Daily Management Review

Dozens Of Trump Trademarks Given Greenlight By China


Dozens Of Trump Trademarks Given Greenlight By China
The U.S. President Donald Trump and his family were given protection were they to develop the "Trump" brand in the Chinese market as documents on China's state trademark office show that China has granted preliminary approval for 38 trademarks linked to Donald Trump.
the complexities and potential concerns over conflicts of interest facing President Trump, who has a sprawling business empire using the Trump name around the world is underlined by the trademarks - which in theory cover a wide sweep of businesses from hotels to mobile libraries and escorts.
A trust overseen by one of his sons and a Trump Organization executive has been handed over the business by Trump who is a wealthy real estate developer. He can however retain his link to the trust financially as its sole beneficiary and as he can revoke the trust at will.
In two lists published on the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce on Feb. 27 and Monday  the trademarks - mostly variations in English and Chinese on the name "Donald Trump" - were given preliminary approval.
The trademarks are listed to the address of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York and Trump's lawyers applied for the trademarks in April last year, mostly registered to "Donald J. Trump".
Questions about whether Trump's position as President could prompt preferential treatment of his businesses have already been raised by some laws.  However, that the approval process did not seem that unusual, said trademark lawyers.
"If they were filed in April last year and just now approved, it's fairly normal," said Yong Heng Wu, Shanghai-based counsel for MWE China focused on intellectual property. 6 to9 months was the general timeframe for preliminary approvals, Wu added.
"I think the reason why people are paying so much attention to Donald Trump trademarks now is because he became the President of the most powerful country in the world."
Retail shops, restaurants, bars, bodyguards, escort services, branded spas, massage parlors, golf clubs, hotels, insurance, finance and real estate companies are included in the coverage given by the trademarks.
Trademark applications were often very broad to give the applicant the most comprehensive protection for their brand, intellectual property lawyers said.
Not directly registered in the President's name but via DTTM Operations LLC are three of them, related to hotel brand Scion that Trump's sons want to expand in the United States. The three are also listed to the Trump Tower address.
The approvals process had been carried out in line with the law, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang when asked about the approvals, who further added that the China had always "equally" protected trademarks for Chinese and foreign companies.
For around a 90-day period, the preliminary approvals are open to be challenged.
From business sectors such as apparel in the Philippines to golf clubs in Australia and property in Japan and South Korea, Trump and his family, like many business owners, hold trademarks around the world.
Politicians and rights groups say the President could face potential conflicts of interest related to the extensive business affairs of his family as such groups have raised concerns abut these ties between politics and business.
The group had been actively enforcing its intellectual property rights in China for over a decade, said Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization.
"The latest registrations are a natural result of those long-standing, diligent efforts, and any suggestion to the contrary demonstrates a complete disregard of the facts as well as a lack of understanding of international trademark law."