American Trading Co. v. H. E. Heacock Co.,
285 U.S. 247 (1932)

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U.S. Supreme Court

American Trading Co. v. H. E. Heacock Co., 285 U.S. 247 (1932)

American Trading Co. v. H. E. Heacock Co.

No. 506

Argued February 26, 1932

Decided March 21, 1932*

285 U.S. 247


1. Congress has authority to legislate upon the substantive law of trademarks in the Philippine Islands, or to provide for such legislation. P. 285 U. S. 256.

2. Philippine Act No. 666 of 1903, passed by the Philippine Commission under authority of Congress, and providing for the registration of trademarks and their protection, was not displaced by the Federal Trade-Mark Act of 1905, and was continued in force by the Organic Act of 1916. Pp. 285 U. S. 256-258.

3. The Federal Trade-Mark Act of 1905 provides with respect to trademarks used in commerce between continental United States and the Philippine Islands a protection similar to that which was accorded by the Act to the use of trademarks in interstate commerce. P. 257..

4. This Act does not attempt to create exclusive substantive rights in marks, or to afford a refuge for piracy through registration under it, but to provide procedure and give protection to remedies where property rights exist under local law. P. 285 U. S. 258.

5. Registration under the Federal Trade-Mark Act of a mark acquired in the United States does not enable the owner to do local business under it in the Philippines in competition with another who has acquired the right to the mark there by local use and by registration under the Philippine Act. Id.

6. The name Rogers was registered in the Philippine Islands as a trademark by one who had built up a local business and goodwill in selling silverware stamped with it and who was a pioneer in its use there in that trade. The name had significance as a symbol of the ware, and not as a family name. The ware sold was made in the United States by a manufacturer which had a federal registration of the name as its trademark, and which consented to the Philippine registration.


(1) That the Philippine registration was valid to prevent local selling of similar goods, bearing the name Rogers, which were made

Page 285 U. S. 248

in the United States by another manufacturer claiming the name as its trademark, also registered under the Federal Act. P. 285 U. S. 259.

(2) That the local rights of the Philippine registrant were independent of the rights inter sese of the two manufacturers, and he was not estopped because of their relations. P. 285 U. S. 261.

7. In the interpretation of the local law of the Philippine Islands, this Court, while free to exercise its independent judgment, will not overrule a decision of the insular court except for cogent reasons. Id.

Affirmed with modifications.

Certiorari, 284 U.S. 613, to review the affirmance of a judgment enjoining infringement of a trademark and for an accounting, and the affirmance of a judgment dismissing a cross-suit.

Page 285 U. S. 252

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