Ivanka Trump wins new trademarks in China

By Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/28 20:48:39

Move to enhance business ties

Consumers shop at an Ivanka Trump store in the US in December. Photo: VCG

While some of Ivanka Trump's businesses in China are keeping a low profile, her company, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, recently got at least five new trademarks approved in China, reflecting her intention of strengthening business ties with the country.

At least five trademarks applied by Ivanka Trump Marks LLC in March 2017 were recently granted approval by the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) of China. These can later be used in a wide range of sectors, according to the official website of the authority. For example, a trademark that can be applied to products such as rugs and bath mats has a validity of 10 years.

Other trademarks gave the company access to businesses covering textiles, household utensils, furniture, and other items. Most of them were approved on May 7, with the most recent one approved on May 21, according to the website.

The Huffington Post said on Monday that the approval came just days before US President Donald Trump announced he was working on a controversial deal to drop US export bans against Chinese electronic devices producer ZTE Corp. It said the trademarks granted to Ivanka Trump's businesses could potentially yield millions of dollars in profits.

The SAIC had not replied to an interview request sent by the Global Times on Monday as of press time.

"It's highly likely to be just a coincidence that the US worked with China to ease their trade tensions after Ivanka Trump's trademarks got approval," Hao Junbo, lawyer at Beijing-based Hao Law Firm, told the Global Times on Monday. Zhao Zhanlin, a legal counsel of the Beijing-based Internet Society of China, agreed.

"Considering the large number of trademark applications from the Trump family in China, it's normal that Ivanka Trump applied for new trademarks," he said.

A contractor involved in producing shoes for Ivanka Trump's label, who is based in South China's Guangdong Province, said the number of orders from her client has been increasing since last year.

"Though the company keeps a low profile, we can see the business grow in our factory," she said, asking not to be identified.

"But production may gradually shift toward markets like Vietnam for cheaper costs," the source said.

Ivanka Trump applied for new trademarks for two purposes, Zhao noted. "On the one hand, she may consider expanding the business in the future; on the other, she applied as a preventive measure," he said.

She has applied for a total of 69 trademarks in China so far, with the earliest application dating back to December 2008, according to the SAIC website.

Global sales of Ivanka Trump's merchandise surged after her father took office and set a record in 2017 despite boycotts by several stores, British newspaper the Independent in April 2017.

Also, US imports of these products, almost all from China, shot up an estimated 166 percent in 2016, the media report said.

"Normally, a trademark application gets approval after nine months, but sometimes it may take longer," Zhao said.


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