Donald Trump beats Macau’s Trump in trademark battle

Trump Companhia Limitada — unrelated to the billionaire — registered the trademark in 2006 under the category of coffee shops, restaurants and catering.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2016, 3:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2016, 5:14pm

The highlight of Donald Trump’s week may have been winning enough delegates for the Republican nomination to run for president of the United States, but the billionaire is celebrating another victory, as he has come out on top in a long-running legal tussle in Macau over the Trump trademark.

The controversial American candidate has now at least three brands fully recognised in the world’s gaming hub.

According to a recent Macau court decision, the real estate mogul and political court-jester-turned- serious-contender is finally authorised to use his trademarks in the categories he wanted, hospitality and food and beverage businesses.

The lengthy legal battle involved Trump Companhia Limitada, a small Macau company unrelated to “The Donald”, which registered the trademark “Trump” in 2006 under the category of coffee shops, restaurants and catering.

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This sort of dispute is certainly not new to Trump.

Last year, his lawyers in the US challenged a pending trademark named “Trump Your Competition”used by an internet marketing firm of the same name. They argued that such a brand could be confused with Trump’s own trademarks.

Trump has obviously tried hard to make his presence noticed - not only through provocative speeches, but also through the number of trademark applications he has filed.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US trademark office received over 300 applications from Trump. Dozens of them are still active, while others have been abandoned or cancelled, as many of his businesses failed. Trump has his name stamped on a wide-range of products and services, such as drinks and golf courses.

But the billionaire and TV personality, who showed interest in investing in Macau’s gambling industry back in 2007, has not been protective of his name just in the US. In that same year, the American politician filed a request in the former Portuguese enclave to register three brands - Donald Trump, Trump Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower.

However, things were not as smooth as he might have had expected.

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In 2012, the Macau Economic Services accepted the requests filed by the American politician. It was then that the local business Trump Companhia Limitada took the case to the Court of First Instance.

The court concluded that the Trump trademark - held by the local company - was still valid under the category that it had been registered for (restaurant services).

Following this decision, the billionaire’s trademarks could still be associated with hospitality activities, but could not be used in restaurants and businesses alike.

The candidate for the White House then filed an appeal at the Second Instance Court, which ruled in his favour, as the local company’s trademark had already expired.

Despite winning the case, Trump’s lawyers failed to prove that the local company was acting in bad faith.

This article appeared in print on May 29.