US President Donald Trump continues to rack up yuge victories in court… in China.
After being awarded the rights to a 10-year “Trump” trademark for building construction services in China last month, the commander in chief has now been given the go ahead on 38 more trademark requests, the Associated Press reports. The trademark requests are for businesses like hotels, insurance, security, and, most intriguingly, escort services (more on that later).
They consist of a sizable chunk of the Chinese trademark applications that Trump’s lawyers filed during his presidential campaign. As long as no one objects to them, they will be formally rubber-stamped in 90 days.
Trump has been embroiled in trademark disputes with Chinese companies for more than a decade, finding it difficult to defend his precious surname in China where loose copyright laws mean that trademarks are essentially “first come, first serve.” However, winning the US presidential election seems to have granted Trump an extra degree of protection in the murky field of Chinese trademark law.
The ease of his victories have caused some ethics experts to speculate that Trump is receiving special treatment from the Chinese government, thus putting him in violation of the US Constitution. Some have worried over how foreign governments might be able to exert influence over the president through how they deal with his beloved brand.
“There can be no question that it is a terrible idea for Donald Trump to be accepting the registration of these valuable property rights from China while he’s a sitting president of the United States,” Norman Eisen, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama, said last month. “It’s fair to conclude that this is an effort to influence Mr. Trump that is relatively inexpensive for the Chinese, potentially very valuable to him, but it could be very costly for the United States.”
Both before and after the election, a number of Chinese companies capitalized on Trump’s popularity by manufacturing goods for his supporters, including masks, toilet paper, toilets, condoms, pacemakers, MAGA hats and giant inflatable roosters. For his part, Trump has vowed not to do any new foreign business deals while he’s president, so he might have to wait at least a few months before exploiting his trademark wins.
Unfortunately, it turns out that even when Trump is out of office we in China likely will not get to experience the assuredly classy services of Trump escorts. As the Washington Post notes, Trump’s lawyers probably filed for an escort service trademark in China so that another company could not do so first and besmirch his good name.
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