China says Ivanka Trump trademark requests handled properly

Ivanka Trump may not understand what complicit means, but one would assume a businesswoman of her posturing would certainly understand what a conflict of interest is.

Ivanka Trump was present when Donald Trump met Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, in Florida this month. During the Mar-a-Lago meetings, her daughter, 5-year-old Arabella, stood in a gilded room and sang a traditional Chinese song, in Mandarin, for China's president, Xi Jinping.

February 20, 2017: Ivanka Trump Marks LLC wins preliminary approval for a trademark covering branded leather handbags in China, where the company has 52 pending or registered trademarks listed in the government trademark database. The China approvals, in particular, came much faster than the usual pace of the country's Trademark Office. There is also her father's Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House, in which Ivanka is a multimillion dollar stakeholder, despite ethics experts urging her to stay away from the hotel while holding a government job. China granted preliminary approval for 35 Trump-related trademarks in businesses like mining, construction and hospitality earlier this year.

"Just when you think you've seen it all, Trump offers something else that's even more outrageous and even more troubling", said Rep. John Sarbanes in an interview with CNN.

Klem, president of Ivanka Trump's brand, said in a statement, "The brand has filed, updated and rigorously protected its worldwide trademarks over the past several years in the normal course of business, especially in regions where trademark infringement is rampant". Intellectual property lawyers say trademarks are also a crucial prerequisite for cutting licensing deals, which form the basis of both Ivanka and Donald Trump's global business strategy. Her brother-in-law and sister-in-law serve as trustees, while Abigail Klem, her brand's president, runs the company's day-to-day operations.

"We consistently follow the principle of equally protecting the legal trademark rights of trademark owners of foreign companies and handle the process of relevant trademark registration in accordance with the law and rules", he told a daily news briefing. In China alone the company has 32 pending trademarks. In December, the company applied for five trademarks, covering handbags and wallets in Puerto Rico, and lingerie and other clothes in the U.S. After the inauguration, the company filed four more applications, for branded clothing and shoes in the Philippines, and perfume and other items in Canada.

Her brand said in a statement that Trump herself did not sign off on the new applications, adding they are "not necessarily" an indication of planned expansion.

Will Ivanka Trump be an advocate for women's rights, climate change or paid family leave? The other is a culture of self-enrichment and self-dealing in which corporate C.E.O.s, lobbyists and foreign officials seeking the first family's favor hold parties at Mar-a-Lago and at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, a couple of blocks from the White House.

According to one fashion analyst, Ivanka Trump's company saw a 771 percent increase in sales between February 2016 and February 2017. The bounce appears somewhat sustained. In March sales on Lyst were up 262 percent over the same period previous year.

"You can't separate Ivanka from her role in life and from her business", said Allen Adamson, founder of BrandSimpleConsulting. "Her celebrity status is now not only being fueled by her wealth and her family connection, but by her huge role in the White House". Her firm is valued at upwards of $50 million with more than 1,000 stores carrying her products in addition to e-commerce platforms like Amazon. But King, who voted for Hillary Clinton, said she believes Trump's role in the White House represents a conflict of interest.

Of course, this same sort of logic could also be applied to Ivanka who now has an office in the White House, though without an official title, and is said to exercise great influence over her father.

  • Leroy Wright