Trademarks: Trump winning battles in U.S and China.
The presidential elections in the United States of America have now concluded with Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump winning a closely contested election.
There has been a lot of speculation about IP laws and its progress under Trump’s term, but unfortunately there hasn’t been much information released in his agenda. Although Trump has substantial personal experience protecting and enforcing his own trademarks, including attempts to protect more controversial marks such as ‘you’re fired.’
One of the recent cases being, a Chinese construction company named Liaoning Construction Company, unrelated to Trump’s businesses had beaten him to the trademark just two weeks before his application.
The Trademark Office had turned down Trump’s application to use the trademark in the areas he had requested because it closely resembled the trademark registered by the Liaoning construction company in the category of “construction and factory building”. The services provided by both were very similar, which did not make things any better.
The name Trump was very commonly used in China. The billionaire-businessman-turned-politician has registered many trademarks of his name in China and has faced a lot of issues.
After the verdict,Trump had sued the trademark office of China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce for refusing to grant him the Trump trademark to use his name in “construction” and “construction information services”.
This ruling was made only two days after Trump’s announcement of his candidacy in the US presidential election.
Trump requested a re-examination, and in February 2014 the review board stated that Trump’s Trademark was too similar to Dong Wei’s and it will definitely cause confusion in the minds of the consumers.The board rejected Trump’s appeal that Liaoning Construction Company had wrongfully and maliciously used his mark.Then Trump filed a lawsuit against SAIC at Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court, which upheld the ruling.
Several rounds later, during which Trump argued that Dong Wei was maliciously registering an existing and influential trademark, the Beijing People’s High Court dismissed Trump’s appeal in a final judgment on May 18, 2015, a month before Mr. Trump announced his presidential run.
But Trump did not give up easily, he refiled a new application for the trademark and Dong Wei’s claim was invalidated.However, it seems like Trump’s unprecedented success in the US presidential election is starting to make a huge difference with China’s trademark officials.
The application finally won provisional approval November 13th 2016, four days after he won the election, if no one objects during a 90-day public-notice period, the decision will be permanent.
Authored By – Srividya Viswanathan