Ivanka Trump Firm Receives Chinese Trademark Approval

Ivanka Trump
White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump speaks during the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons annual meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2018.
(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

In October, China granted an initial approval for a fashion brand owned by Ivanka Trump, daughter of United States President Donald Trump. The initial approval covers 16 new trademarks for products like voting machines.

In July, Ms. Trump announced that she is shutting down her fashion brand in order to dedicate her full attention to her newly minted role as informal White House adviser. Among her chief role is to advance the roles of working women.

Based on official records, China granted Ms. Trump's firm initial trademark approval for products like shoes and jewelry. While these products are commonly associated with Ms. Trump's fashion brand, some offbeat items like nursing homes and voting machines were also included.

Records from the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce's Trademark office also revealed that Ms. Trump's firm applied for the trademarks in 2016. The trademark application approval, which was granted after two and a half years, lasted far longer than what an average approval processing time takes. Based on public data, an average trademark application will last for about a year or less.

This recent development revealed that it is the largest batch of trademark approval for Ms. Trump's brand since her father came into office. The approval also came in a rather difficult time, as China and the United States are currently embroiled in a bitter trade war that has seen the billions worth of tariffs being imposed on each other's goods.

Intellectual property lawyers said that applications for trademark are sometimes very broad. This is explicitly done in order to provide a more comprehensive protection for the applicant's brand.

Market experts have said that Ms. Trump's 16 approved trademarks will give her firm quite a lot of covered ground in China's massive market. According to the Washington Post, Ms. Trump's firm now holds trademarks for a wide range of market including wedding gowns, veterinary services, batteries, senior homes, and even sausage casings. In total, including the latest batch of approved trademarks, Ms. Trump's firm holds more than 30 approved trademarks in China.

Ethics experts have long warned about foreign governments trying to seek the favorable side of President Trump through his family's extensive line of business interests. While there is no evidence to back this claim, some experts have noted that Ms. Trump's decision to close her fashion brand in July is a sign that her family has acknowledged this possible conflict of interest.

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