Our “sister” blogger, Susan Finder, has dug up one of Donald Trump’s trademark litigation under his eponymous mark, and reported it on her Supreme People’s Court Monitor website, suggested that “he is the first person to be elected president of the United States who has sued in the Chinese courts.” He lost the case.
It is probably true that Mr. Trump will be the first US President to have brought a law suit in his own name in a Chinese court, as Susan Finder points out. A search for Trump in the court’s database might or in the trademark database might however, overlook that Trump (or any other President) had interests in other marks in the United States other than those with his name (such as Miss Universe, in the case of Trump), and he may also have secured marks in China that were different from those he owned in the United States. I listed some of the marks he owns and that may be the subject of squattings in an earlier posting, but that list was also partial.
In other blogs, Politico reported Trump’s goals during the first 100 days of his administration include a China-IP related outcome: “TRUMP TRANSITION LAYS OUT INTERNAL TRADE GOALS — By Day 100 of the Trump administration, his team aims to finalize withdrawal from the TPP, renegotiate bilateral trade agreements, and direct the Commerce Department and U.S. Trade Representative to come up with a comprehensive intellectual property theft strategy, with particular regard to China, according to a new policy document described to Pro Transition 2017 by a source downtown.”
Separately, IP Watchdog reported that Vice President elect Pence’s generally more explicit, pro patent views are likely to be influential in a Trump administration. The blog notes “Pence seems to appreciate the realities and benefits of commercializing patented technology, and the benefit that brings in terms of economic development and better, higher paying jobs.”
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has also published a useful summary of Trump’s innovation policies, which focuses on domestic policy and trade policies, but also yet again underscores concerns about Chinese intellectual property theft.
Postscript (Nov. 16, 2016): The New York Times ran an article November 15, 2016 on the Trump brand of high tech toilets in China. The Chinalawblog also did an analysis of the trademark squatting case involving Trump, including a recent decision and a discussion of how China has traditionally rejected applications for trademarks that used the names of US presidents. Photo by alert reader Boris Brawer, thank you!
Categories: China IPR, Donald Trump, ITIF, Susan Finder, Trademark, trademark squatting
I did search Trump’s name and this case is the only one in which Trump litigated in his own name (Donald Trump, of his 5th Avenue address).
I’m glad to be receiving your blog updates. Question for you: would a “comprehensive intellectual property theft strategy, with particular regard to China” be a bad thing? I imagine it depends on how it were executed, but as our survey data shows there’s slow progress generally in the right direction as China’s legal system becomes more developed.
I recognize much of this is just speculation, as no one knows what exactly is going to happen or what his policies really will be, but I do appreciate your take on his litigation in China.
Good to know.
Great insights, as always. But how did you manage to keep a straight face and sober tone while writing about the Trump toilet seat trademark and the challenge of squatting in China? 好的榜样！