Ivanka Trump, whose global brand has become a household name since her father took office, has launched an international legal strategy to protect her name.
Bloomberg reports that the famous first daughter has risen to such prominence, especially in China, that Chinese lawyers are scrambling to file several trademark applications in her name in a bid to stop copycat Chinese companies from cashing in on her iconic name and brand.
In response to the sales surge for Ivanka Trump goods in recent months, her company–Ivanka Trump Marks LLC–has reportedly filed a series of applications to trademark just the word ‘Ivanka’ in China.
Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said that “a surge in trademark filings by unrelated third parties” prompted the company to move quickly to assert its rights “in regions where trademark infringement is rampant.”
Ivanka Trump is also taking legal action in the U.S. to block anyone who is aiming to profit from her name.
The “Ivanka” trademark in the U.S. was filed as an “intent to use,” which places it off-limits to others. Once one is approved, the holder must eventually submit proof that it is being used within a certain time frame.
Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has registered a trademark for “Ivanka” on fashion items ranging from dresses and skirts to scarves and ponchos back in December, says the report. And, in recent years, her company has also sought first-name trademarks in categories such as jackets, handbags, eyewear, and numerous household items.
A spokesperson for the Ivanka brand stated they do not plan to drop the Trump surname, though adding to her trademarks will give the flexibility to use only her first name if she chooses.
When she launched her fine jewelry collection in 2007, she was asked whether she wanted to use only her first name. She was quoted in one of her books saying, “Looking back, I think my first name would have worked quite nicely, being that it is very distinctive,” she wrote. “But we all realized that if we were looking to expand into an international market, it would be a huge missed opportunity to leave the Trump name on the cutting room floor.”
She added that Trump was “a name that already represented luxury, glamour, wealth, and aspiration” and she wanted to capitalize on a brand that her father worked so hard to refine.
Some may pose the question of a possible conflict of interest since Ivanka is now considered an official, unpaid federal employee with a West Wing office. She explained that since accepting her new White House position, she has handed over management duties to her company’s president and has transferred the brand’s assets to a trust overseen by relatives of her husband Jared Kushner, but she continues to retain her ownership stake in the company, reports Bloomberg.
Others take issue with the fact that Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has filed 173 trademarks in foreign countries over the past decade, according to the New York Times, and a few have been filed since her father took office. Some argue that Ivanka Trump has met with world leaders from the same nations in which her company has filed trademarks.
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