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Trump and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

As David Letterman once said, “Trump is a big man, I think 230 pounds — 235 with cologne.” 

In the wake of the recent election, many are trying to predict how President Elect Trump will view the current US Patent and Trademark Office. Will he dub it “Tremendous,” or a “Disaster?” David Letterman’s quote may hold a key to this prognostication.

Republican U.S. presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX25SSG

Republican U.S. presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) – RTX25SSG

Like anyone, Trump’s views are likely to be formed largely by his past experiences. But, his past experience with patents appears to be limited.  While his uncle John G. Trump was a prolific inventor, Trump does not appear to be listed as an inventor on any US patent application. 

That said, a lack of patent experience is not unusual for a President. Only one US President, Abraham Lincoln, has held a patent. It was US Pat. No. 6469 entitled “Buoying Vessels Over Shoals” and the invention originated based on his experiences in his youth ferrying travelers and carrying freight on lakes and rivers in the Midwest. Even Thomas Jefferson, who is credited with inventing many things still in use today and who was instrumental in the start of the US patent office, did not own a patent. 

While Trump’s patent experience seems limited, unlike most former Presidents, President Elect Trump has been diligent in registering and protecting trademarks. His name has been tied to over 300 US trademark applications for well-recognized marks and catch phrases such as TRUMP, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN and YOURE FIRED!. It has also been tied to less familiar brands like DONALD TRUMP THE FRAGRANCE, SUCCESS BY TRUMP, and EMPIRE BY TRUMP, all for cologne. Trump’s prolific use of the trademark registration system in this country for even less familiar marks demonstrates his view on the system’s value. While it remains to be seen whether he has ideas on reform, his past actions indicated his understanding of the “tremendous” role intellectual property rights can play in business and the economy

DISCLAIMERThe information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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