California Intellectual Property Blog


Trump Wins Major Trademark Battle in China

Orange County – Roughly ten years ago, in 2006, Donald Trump and the Trump Organization attempted to register his Trump trademark across numerous categories of goods and services in China. After numerous bumps in the application process, Mr. Trump has finally won his fight for the Trump name in China for real-estate-agent services in both the commercial and residential sectors.

Although Trump won the battle for real estate services, the Trump Organization may find more resistance for other goods and services. Of the more than 50 registered trademarks with the Trump name in China, only 21 are currently owned by Mr. Trump. The trademarks have been applied for in several different categories, clothing, beauty salons, pet care products, and golf courses, to name a few.

The beginning of this saga started in 2006 when he applied to register the Trump name in numerous different categories. One of the hiccups came in 2009 when China’s trademark office rejected part of Mr. Trump’s application because someone had already applied for it just weeks earlier. The services that already had the Trump trademark were “construction-information” services, or rather, services provided by real-estate agents. Mr. Trump was still able to obtain trademarks in the commercial and residential areas, for services such as repair and installation of air conditioners, heating systems, escalators, and installation of indoor furnishings and repairs.

Some of the categories that the Trump name is registered but is not owned by Mr. Trump include aquarium products, ammunition, explosives, and tennis rackets. During years of battling out the trademarks in court, Mr. Trump’s appeal was dismissed in 2015, a month before he announced his intentions to run for president of the United States. The Trump team reapplied for the trademark and won provisional approval this week.

In China, it isn’t uncommon for people to grab the trademark of overseas brands. The hope is that the United States companies will settle instead of battle in court to acquire the trademark. This happened to Apple Inc., who had to buy the trademark for the iPod in China. Whether or not the Trump Organization or Mr. Trump himself will use the trademarks they have secured is not known.


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