China Fastens Trademarks Approvals Trump Organization
Mar 13, 2017 09:01 AM EDT
China recently granted approval for 38 trademarks sought by the Trump Organization. The things requested for trademark include hotels, golf clubs and bodyguard services.
The Associated Press reported that 35 out of the 38 trademarks are in the president's name. The marks were applied in April 2016 by Trump's attorneys, during the time the then-Republican presidential candidate accused China of stealing U.S. jobs and currency manipulation.
China's Trademark Office published the provisional approvals on Feb. 27, Monday. "They're trying to curry favor with President Trump," Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said, explaining that the approval came much quickly than usual for the Trump Organization.
Dan Plane, a director at the Hong Kong IP consulting group Simone IP Services, said that its possible the Communist Party officials are monitoring the president's IP interests. "This is just way over your average trademark examiner's pay grade," Plane said.
A lawsuit was filed against Trump by a group of prominent law professors in January, alleging that payments by foreign powers to the Trump Organization violate the Constitution's emoluments clause, according to ABA Journal. China's now approval of trademark has made the concern much rigorous, concerning the possible accommodation of the same problem, with so many trademarks being granted over such a short time period.
However, some trademark lawyers didn't think that the situation was concerning. "Especially in China, you definitely need to register defensively, so that people will not exploit your name for commercial gain," Janet Satterthwaite, a trademark attorney and partner at the Potomac Law Group said.
Although the process seemed to move more quickly than usual, the lawyers believe that China did not do anything extraordinary in approving the trademarks. In fact, Trump Organization's chief legal officer, Alan Garten, revealed that the company has been enforcing its intellectual property rights in China for more than ten years, and it has been registering trademarks long before Trump contended for the presidential election.