New York Times' China Grants Ivanka Trump Initial Approval for New Trademarks:

HONG KONG — China granted initial approval for 16 new trademarks to Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter and senior adviser, renewing questions about the Trump family’s intermingling of official roles and international business interests.

Among the broad array of trademarked items were shoes, shirts and sunglasses — the sort of products that were sold under her recently closed fashion label. Other categories given initial approval were less obvious fits, like voting machines, homes for senior citizens and semiconductors. (emphasis added)

Washington Post: China greenlights large batch of Ivanka Trump trademark applications (Mercury News also):

HONG KONG — Ivanka Trump-branded semiconductors and voting machines? In China? (emphasis added)

That’s an odd, if remote, possibility after Chinese trademark regulators awarded preliminary approval for 16 trademark applications from the president’s daughter and White House senior adviser, online Chinese government filings show.

The approvals by Beijing on Oct. 13 were notable for their timing, coming just as Chinese and U.S. officials were seeking to restart trade talks that had collapsed amid acrimony. They also raised eyebrows for covering a grab-bag of products, including electoral hardware in a country not exactly known for its elections.

Question: Do trademark applications for specific technological products like voting machines or semiconductors require the submission of a related patent, or a design, invention, or at least example of an embodiment as part of the trademark application?

  • An extension of this question could be "Is there a Trump bipolar transistor, or a Trump voting booth out there somewhere?" But here I'm only asking about the trademarking of specific technology.
    – uhoh
    May 31, 2019 at 2:55

1 Answer 1


In US law, a trademark application only requires that you are now selling, or intend to sell in the reasonably near future, a product (or service) using the specified name. You don't have to provide an example, or a design, and it does not have to be patented. The applicant might be planning to license someone else's patent, or to market off-the-shelf tech not protected by patent. The applicant might be planning to market tech still under development and not yet ready to be submitted for a patent.

I do not know Chinese trademark law, but I suspect it is similar in this regard. I have not heard of any country that requires a patent, a design, or an example of a working product along with a trademark registration. However, there is, in many countries, a requirement that actual sales occur within a limited period after the trademark is granted, and if this does not happen, the trademark registration may be canceled. The time allowed varies.

  • Thank you for the clear and concise explanation! Is it possible to know how it can be established that one meets the requirement for intent to sell in the reasonably near future? Do you just sign a statement saying so, or do you need to show some evidence of intent? (or should this be asked as a separate question?)
    – uhoh
    May 31, 2019 at 4:37
  • 1
    @uhoh My understanding is that you just say so, but if you don't follow through within the allowed time, the trademark registration may be canceled, particularly if someone else wants it. And you don't get your application fees back in that case. May 31, 2019 at 4:39

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