the price to be paid.”

I am still of the opinion that Article VII of the Provincial Mining Regulations is open to the objections made, but with this dispatch as a commentary the objection is lessened, since Americans will be allowed to purchase with the approval of the officials.

As the original mining regulations require all applicants first to obtain a prospecting permit and later a permit to mine, the officials have all foreign applicants under their control, so that the addition of the above Regulation VII can work no greater hardship to Americans than before, provided the official interpretation is kept in mind. From the new explanation given, the rule is evidently intended to protect Chinese of other provinces than that in which the mining lands in question are situated.

But even under this interpretation it still remains true that Americans can not buy mining lands from private owners, except through the Government officials.

It is important that the department have the inclosed explanation on file, as the official interpretation of Article VII of the new mining regulations. I have the honor, etc.,

W. W. ROCKHILL.

[Inclosure 1.)

The Prince of Ch'ing to Mr. Rockhill.

PEKING, January 10, 1906. YOUR EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of December 23 calling my attention to the new mining regulations by which provision is made for the establishment of provincial bureaus of inspection. In referring to Article VII of these regulations, which says that “property belonging to the people may only be sold to a native of the district in which it is located,” your excellency said: "I need hardly remind your highness that this clause of the regulations is in direct conflict with the provisions of the treaty of 1903 between the United States and China, wherein it is distinctly

a Foreign Relations, 1905, p. 235.

stated that China will permit citizens of the United States to carry on in Chinese territory mining operations and other necessary business relating thereto, etc.,' and that the new regulations to be adopted by China 'will be imposed by China on its subjects and foreigners alike;' it is further stated that the new rules 'will offer no impediment to the attraction of foreign capital.' Inasmuch as this regulation forbids the purchase by foreigners of mining lands owned by private individuals, it prevents the investment of American capital in such lands and refuses to citizens of the United States the permission allowed to Chinese subjects to carry on mining operations in China except on lands belonging to the Government." For the reasons stated above your excellency felt it your duty to protest against the enforcement of Rule VII.

In reply I have the honor to state that upon receipt of your excellency's communication my board communicated at once with the board of commerce with regard to the matter, from whom the following reply has now been received:

“With regard to the new mining regulations in which provision is made for the establishment of provincial bureaus of inspection and the seventh article of these regulations, which says that property belonging to the people may only be sold to a native of the district in which it is located,' we have to state that this provision was made to prevent the people from making such private sales among themselves as would lead to fraudulent practice, the falsifying of names, etc. The natives of a district know well all the history of the land in their own neighborhood, and will not be easily deceived, so this special restriction upon private sales forbidding the sale of land to any but natives of the district was imposed in order to prevent corrupt practices and the defrauding of wealthy families. If American citizens, in accordance with the seventh article of the American-Chinese commercial treaty, make application for permission to open mines, it shall be the duty of the local Chinese officials to delimit the concession and consult with the owner of the property as to the price to be paid, that there may be no fraud or other corrupt practices in the premises, it will not be necessary to act in accordance with Article VII of the regulations regarding the provincial bureaus of inspection.

“ Take, for instance, Article III of the original regulations drawn up by this board. It says: “If the mining land in question be a place which the Government ought to develop, the officials must buy the land at a fair valuation, and the owner must offer no opposition. Now, if the American minister says that private mining property may only be sold to natives of the district in which it is situated, how about these mines which the Government must develop? Can they be sold to none but natives of the district? If the two sets of regulations be considered together and compared, it will be evident that the seventh article of the regulations, relating to provincial bureaus of inspection, in no way conflicts with the commercial treaty between the United States and China, as the two refer to different things. This board has now explained the matter in such detail that his excellency the American minister can not be mistaken again in regard to it.”

The above communication having been received by my board, it becomes my duty to transmit it herewith for your excellency's information.

A necessary dispatch.

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State. No. 206.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, China, January 21, 1906. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction No. 76, of December 9, 1905, inclosing copy of a letter from Mr. T. W. Sutterle, managing director of the American Chinese Company, respecting his statements that the so-called experimental mining regulations now in force in China are in direct contradiction to the spirit of Article VII of the treaty of October 8, 1903, and directing me to bring the matter to the attention of the Chinese Government and request that the regulations be amended in accordance with treaty obligations.

In my dispatches No. 153, of November 24, and No. 177, of December 23, 1905, I had the honor to transmit to you copies of notes sent by me to the Chinese foreign office protesting against said mining regulations and subsequent ones.

I beg that the department will instruct me on what other points it desires me to request the Chinese Government to amend these regulations, as my knowledge of the matter is not sufficient for me to venture much beyond the points indicated as objectionable by the Secretary of the Interior in his letter to the Secretary of State under date of August 27, 1904 (Foreign Relations, 1904, pp. 161-167), and especially the inclosure thereto which I used in my note to the Chinese foreign office of November 29, 1905, above referred to.

I have also to report that the British and German ministers here are using, I believe, their best efforts to get the Chinese Government to recast its mining regulations in the spirit of the British treaty of 1902 and ours of 1903. I will keep you informed as to the results of their efforts. I have the honor, etc.,

W. W. ROCKHILL.

The Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.

No. 95.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 7, 1906. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 177, of December 23 last, inclosing a copy of a translation of new mining regulations, approved by the Chinese Government on November 27 last, by which provincial bureaus of inspection are established.

You call attention particularly to a clause in Regulation VII, which provides that mining lands belonging to private individuals may be sold only to natives of the district in which such lands are located, and you inclose a copy of your note to the Chinese foreign office protesting against the enforcement of that regulation, on the ground that it is in direct conflict with Article VII of our last treaty with China.

Your note to the Chinese foreign office is approved by the department. I am, sir, etc.,

ELIuU Root.

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 225.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, China, February, 13, 1906. Sır: In continuation of my No. 200, of January 18 last, in regard to Article VII of the new mining regulations, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of my note to Prince Ch'ing of the 30th ultimo, in further remonstrance against the above article.

a Foreign Relations, 1905, pp. 234, 235.
Foreign Relations, 1905, p. 235.

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