Ivanka Trump's defunct company, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, has been granted numerous trade marks by the Chinese government. The trade mark applications were registered against some questionable goods and services, including voting machines and nursing homes. The granting of the new marks brings Ivanka's Chinese trade mark portfolio to a total of 34.
The daughter and adviser of President Trump filed the 16 trade mark applications before dissolving her company, but the marks have only been recently granted. The marks will now be subject to the usual 90-day opposition period and, provided there are no oppositions, will then proceed to be finalised.
The approved marks cover goods such as sunglasses, bags and jewellery as well as some unusual goods such as sausage casings. Many people have questioned why the mark applications were not withdrawn when Ivanka closed down her fashion brand; others have questioned whether the decisions of the Chinese government in granting the marks will influence the policy work she does.
In China, trade mark applicants can file defensively for goods and services which they have no intention of using their mark against. Chinese trade mark classes are divided in to different sub-classes which contain lists of standard items. When a trade mark application is examined, the Chinese Trade Mark Office only cross check the application against existing marks registered in identical sub-classes. This effectively means that a third party could successfully register an identical or similar mark to that of an earlier filed mark in the same class, albeit in a different sub-class. Many Chinese trade mark applicants will therefore choose to file their mark against a whole class for the best protection; this could explain why Ivanka Trump's marks not only cover bags, belts and umbrellas, goods which are relevant to a fashion brand, but also those goods that are not, such as sausage casings.
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