Access practice tools, as well as industry leading news, customizable alerts, dockets, and primary content, including a comprehensive collection of case law, dockets, and regulations. Leverage...
President Donald Trump’s trademark registration in China amounts to a benefit conferred by a foreign government in violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to a lawsuit filed by a team of constitutional law professors.The lawsuit—filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and a restaurant workers union—was amended today to include the trademark issue as an example of how Trump has allegedly violated the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal office holders from accepting things of value from foreign governments.The fact that the Chinese granted Trump a trademark registration only after he became president “is a benefit from a foreign government,” Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the ethics group, told Bloomberg BNA.Trump first sought to register his name as a trademark in China for building construction services in 2006, according to the amended complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. That application failed, a decision that was affirmed on appeal to an administrative tribunal and two courts.
The ethics group and Restaurant Opportunities Center United Inc. said in their complaint that Trump lost the last appeal a month before he declared his candidacy for the presidency. But after his inauguration, he met with the Chinese and spoke with the Chinese president, they said. Five days later, the Chinese government issued a trademark registration.
The issuance apparently occurred in the face of a Chinese law barring issuing registrations for trademarks that are “the same as or similar to the name of leaders of national, regional, or international political organizations,” according to the complaint.
Three Democratic senators—Ben Cardin of Maryland, Dianne Feinstein of California and Jack Reed of Rhode Island—sent a letter in February to the State Department, expressing concern that the trademark registration violated the Emoluments Clause.
Among the constitutional law experts advising the plaintiffs are Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard Law School professor, and Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment from Bloomberg BNA.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anandashankar Mazumdar in Washington at AMazumdar@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek at email@example.com
Text is available at: http://src.bna.com/n3w
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)