Is Ivanka Trump’s brand really done? While the First Daughter announced in July that she was shuttering her eponymous fashion brand immediately and indefinitely, over a dozen trademark applications that have been granted preliminary approval by China’s Trademark Office seem to tell a different story. After being issued 13 Chinese trademark registrations over the course of three months this spring, Ivanka Trump may soon be adding 16 more marks to her intellectual property arsenal.
As of late last month, the China Trademark Office accepted and published 16 trademark applications filed by Ivanka Trump Marks, Ms. Trump’s intellectual property holding company, thereby, beginning a three-month period. (For the uninitiated, before a trademarks may be registered, it is published for opposition, giving parties that believe they will be damaged by registration for the mark the opportunity to challenge its registration).
The marks at issue, which were initially filed in early 2016 (several months after her father began campaigning for the November 2016 presidential election), aim to claim protection for the use of the “Ivanka” name (in English and Chinese) on everything from garments, accessories, jewelry, and leather goods and advertising services (likely in connection with such garments, accessories, jewelry, and leather goods) to beauty products.
It is worth noting that media reports, including those from Citizens for Ethics and Reuters, that “voting machines” are in some way connected to the existing applications appear to be devoid of some necessary context. These reports refer to one of Trump’s trademark applications, which does, in fact, cite Class 9 (remember, trademarks are applied for and registered by classes of goods and services).
Class 9 does mention “voting machines” in a very long list of potentially applicable goods/services, along with “scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers; computer software; fire-extinguishing apparatus.”
Chances are, Ivanka Trump is not looking to slap her name on voting machines, but instead, to use it in connection with “apparatus and instruments for scientific research in laboratories” as tied to the beauty goods and services cited in another one of the recently-approved applications.
While the Chinese government has previously denied that it is giving the First Daughter preferential treatment in connection with her growing number of trademark registrations, this is hardly the first time she has come under fire for potential ethics violations.
The fashion, jewelry and digital lifestyle company – which Trump launched in 2007 and which generated $100 million in revenues in 2016, according to G-III, the $2.3 billion apparel giant that was contracted to manufacture and distribute Ivanka’s wares – has been tied to a messy concoction of legal, ethical, and labor-related issues since Donald Trump began campaigning in 2016.