On January 20, 2021, Andrew Price was quoted in World Trademark Review (WTR) on the brand-related positives and negatives of President Donald Trump’s time in office, including his administration’s policies toward China.
According to the article, the past four years have also been notable for the times that companies have been unwittingly pulled into the political fray. Such instances have included Trump directly promoting particular brands, using brand elements in political messages, and publicly criticizing them.
Chinese brands have been one of the most frequent targets of Trump’s ire, forming part of his strategy to press the Chinese government during trade negotiations. However, Price argued that this may not necessarily have been helpful to domestic brands. “Trump’s pressure on Chinese entities like Huawei and TikTok seems to have made it more difficult for US companies to establish that they are entitled to any advantages in China, such as achieving well-known status of their brands,” he notes.
However, Price noted that the China strategy has had some clear advantages. “Trump’s pressure on the Chinese government has shown the country for the first time that the United States means business when it comes to protecting intellectual property,” Price observed. “While some US brand owners acting in China may feel the cards are stacked against them in the short term, simply by virtue of being from the United States, there should be a long-term benefit of shining a spotlight on key issues like bad-faith filing practices.”
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