China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the government equally handles applications to register trademarks, following a report that the company of the daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump has had new trademarks approved in China.
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The Associated Press reported that since Trump took office on Jan. 20, Ivanka Trump's Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has won provisional approval from China for at least five new trademarks, adding to 16 already registered and more than 30 pending applications.
The report said that on April 6, when President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were meeting in Florida, Ivanka Trump's firm won provisional approval from China for three new trademarks, covering jewelry, bags and spa services.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked about the report, said there was nothing untoward.
"We consistently follow the principle of equally protecting the legal trademark rights of trademark owners of foreign companies and handle the process of relevant trademark registration in accordance with the law and rules," he told a daily news briefing.
AP cited a statement from a spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand as saying that all 2017 Chinese trademarks were defensive, aimed at preventing counterfeiters or squatters from using her name.
China has also granted preliminary approval for 38 trademarks linked to Donald Trump, giving the U.S. president and his family protection were they to develop the "Trump" brand in the market.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)