Questions of conflict of interest have been raised as Ivanka Trump’s brand continues to receive foreign trademarks in China and the Philippines.
On Sunday, China gave Ivanka’s company final consent for its 13th trademark in the last three months, trademark office records show. The Chinese government has simultaneously given Ivanka Trump’s company provisional approval for another eight trademarks. They will be finalized if no objections are raised during a three-month comment period.
Upon her fathers inauguration Ivanka Trump stepped back from management of her brand then placed its assets in a family-run trust. However she inevitably continues to profit from the business.
According to the Associated Press, “Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said on Twitter that the recent approvals create “more conflicts of interest and more potential for using the White House for self-enrichment.” His government watchdog group was behind one of several lawsuits against President Donald Trump for violations of the emoluments clause of the constitution, which bars officials from accepting gifts from foreign states unless they are approved by Congress”. -SHANGHAI (AP)
Although many ethics lawyers have questioned the integrity of the international trademarks pursued by the Trump family, Chinese officials insist that all trademark applications are handled in accordance with the law. The approvals will more than likely continue.
In reality companies register for trademarks for a several reasons. In many countries, like China, where trademark squatting is rampant, companies also file defensively, to block copycats from grabbing legal rights to a brand’s name. Trademarks are strategically categorized. Therefore they may include items that a company does not intend to market. Trademark lawyers typically advise clients to register trademarks for merchandise that is manufactured in China, even if it’s not sold there.