Saar Territory (Trade-Marks) Case

CourtRegional Court (Germany)
Date07 l 1934
Docket NumberCase No. 24
Germany, Upper Court of Hamm.
Case No. 24
Saar Territory (Trade-Marks) Case.

States — Territories under Joint or International Government — Saar Territory — Article 49 of the Treaty of Versailles — Saar as Part of Germany — Applicability of German Patent and Trade-mark Law.

The Facts.—The defendant in an action for damages for infringement of a trade-mark alleged in his defence that the trade-mark of the plaintiff enjoyed no statutory protection as it had been notoriously used in Germany before its registration. The plaintiff admitted that it had been used in the territory of the Saar Basin, but contended that that did not amount to use within Germany.

Held: that the action failed. “The plaintiff's argument that the Territory of the Saar Basin is not to be regarded as ‘inland’ for the purposes of the regulations here in question is unsound in law. It is indisputable that the statute protecting trade-marks applies to the Saar Basin. It cannot be doubted that that territory is, for the purposes of municipal law, still a part of the German Reich. Article 49 of the Treaty of Versailles merely declares that Germany renounces in favour of the League of Nations, in the capacity of trustee, the government of the territory. It is clear from paragraph 2 of Article 49 itself that sovereignty over the territory remains in Germany.1 The cession of the mines to France, the creation of the international court in Saarlouis, and the changes in matters of currency, postal services, education and customs do, on the face of it, speak in favour of the plaintiff's contention. Moreover, paragraph 19 of the Annex to Article 50 of the Treaty of Versailles gives to the Governing Commission all the powers of government formerly belonging to the German Empire, Prussia or Bavaria. But these are regulations of minor detail only, which, like the administration in general, are of a purely provisional character, the question of the definitive settlement having been postponed until after the plebiscite. Apart from such matters as these, the decisive factor is that, according to paragraph 27 of the Annex, the nationality of the inhabitants has remained unaffected. The inhabitants of...

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