Knowledge & News

Is the Trump family brand capitalising on Donald Trump’s presidency?

15 May 2017

Donald Trump has enjoyed plenty of success as a businessman, developing a family brand that stretches to hospitality, luxury goods and real estate. He is the first US president to come to office with such a background. Prior to entering office, the Trump Organization had over a hundred trade mark registrations in the USA protecting its brand, the majority featuring TRUMP as the dominant element (eg TRUMP GOLF LINKS and TRUMP HOTEL COLLECTION), as well as several registrations for TRUMP alone. These marks are registered in relation to a broad range of goods and services, from golf courses to gambling and real estate services to retail services.

Trump’s brand protection focus shifted when he announced his presidential candidacy, filing a US application in August 2015 for MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN in relation to various campaign-related goods and services. He had registered the same mark in 2012 albeit in relation to slightly different services: political action and fundraising. It would appear that Trump had both politics and business in his mind when he filed two separate applications for TRUMP in May 2015, one in relation to politics and political fundraising and the other for services in relation to golf. Although Trump has now stepped down from his personal business duties, DTTM Corporation LLC, Trump’s business entity, has since filed new trade mark applications in the USA (although none feature the word TRUMP).

Already thinking ahead to 2020, since being elected president, Trump has filed for his anticipated re-election slogan KEEP AMERICA GREAT in various classes for campaign merchandise and political campaigning services.

Donald Trump’s wider family are also well known in the business community and it seems the Trump family are going to continue to be fiercely protective of their brand. First Lady Melania Trump has recently settled a libel claim with the Daily Mail where she claimed that her reputation would be damaged during a period where, as First Lady, she could capitalise on being one of the most photographed women in the world. The libel claim referred specifically to her ‘brand’ and the resulting damage to her business opportunities, following a defamatory article published by the newspaper regarding her previous modelling career.

Meanwhile, “First Daughter” Ivanka Trump also made the headlines recently when three of her trade marks were provisionally accepted in China. Ivanka Trump is a successful businesswoman in her own right and holds several trade mark registrations worldwide. The majority of these marks are variations of IVANKA TRUMP and are mostly registered in relation to clothing, fashion accessories and retail services. Despite Ivanka having resigned from her business due to her role in the White House, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has since filed in the Philippines and Canada and the fashion business appears to be continuing to expand.
 
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the whole Trump family’s brand protection strategy develops as some members focus on politics, whilst others remain in the world of business.

Authors

Ella Newell

Ella Newell Trainee Trade Mark Attorney Birmingham (UK)

Amy Wood

Amy Wood Associate Birmingham (UK)

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