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the United States, showing in detail the condition of such claim, and the terms upon which the same may be compromised, and recommending that it be compromised upon the terms so offered, and upon the recommendation of the Solicitor of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to compromise such claim accordingly. But the provisions of this section shall not apply to any claim arising under the postal laws."
In an opinion given January 17, 1900, I held, following Solicitor-General Maxwell (21 Opin., 51), and AttorneyGeneral Harmon (21 Opin., 264, 266), that this section does not authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to compromise a claim which has been reduced to judgment, affirmed by the highest court, and is clearly collectible, because a compromise is an adjustment or settlement by mutual concession. The claim must in some way be doubtful. There must be room for the “play of give and take.” In the case of a collectible judgment, which has been affirmed by the highest court, there is no room for "give and take," no basis for a compromise; the concession is all on the one side, the side of the Government, which remits in place of compromising
But in the case of this claim for interest, there are involved disputed questions of fact and of law, which if put in litigation might be decided the one way or the other. The claim, therefore, is clearly one subject to compromise under this section. I am sustained in this view by the position taken by Attorney General Griggs in his letter of November 8, 1899, approving of the acceptance by the Government from the North American Company of interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum on the amounts left unpaid from year to year, pending certain litigation with that company. Respectfully,
JOHN K. RICHARDS,
P. C. KNOX
The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY:
OF TRADE-MARKS-CUBA-PORTO RICO
Porto Rico being an organized Territory of the United States, and the
laws of the United States not locally inapplicable having been extended to that Island, its residents are entitled to register trade-marks in the Cnited States, as provided in the act of Congress of March 3,
1881 (21 Stat., 502). The Philippine Islands, not being organized Territories of the United
States as contemplated by section 1981, Revised Statutes, the residents of those islands are not, as such, entitled to the privileges of
the trade-mark law. While Cuba is a foreign country and the treaties of Spain no longer
apply there, yet it is now being governed by the l'nited States; and since the law in force there gives to citizens of the l'nited States similar privileges to those given by our trade-mark law, Cuba may be regarded as one of the countries with which we have reciprocal arrangements, and a person located there is entitled to register trademarks under our law.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
February 19, 1902. Sir: I have received your letter of the 11th instant asking my opinion “as to the rights of residents of the Philippine Islands, Cuba, and Porto Rico in regard to the registration of trade-marks in the United States, in view of the treaty of peace and the subsequent legislation by Congress relating to those islands."
The trade-mark act of Congress of March 3, 1881, provides
“ That owners of trade-marks used in commerce with foreign nations, or with the Indian tribes, provided such owners shall be domiciled in the United States, or located in any foreign country or tribes which by treaty, convention, or law afford similar privileges to citizens of the United States, may obtain registration of such trade-marks by complying with the following requirements.”
In so far as residents of Porto Rico are concerned, laws of Congress “not locally inapplicable" have, by the act for the government of that island and by Revised Statutes, section 1981, been extended to it.
What laws are locally inapplicable is sometimes a difficult question, but in Ilornbuckle v. Toombs (18 Wall., 65+) the Supreme Court says:
“That clause has the effect, undoubtedly, of importing into the Territory the laws passed by Congress to prevent and punish offenses against the revenue, the mail service, and other laws of a general character and universal application, but not those of specific application. The act of March 2, 1831, has a specific application to the courts of the United States by its very terms, and is not of universal application and can not be made to apply to the Territorial courts under said clause of said organic act."
See also Commonwealth v. Knoolton, 2 Mass., 53t; Commissioners of Silver Bono Co. v. Daris, 6 Mont., 312; Ardmore Coal Co. v. Bevil, 61 Fed. Rep., 759; Territory v. Murray, 7 Mont., 261.
Porto Rico has been fully organized under a law of Congress providing the details of its government, and organized, for the most part, upon the plan adopted for the Territories contiguous to the States of the Union. The presumption from the whole tenor of this organic act is that a liberal construction of the provision extending the laws of the United States would comport with the design of Congress.
The trade-mark act, however, is confined, so far as our country is concerned, to owners of trade-marks domiciled in the United States, and it may be argued that persons domiciled in Porto Rico are a different class, and that by the terms of the act of Congress the law is inapplicable in Porto Rico. But it seems to me that in inquiring into the applicability of a law transferred as a part of a system undoubtedly intended only for another country when passed, we should pay more attention to substance than to words. While it is true that persons domiciled in the United States have a distinct status as such, it is also true that the trade-mark law is not based upon anything specific or peculiar in that status which should lead us to narrow its application, since it equally embraces foreigners who are not residents at all in the United States, but in their own foreign countries or tribes. Nor is there anything peculiar in the relations between the Government of the United States and a person domiciled in the United States different from the relations between the Government of the United States and a person domiciled in Porto Rico which should prevent us from regarding this law as extending to the latter. The rights, privileges, and immunities of citizens, as such, are not involved, and, in short, there is no perceivable reason why Congress should make a distinction between residents of the United States and residents of Porto Rico. In addition to this, the trade-mark act undoubtedly applied to the United States in the sense of the States, the organized Territories, and the District of Columbia, and not in the sense of the States united. The law was therefore broad originally and intended to apply to Territories as well as States. To these organized Territories Porto Rico, similarly and completely organized, has now been added. In addition to these suggestions, it is apparent that a law regulating our arrangements with foreign countries, and referring to treaties and conventions upon the same subject, should be treated as concerning the United States in a very broad
(Dorones y. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 244.) I am of opinion, therefore, that residents of Porto Rico are entitled to register trade-marks under the act of Congress first referred to.
As for the Philippine Islands, I do not regard them as completely organized Territories in contemplation of Revised Statutes, section 1981. The general course of governmental legislation and action concerning them seems to me to indicate that Congress and the Executive have taken the same view of them. And the trade-mark act, especially that part which concerns persons domiciled in the United States, is not a treaty or convention or other international act such that the phrase “the United States,” employed in it, has been regarded by the courts as extending to all places however remote within our dominions. Moreover, the phrase
United States" is converted in sections 5 and 13 into this country,” which may well be regarded as too narrow to embrace an after-acquired archipelago 8,000 miles across the
I think, therefore, that the residents of the Philippines are not, as such, entitled to the privileges of the trade-mark law.
Cuba is a foreign country and persons domiciled there are not domiciled in the United States. The treaties of Spain no longer apply in Cuba, and we have no treaty or convention with Cuba, unless what is known as the Platt amendment (31 Stat., 897) may be regarded as such. That does not concern trade-marks.
Cuba is at present governed by ourselves, and the law there purporting to give “similar privileges to citizens of the United States” as those given by our trade-mark law (General Orders No. 160), will doubtless be continued, since it is itself but a continuation of the arrangement made by our treaty with Spain.
Cuba may therefore be regarded as one of the countries with which we have reciprocal arrangements, and a person located there is entitled to register trade-marks under our law. Respectfully,
P. C. KNOX. The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
PRESIDENT'S ORDER-GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INFLU
The order of the President of January 31, 1902, forbidding all officers
and employees of the United States to influence legislation by Congress in their own interest, prohibits “The Navy-Yard and Arsenal Employees' Protective Association," of Washington, from seeking to influence Congress or its committees to pass a pending bill granting an additional fifteen days' leave of absence to the employees who constitute that association.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
February 21, 1902. Sir: I have received your request for an opinion upon the question whether your order of January 31, last, forbidding employees of the Government to urge legislation by Congress in their own interest, prohibits “The NavyYard and Arsenal Employees' Protective Association," of