CNNPolitics: China grants 16 trademarks to defunct Ivanka Trump business

CNNPolitics: China grants 16 trademarks to defunct Ivanka Trump business

The Chinese government granted 18 trademarks to companies linked to President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump over the last two months, Chinese public records show, raising concerns about ongoing conflicts of interest in the White House on the eve of a national election. "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", said Abigail Klem, who was then the president of the Ivanka Trump brand. The new approvals cover Ivanka-branded fashion gear including sunglasses, handbags, shoes and jewelry, as well as beauty services and voting machines.

Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, the organization responsible for her trademarks, applied in 2016 for the trademarks that were given initial approval last month. They cover branded restaurant, bar and hotel services, as well as clothing and shoes.

Both the president and his daughter have substantial intellectual property holdings in China.

Critics have been especially concerned that China, where the courts and bureaucracy are created to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party, could try to use the Trump family's valuable intellectual property for political leverage. The latest round of approvals are the largest number of new Chinese trademarks she has received in a single month, CREW reported, since her father came into the presidency.

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"The brand has filed, updated, and rigorously protected its global trademarks over the past several years in the normal course of business, especially in regions where trademark infringement is rampant", Abigail Klem, the former president of Ivanka's brand, said in a 2017 statement.

President Trump has adopted a Jekyll and Hyde approach to trade relations with Beijing, at times harshly criticizing China for taking advantage of the United States and at others speaking warmly of his friendly relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

However, the time of Beijing's decision to grant the trademarks raise questions: Trump has imposed steep punitive tariffs on more than $250 billion in Chinese imports, and the rates are set to rise January 1.

"She's dissolving the company now but is continuing to get trademarks so she can sell her stuff all over the world later", Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer for former president George W. Bush, told the Post in the summer. They can be a sign of corporate ambition, but many companies also file defensively, particularly in China, where trademark squatting is rampant. While these products are commonly associated with Ms. Trump's fashion brand, some offbeat items like nursing homes and voting machines were also included. 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.

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