Kerry Allen/BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
Given the amount of media attention being given to the US presidential candidates, many Chinese companies are trying to capitalise on “Biden” and “Trump” suddenly becoming popular search terms.
Chinese news website Pear Video notes that there’s been a surge of Chinese firms rushing to register trademarks in either candidate’s name. It cites data from China’s Trademark Office of National Intellectual Property, and says that there are currently 154 trademark listings containing the word “Trump”, and 99 containing the word “Biden”.
Many of the applications for “Trump” date back to the last election, but firms began applying for “Biden” trademarks as early as May 2018.
Many are still pending review, but some companies have already gained the right to use these names. Pear Video notes that an agricultural company in central Henan province has already registered the trademark “Trump – Biden”. As the company acts as an agent for the Chinese liquor Maotai, this has led to many speculating whether they might be seeing a US presidency-themed beverage soon on the market.
It’s common for Chinese companies to try and secure local trademarks quickly when a name or company overseas begins to get popular, and it’s a headache for big brands.
In 2016, Apple actually lost a trademark fight to a handbag and leather goods company in China, meaning the latter could continue to use the name “IPHONE” on its products.