China’s Foreign Ministry is defending a decision to grant Ivanka Trump new trademark rights for her line of handbags, jewelry and spa services. The three new trademarks were approved April 6 while the president’s daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at dinner at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, according to The Associated Press.
Don’t squint, my dearest Raisinettes. Here is the movie studio’s logo enlarged:
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Lu Kang, said the government handles all trademark applications equally. He suggested some media were “hyping certain gossip to hint at something undisclosed.”
Peter Riebling, a trademark lawyer in Washington, D.C., disagrees with that statement. He says normally it takes 18 months to two years to have a trademark registration application issued.
Riebling counted 182 pending or registered trademarks for her company across 23 countries, including China, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Australia.
The 35-year-old Trump was building her own global business empire before her father ran for president. She is now an adviser to the president, has an office in the White House and access to classified information and holds meetings with world leaders.
She has taken steps to separate herself from her business by moving back from its day-to-day operations and naming her brother-in-law and sister-in-law as trustees.
Larry Noble, general counsel of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, says that’s not good enough to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest.
“She has put her business into a trust, but it’s a trust being run by her family; it’s not a true blind trust. She’s still aware of what’s going on there and I believe she still has the ability to make certain decisions,” Noble says. “At the end of the day it’s all going to come back to her.”
Noble says trademarks granted at record speed send out a bad signal. “It raises questions whether there was any favoritism, would a country be less likely to challenge a trademark or refuse a trademark knowing that they’re doing this for the daughter of a president who advises the president,” he asks.
Riebling, the trademark lawyer, says he applauds any company that is proactive in applying for trademarks. He says it’s especially important for an organization, like Ivanka Trump’s, that’s not actually manufacturing a product.
“They’re licensing the brand name to others, so its critical, mission critical, to have the certificate of trademark registration,” he says.
Still, Riebling says he questions the speed with which China granted the trademarks, saying the timing is “very suspect.”