China grants Trump family 18 trademarks in two months

China grants Trump family 18 trademarks in 2 months

China grants Trump family 18 trademarks in 2 months

The approvals, which were applied for in March and May 2016, underscore the ongoing entanglement of President Donald Trump and his family with the Chinese government through the Trumps' various business interests in the country, past and present.

China's government has issued its first trial approval for 16 new trademarks of Ivanka Trump's fashion business, as the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reports.

The trademarks cover products from perfume to voting machines and will be finalized after 90 days if no one objects.

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.

A document from the website of China's Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce showing provisional approval of a trademark for Ivanka Trump Marks LLC is seen on a computer screen in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

China also granted provisional approval for two "Trump" trademarks to DTTM Operations LLC, headquartered at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in NY.

U.S. government watchdog, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said the revelation raises "ethics questions". They include a Trump-branded restaurant, hotel and bar. Such decisions usually become final after a three-month public comment period. The trademark application approval, which was granted after two and a half years, lasted far longer than what an average approval processing time takes.

Mr Trump and his daughter both have substantial intellectual property holdings in China and some have voiced concerns that it paves the way for them to profit when they leave the White House. Critics worry that China, where the courts and bureaucracy are created to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party, could exploit those valuable rights for political leverage. Chinese government records show that the trademark applications received preliminary approvals last month.

According to Associated Press, many companies file patent request defensively, particularly in China, where "trademark squatting" is common.

Ethics experts have said Beijing could be seeking to influence the President by awarding him and his family the trademarks, but the Chinese government has dismissed those assertions, emphasizing that authorities follow the law in reviewing all applications.

Some lawyers advise clients to register trademarks for merchandise made in China even if it is not sold there.