Trademark

Trademark news

Trademark news 

  1. A trademark application for “Trump-Biden” has been filed

On 18 August 2020 in US time, Joe Biden officially became the 2020 US Democratic Party presidential candidate.

On the afternoon of 24 August 2020, Donald Trump was officially nominated as the 2020 US Republican Party presidential candidate.

On 3 November EST, the 2020 US Presidential Election voting officially began. Prior to that, the incumbent President Trump and Biden – the Democratic party presidential candidate – completed their final campaign rallies respectively.

  1. A trademark application for “Trump-Biden” has been filed

According to the latest information on the official website of the Chinese Trademark Office, someone has applied for the trademark “Trump-Biden” for Class 33 wine-related goods.

Yes, there is a “—” between the two names. You can also interpret it as a dash sign, which perhaps is exactly what the applicant wants.

  1. Can the trademark “Trump-Biden” be approved for registration?

It is not so much a question of whether the “Trump-Biden” trademark can be registered, but rather whether a trademark consisting of the name of a US president will have any negative effect and thus cannot be registered.

In fact, it cannot be generalised.

For example, after Trump ran for President of the United States in 2016, Trump trademark applications made by others usually result in a direct rejection. The review will also not be approved.

Before Trump ran for President of the United States in 2016, Trump trademark applications made by others were usually published after the preliminary review and and most of them were approved for registration.

Is there a third situation? Yes.

Trademark applications made by Trump himself or made in the name of a company operating under the Trump trademark could still be approved for registration even after Trump is elected President of the United States.

The following will be expanded slowly.

 

  1. Examples of rejected “Trump” trademark applications made in 2016

If the applicant’s trade name is the same as the trademark, that won’t work either:


  1. Examples of registered “Trump” trademarks prior to 2016

Partial registrations are also registrations:

It is hard to not correspond with the English name anymore:

Using an alternative translation is also not allowed:

  1. Trump trademarks applied by Trump himself or by the company operating under the Trump trademark

Example: Under the personal name of DONALD J. TRUMP:

Example: Under the name of Donald Trump Trademark Operating LLC:

Registration can be approved both before and after 2016. This is probably because it will not cause confusion nor adverse social effects.

  1. Legal basis for deeming “Trump” to have adverse effects

 

Class 21 “Trump” trademark No. 22323981 will be used as an example. The applicant submitted the application on 20 December 2016 and the Trademark Office rejected the registration of the trademark on 23 October 2017. It was rejected on the grounds that it violated Article 10 Paragraph 1(8) of China’s Trademark Law and had adverse social effects.

The applicant was not satisfied with the rejection and applied to appeal the review. The main reason was that the applied-for trademark would not cause a negative impact on the public interests of China. It should not be recognized as “adverse social influence” as set out in Article 10 Paragraph 1(8) of the Trademark Law. Moreover, similar trademarks have already been approved for registration. Therefore, a request for a preliminary judgment on the applied-for trademark on all goods is made.

According to the decision of the review rejection for the Trademark Review Case [2018] No. 0000100456, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) held that the applied-for trademark “Trump” is the name of the incumbent President of the United States. Its use as a trademark is likely to cause adverse effects and violates the provisions of Article 10 Paragraph 1(8) of the Trademark Law. The examples of other approved trademark registrations cited by the applicant are irrelevant to this case and cannot be considered as the ex officio reason for approving the registration of the applied-for trademark.

 

In addition, according to the decision of the review rejection for the Trademark Review Case [2018] No. 0000100460 and similar [2018] No. 0000064932, TRAB considers that the applied-for trademark “Trump” is the name of the incumbent President of the United States and that the use of the trademark is likely to produce adverse effects and violates the provisions of Article 10 Paragraph 1(8) of the Trademark Law.

  1. Five types of adverse effects

 

On November 3, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court held a meeting on the rejection of trademark review cases involving “adverse effect” clauses.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court broadly divided the common cases involving “adverse effect” clauses into the following five categories:

  • Is detrimental to socialist moral values;
  • has adverse political influence;
  • has adverse economic effects;
  • has adverse cultural effects;
  • has adverse religious and ethnic effects.

 

  1. If Biden is elected as the new President

 

As Trump was once “the name of the incumbent President of the United States”, using it as a trademark would easily cause adverse effects.

What if, just in case, Trump is not re-elected, would it still easily cause adverse effects as a past U.S. President?

For the US Presidential Election, are you betting on Trump or Biden to win? Do you want to bet on a beer?

If, and I mean if, Biden is elected as the new President of the United States, even if he was not the President at the time of the trademark application, if he is the President while the trademark is reviewed, will a trademark name containing “Biden” certainly cause adverse effects…

The applicant of the “Trump-Biden” trade is about to cry, isn’t he?

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