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PREVENTING FRAUD, DECEPTION, OR OTHER IMPROPER
PRACTICE BEFORE THE PATENT OFFICE
MARCH 25, 1938.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mr. LANHAM, from the Committee on Patents, submitted the following
[To accompany S. 477)
The Committee on Patents, to whom was referred the bill (S. 477) to prevent fraud, deception, or other improper practice before the United States Patent Office, and for other purposes, report favorably thereon and recommend that the bill do pass with the following amendment:
On page 2, line 6, after the word "to" strike out "in any manner whatever hold himself out” and insert in lieu thereof the following: "hold himself out in any manner whatever."
This amendment merely transposes the words stricken out and restates them for clarity of expression.
This bill is a companion bill to H. R. 1654, introduced by Mr. Lanham, of Texas, on January 5, 1937, in the first session of the Seventyfifth Congress. In explanation of the measure, the Commissioner of Patents sent under date of May 25, 1937, the following report to the Honorable William I. Sirovich, Chairman of the Committee on Patents of the House of Representatives:
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
Washington, May 25, 1937.
Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I am in receipt of your letter of May 20, 1937 requesting a report on H. R. 1654 introduced by Congressman Lanham.
This bill would make it unlawful for any person, not duly recognized to practice before the Patent Office in accordance with the statutes and the rules of the Patent Office, to hold himself out or permit himself to be held out as a patent solicitor, patent agent, or patent attorney, or as authorized to represent applicants for patents before the Patent Office. It would also prohibit any person disbarred from practice before the Patent Office and not subsequently reinstated, from holding himself out as entitled to represent or assist persons in business before the Patent Office. The bill makes an offense against this provision a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of from $50 to $500.
The purpose of the bill is to prevent unauthorized practice before the Patent Office. At present, numerous persons who have either been disbarred from practicing before the Patent Office or who have never been enrolled to practice therebefore, advertise themselves as patent attorneys, solicit patent business, and otherwise engage in unauthorized practice befor the Patent Office. At present, there is no law to control this fraud and deception.
This bill is considered by the officials of the Patent Office as one of the utmost importance. The bill is not as sweeping as the familiar Cramton bill often introduced into Congress heretofore. However, it has the great advantage of clarity and brevity and will be of tremendous benefit to the Patent Office and the patent system.
An identical bill was introduced in the Senate this session of the Congress by Senator McAdoo, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Patents. This bill, S. 477, passed the Senate on May 17, 1937, after being amended on the floor by the insertion of the word "knowingly” in line 7, page 1, immediately before the word "permit." I believe that the amendment improves the bill.
Although I am not familiar with the parliamentary procedure, it may be appropriate to substitute the bill which has passed the Senate, S. 477, for the Lanham bill. Cordially yours,
CONWAY P. COE, Commissioner.
AUTHORIZING THE REGISTRATION OF CERTAIN COLLEC
MARCH 25, 1938.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mr. Lanham, from the Committee on Patents, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 9996]
The Committee on Patents, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9996) to authorize the registration of certain collective trade-marks, having considered the same, report favorably thereon and recommend that the bill do pass with the following amendments:
On page 1, lines 3 and 4, strike out the words "registration laws" and substitute the words "Act of 1905, as amended,” and on page 1, line 3, after the word "of" insert the words "Section 5 of".
On page 1, line 5, strike out the word “juridical” and insert the word "juristic."
The first amendment makes proper reference to that part of the Trade-Mark Act of 1905, as amended, to which this bill applies.
The second amendment substitutes the word "juristic" for "juridal” because of the fact that the word “juristic" is the one commonly used and understood in domestic and international practice.
The purpose of this measure is to correct an injustice to domestic persons, natural and juristic, which has arisen by reason of the fact that under existing laws, and in keeping with international conventions, foreign trade-marks of a collective character enjoy a protection in the United States not now afforded to domestic users of collective trade-marks.
The 1905 trade-mark law specifically provides for registration of trade-marks owned by "associations."
Since 1911 the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (to which the United States is a party) has obligated us to register and protect trade-marks belonging to associations "even if such associations do not possess an industrial or commercial establishment."
Nevertheless, it was held by the Commissioner of Patents in 1912, in the case of Strawn v. Ontario-Cucamongo Fruit Exchange (184 0. G. 551), that an organization which comprised nine associations of fruit growers and acted as selling agent could not have trade-mark registration.
Again, in 1915, the Commissioner refused to register a mark claimed by the Brockton Chamber of Commerce and used by the various members of that organization.
Certain foreign associations, notably the French International Silk Committee, sought to obtain registration here based on the corresponding proviso of the International Convention referred to above, but here again registration was refused, the Commissioner taking the position that he is not required to recognize this international obligation unless and until Congress enacts enabling legislation.
In 1935, certain foreign countries made appropriate representations to the State Department as a result of which the law was amended under date of June 20, 1936 to provide thatregistration of a collective mark may be issued to an association to which it belongs, which association is located in any such foreign country and whose existence is not contrary to the law of such country, even if it does not possess an industrial or commercial establishment.
At the time this bill was pending, it was proposed that it be amended to include domestic associations, but it was the view of the Commissioner of Patents that any such amendment would prejudice enactment of the bill at that session of Congress and that the present Congress could be relied on to enact corresponding legislation to take care of domestic associations.
Since June 30, 1936, therefore, it has been possible for foreign associations but impossible for domestic associations to register marks used by their members or subject to their control. This was required by our treaty obligations.
This situation is intolerable since it not only denies adequate protection in the United States to hundreds, if not thousands, of valuable association trade-marks but also keeps such associations powerless to prevent piracy and infringement of such marks in foreign countries where registration and protection is dependent on prior United States registration.
Among the associations that have appealed to your committee to remedy this situation are the Southern Pine Association, the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Oil Association, the Arkansas Soft Pine Bureau, the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association, and the National Lumber Manufacturers Association. There are hundreds of others throughout the United States that will take immediate advantage of enabling legislation.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, section 4, as amended, of the Trade-Mark Act of February 20, 1905, is set forth below, with the portion thereof proposed to be omitted by the bill enclosed in black brackets.
Sec. 4. That an application for registration of a trade-mark filed in this country by any person who has previously regularly filed in any foreign country which, by treaty, convention, or law, affords similar privileges to citizens of the United States an application for registration of the same trade-mark shall be accorded the same force and effect as would be accorded to the same application if filed