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recognized by the statute as having established previous to the incorporation of the American Red Cross in 1905 the right to label their merchandise with the red cross as a trade-mark, but an explanation of this fact to the misusers of the emblem is usually sufficient to make plain the difference between those who have and those who have not a right to use our symbol. The officers of the Government, whose duty it is to register trade-marks, now invariably refuse to recognize by registration any mark that contemplates a display of the red cross or that resembles it.
Quite recently a fine of $20 and imprisonment in the workhouse for 30 days was imposed by a municipal judge on two persons who had been masquerading as Red Cross nurses and fraudulently collecting money as such.
Criminal proceedings have been instituted by the United States, on the advice of the counselor of the Red Cross, in another case, where after a warning pointing out the infraction of the law by an organization styled "The National Hospital Association,” the disuse of a very close imitation of the red cross was refused.
H. R. 14330, SIXTY-FIFTH CONGRESS, THIRD SESSION
H. R. 14330.
IN THE HOUSE OR REPRESENTATIVES
JANUARY 13, 1919
Mr. CHARLES B. Smith introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary and ordered to be printed
To amend an Act entitled "An Act to incorporate the American National
Red Cross," approved January fifth, nineteen hundred and five.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section four of the Act entitled "An Act to incorporate the American National Red Cross," approved January fifth, nineteen hundred and five, is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 4. That from and after the passage of this Act it will be unlawful for any person within the jurisdiction of the United States to falsely or fraudulently hold himself out as or represent or pretend himself to be a member of or agent for the American National Red Cross for the purpose of soliciting, collecting, or receiving money or material or for any person to wear or display the sign of the Red Cross or any insignia colored in imitation thereof for the fraudulent purpose of inducing the belief that he is a member of or an agent for the American National Red Cross. It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, or association other than the American National Red Cross and its duly authorized employees and agents and the Army and Navy sanitary and hospital authorities of the United States for the purpose of trade or as an advertisement to induce the sale of any article whatsoever or for any business or charitable purpose to use within the territory of the United States of America and its exterior possessions the emblem of the Greek Red Cross on a white ground, or any sign or insignia made or colored in imitation thereof, or of the words “Red Cross” or “Geneva Cross” or any combination of these words. If any person violates the provision of this section he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction in any Federal court shall be liable to a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both, for each and every offense.”
H. R. 14330, SIXTY-FIFTH CONGRESS, THIRD SESSION
Hearings held by the Committee on Patents, House of Representatives,
January 24, 1919
TO PROTECT THE NAME "RED CROSS"
COMMITTEE ON PATENTS,
January 24, 1919. The committee met at 10:45 o'clock a. m., Hon. Charles B. Smith (chairman) presiding:
The CHAIRMAN. The committee is called to take up H. R. 14330, a bill to amend an act entitled "An act to incorporate the American National Red Cross, approved January 5, 1905.” Col. Hartfield is here with several representatives of the Red Cross and is ready to make his statement to the committee.
STATEMENT OF COL. JOSEPH M. HARTFIELD
The CHAIRMAN. Colonel, will you state how you represent the Red Cross?
Mr. HARTFIELD. I am the legal adviser of the war council of the American Red Cross; and there are present also, Dr. Axson, Secretary of the Red Cross; and Mr. Hughes, assistant legal adviser of the war council.
The International Red Cross Society came into existence in 1864 as the result of a conference and a treaty held in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. At that conference there was adopted as the emblem of the Red Cross, out of compliment to the Swiss Republic, the Swiss flag reversed, or, in other words, a Greek or Maltese cross upon a white background. The United States was not technically represented at that conference in Geneva, although all of the historians agree that the creation of the Red Cross and the adoption of a cross as an emblem was largely due to what had been accomplished in the Civil War by what was then known as the United States Sanitary Commission, which was then operating in this country.
In 1882 the United States by appropriate action of the Senate and the Executive formally ratified the Treaty of Geneva of 1864, and since 1882 the United States has really been a party to this treaty in all respects the same as if it had been a signatory party thereto.
The Red Cross emblem has been used by the Red Cross societies of all of the countries that were parties to the Geneva treaty of 1864 continuously since that time, and every civilized nation of importance has become a party to the treaty, either by having been represented there or by subsequent action, as in the case of the United States.
There was a Red Cross Society organized in 1881 in this country, but it never developed into an organization until the following year, 1882. There have been three incorporated Red Cross societies. The present one was not incorporated until January 5, 1905, but it was expressly provided in the charter, by article III thereof, that the present society should succeed to all the rights and property which have been hitherto held, and to all the duties which have heretofore been performed by the American National Red Cross, incorporated by an act of Congress of June 6, 1900. So that, while the date of the present charter is 1905, it is a continuation of the work of the society organized in 1882. Again we incorporated in 1894, and again on June 6, 1900.
When this act to create the present Red Cross was passed it was recognized that some protection should be given to the emblem; that this emblem not only was to be used by the American National Red Cross, but it was being used by all of the Red Cross societies of the various countries and by the Medical Departments of the Army and Navy, and the bill as prepared gave to the Red Cross the exclusive right to the use of the emblem and provided that it should be unlawful to use it for trade and commercial purposes. A penal provision for violation of the statute was incorporated into the law. I am informed, but, of course, I cannot state this on my own knowledge, that at that time, largely at the instance of a very large company manufacturing surgical dressings and surgical goods in New Jersey, and which had commenced to use the emblem in 1894, twelve years after the United States had become a party to the Geneva convent of 1864, there was opposition to the bill in the form it was originally prepared, and as a result of that opposition there was added when the statute was finally amended in 1910 the clause reading:
Provided, however, That no person, corporation, or association that has actually used, or whose assignor actually used said emblem, sign, insignia, or words for any lawful purpose prior to January 5, 1905, shall be deemed forbidden by this act to continue the use thereof for the same purpose and for the same class of goods.
The effect of that provision was, of course, to say that anyone who prior to January 5, 1905, had used for commercial purposes and as a trade mark in their advertising matter the Red Cross emblem should not be liable to criminal punishment thereafter for using it.
sing it. It was then represented, I am informed, to the House committee which had the bill under consideration that there were but a few business houses that would by reason of this provision have the right to use the emblem. As it turns out, it had been used as a trade-mark, either by having it registered in the office of the United States Patent Office or by having used it in interstate commerce, by several hundred concerns that now claim the right to use this Red Cross emblem.
We have had compiled and submit herewith a list merely of those who, prior to 1905, had registered the name in the Patent Office, and this list is, of course, quite incomplete.
(The list referred to is copied into the record in full, as follows:)
Registered trade-marks, United States Patent Office, in which symbol or name of Red Cross or semblance thereof appears, Jan. 1, 1909.
Date since in use
Kind of cross
1, 416 Seymour McCullagh..
Samuel Slater & Sons
Wines, liquors, beers, and min
Aug. 19, 1873 May 1872
15, 799 Julius Maggi & Co.
N. W. Con. Milling Co.
July 20, 1886 Mar. 30, 1886.