Bloomberg BNA’s Patent Trademark & Copyright Law Daily™is the IP industry’s premier news service, offering objective, timely,and reliable daily news coverage and commentary from leading IP law...
Nov. 9 — President-elect Donald Trump's extensive trademark portfolio might mean intellectual property rights holders will have a friend in the White House once his administration moves into policy mode, IP lawyers told Bloomberg BNA.
Trump's stump speeches criticizing Chinese trade practices might be a sign that his administration will take steps to curb attacks on U.S. IP rights in China.
Although Trump has said little about IP in general, his stance on trade may hint at the direction of his future policy, Maya M. Eckstein, who heads the IP practice at Hunton & Williams LLP, Richmond, Va., and Washington, said.
“Most of his comments have focused on the intersection of IP and trade, suggesting that he will make proposals in an effort to protect IP holders in the U.S. from foreign piracy,” Eckstein told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail message.
Barton E. Showalter, a patent and technology lawyer with Baker Botts LLP, Dallas, agreed that Trump's statements on China may indicate a willingness to take a stronger line on protecting U.S. IP rights in that country. U.S. companies doing business in China have consistently complained about weak IP protections there.
Showalter told Bloomberg BNA that, although Chinese law as written protects IP in ways very similar to U.S. law, it is very difficult for an American IP owner to actually enforce its rights against an alleged infringer in China.
Also, Chinese requirements that foreign businesses take on Chinese partners in joint ventures creates a constant risk that U.S. companies can lose control of their IP to their partners, he said.
“It's still tough to do business in China when it's an IP-dependent business,” Showalter said. “Whether Trump can fix it or not remains to be seen.”
Trademarks are one area where Trump clearly understands the value of IP protection, according to John Gary Maynard III, an IP lawyer with Hunton & Williams LLP, Richmond, Va.
Trump “is well aware of and has taken advantage of trademark laws designed to protect and promote brands,” Maynard said. “We don't envision his administration taking steps to undermine the rights and strengths of brands.”
However, Trump's stated intent to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a good sign for IP owners, Daniel Griswold, co-director of the Program on the American Economy and Globalization at George Mason University, Arlington, Va., said.
“If a President Trump scuttles the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the United States will have one less tool to enforce the intellectual property rights of American companies abroad,” Griswold told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail message. “The U.S. International Trade Commission has found that existing free-trade agreements have boosted U.S. intellectual property receipts by $10 billion a year. Rejecting TPP and other agreements will make it more difficult for Americans to defend their IP rights in foreign markets.”
The Obama administration has the reputation of being close with the information technology industry—in particular, Google Inc. The recent ouster of Maria A. Pallante, who was seen as a strong proponent of copyright owners' rights, was viewed by some as a move that favored Silicon Valley over rights holders.
However, Trump doesn't have that same close relationship with Silicon Valley, campaign finance data show.
Trump got only $210,000 from internet and computer software companies, compared to $5.8 million contributed to Hillary Clinton's campaign, according to data from OpenSecrets.org, a website maintained by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, an organization that tracks money's effects on U.S. politics.
On the other hand, Trump didn't get much support from copyright interests either.
Companies related to book, magazine and newspaper publishing contributed $5.2 million to Clinton and $153,000 to Trump, the data. Similarly, television, movie and music companies contributed $6.8 million to Clinton and $139,000 to Trump.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anandashankar Mazumdar in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 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)