China says Ivanka Trump trademark requests handled properly
Apr 19 2017 by Desiree Burns
While Ivanka Trump was sitting down to enjoy a meal of pan-seared dove sole, Thumbelina carrots and the most lovely chocolate cake along with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month at her father's Mar-a-Lago resort, she was also being granted provisional approval for three new trademarks in China. USA imports, nearly all of them from China, shot up an estimated 166 percent previous year, while sales hit record levels in 2017. Imports and distribution are up.
February 20, 2017: Ivanka Trump Marks LLC wins preliminary approval for a trademark covering branded leather handbags in China, where the company has 52 pending or registered trademarks listed in the government trademark database.
Trump founded the brand in 2007 and still owns it, but stepped back from management and put its assets in a family-run trust before taking on an official role at the White House.
April 6, 2017: Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, sit next to Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, at a state dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Intellectual property lawyers say trademarks are also a crucial prerequisite for cutting licensing deals, which form the basis of both Ivanka and Donald Trump's global business strategy.
This sort of thing helps undermine public confidence that Trump is serving the public, rather than her own financial interests. Her five-year-old daughter Arabella sang a traditional song for Xi during his U.S. visit, and the performance was later praised in Chinese state media.
The scenario underscores how hard it is for the president's daughter, to separate business from politics in her new position at the White House.
February 22, 2017: Ivanka Trump Marks LLC applies for another trademark, covering perfume, among other things, in Canada, where it holds 22 pending or registered marks, according to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Recusal from other matters, she said, would be decided on a "case-by-case" basis.
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In a statement Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand said the 2017 Chinese trademarks were filed defensively to prevent counterfeiters or squatters from using her name. "The federal ethics rules do not require you to recuse from any matter concerning a foreign country just because a business that you have an ownership interest in has a trademark application pending there".
Gorelick said her client would recuse herself from certain policy matters, like trade agreements, that are specific enough to affect her line of clothing and accessories. Trademarks can be used to expand a business or defend against copycats.
"We have recently seen a surge in trademark filings by unrelated third parties trying to capitalize on the name, and it is our responsibility to diligently protect our trademark".
As Ivanka Trump builds a new political career as an adviser to her father, the commercial engine of her lifestyle brand is going strong. Because it is privately held, the brand does not have to declare its earnings or where revenues come from. Sales of Ivanka merchandise on Lyst.com, a large e-commerce platform, bump 46 percent higher for the month.
"She has the ultimate showcase to fashion and show her merchandise, whether it's at the [Republican National] Convention. the White House". March sales on Lyst were up 262 percent over the same period past year.
"Then you get into the issue about improper influence", he said. "Her celebrity status is now not only being fueled by her wealth and her family connection, but by her huge role in the White House". All of the applications on record took place before she was a White House adviser.
Her brand said in a statement that Trump herself did not sign off on the new applications, adding they are "not necessarily" an indication of planned expansion.