Speed Reads

coincidence?

China's quick reversal on Trump trademarks raises question of 'special treatment'

The Chinese government's recent decision to reverse its rejection of nine Trump trademarks has raised eyebrows, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. China granted preliminary approval to the trademarks just weeks after initially rejecting them, and intellectual property attorney Matthew Dresden told AP that the appeals were decided at a speed that's "mind-blowing." "I have never seen any decisions made that quickly. That suggests special treatment," Dresden said, while acknowledging his observations were "just procedural" and that "substantively, it's impossible to say whether any of this is unusual."

Public records did not offer reasons for the initial rejections or for the reversal. Even before The Associated Press reported on the reversals, trademarks had been raised as a potential conflict-of-interest issue in the debate over President Trump's decision to maintain ownership over his business empire while he's in office. AP explained that "trademarks lie at the heart of these complaints because they are granted by foreign states and can be enormously valuable — whether they are intended as groundwork for future business activity or defensive measures to protect a brand from squatters."

Including these nine provisional approvals, China has now granted the Trump family business 39 official registrations since Trump took office in January. First daughter Ivanka Trump's brand has gotten provisional approval on "at least seven new trademarks since she took on an official role at the White House," AP reported.

Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten has maintained the company has not used the president's influence to sway Chinese trademark officials. Read more on the story at The Associated Press.