When the daughter of the president announced that her eponymous brand was closed early this summer, she cited her government duties and responsibilities as reasons. According to CREW, a non-profit organization based in Washington, Ivanka Trump has recently approved a voting machine brand in China, although its brand was closed in July.
Her trademarks could represent a potential conflict of interest in her role as Advisor to the President, directly influencing the policies and diplomatic relations of the White House. CREW, which stands for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, reported that the fashion brand Ivanka received the first approval for 16 new Chinese government brands at the end of October. The most recent round of licensing is the largest number of new Chinese brands received in a single month, CREW has reported since her father's presidency.
The trademarks approved in October include clothing and accessories such as handbags, shoes, wedding dresses and jewelery. Interestingly, the temporary marks also include unusual items such as nursing homes, sausage casings and voting machines used in China. According to documents contained in CREW's article, Ivanka registered these trademarks in March 2016 when her dad was already in the election campaign.
According to CREW, Ivanka's trademark continues to apply for and acquire new trademarks. This means that the first daughter could keep her options open if she ever decides to leave her high-profile role in the White House.
It is unclear why Ivanka wanted to mark voting machines and sausage casings as trademarks, articles that are obviously outside the fashion world. And it's not the first time that your company has signed up for fashion parallel products. Loud Chicago TribuneIn March 2017, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC applied for at least 14 new brands in China shortly before publicly announcing her advisory role in the White House. The 2017 claims call for trademark rights for other non-fashion items such as real estate and financial services, construction and furniture. In any case, when Ivanka owns the brands, it gives their company the freedom to expand beyond fashion in China.
Brands in China can provide critical protection for companies that are otherwise vulnerable to infringement or theft. China, the second largest economy in the world after the United States, has said its trademark approvals are fair Chicago Tribune while Ivanka's brand said the Chinese brands were preemptively registered in 2017 to distract squatters from using their name.
"The brand has registered, updated and rigorously protected its international brands over the past few years, especially in regions where trademark infringement is rampant," said Abigail Klem, former president of the Ivanka brand, in 2017 statement.
Ivanka retains the property and could transfer the trademarks or re-establish her fashion brand if she wants to leave politics behind. During summer, The Washington Post reported that she would continue to receive brands, so the door will be open later for future business.
"It's breaking up the company now, but it's still going to get a brand name so it can later sell its products around the world," said Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer for former President George W. Bush's former White House post Office in summer. "What better time to get these brands than now, when every government around the world wants to play nicely" with their dad?