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Trump Among Many Presidents With Passion for Patents and Trademarks

Trump Among Many Presidents With Passion for Patents and Trademarks

President Donald Trump. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 19 February 2017 07:01 PM

On President's Day, an entire community of American entrepreneurs is anxiously awaiting the Trump Administration's rollout of an agenda on intellectual property, trademarks and patents.

These issues are particularly critical because, at a time when intellectual property supports more than 45 million American jobs, the U.S. has plummeted to fifth in the world in terms of enforcement of intellectual property protections (Behind the United Kingdom, Sweden, France and Germany). This figure comes from the Intellectual Property Index of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

There is particular interest in what the Administration will do about this in large part because the 45th President is the latest occupant of the White House who has a history of and relationship with trademarks and patents.

"In fact, ‘Donald Trump' is the first presidential name that is also a registered trademark for fragrances and as part of other trademarks for apparel and eyewear," wrote Jorge Espinosa, managing partner of a Miami-based intellectual property law firm.

He added that, since 1985, Trump has filed around 300 federal applications for trademarks and "understands the value of trademark registration."

But, on President's Day, it is worth noting that Trump is by no means the first President to have a relationship with trademarks and patents—not by a long shot.

The creation of a patent system was, in fact, a topic of discussion among the Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson at first fought the idea of patents and felt they would impede invention. But he changed his mind after concluding that patents fueled innovation.

After the first patent law was enacted by Congress in 1790, Jefferson wrote that the "Act of Congress authorizing the issuing patents for new discoveries has given a spring to invention beyond my conception."

Abraham Lincoln was quite taken with inventions and the protection of their inventors. He hailed the U.S. patent system as "the fuel of interest to the fire of genius." More than a decade before he became president, Lincoln was granted a patent on May 22, 1849 for an invention that would help release boats when they ran aground.

"And don't forget that George W. Bush has become quite a prolific painter since leaving the White House," James L. Martin, president of the SixtyPlus Seniors Association and friend of Bush's since 1968, told Newsmax. Recalling how he attended an unveiling of Bush's oil paintings in Dallas three years ago, Martin noted that the portfolio of the 43rd President "has everything in it from portraits of [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel and other world leaders to landscapes and animals."

"His artwork and new book of portraits are valuable intellectual property that need protection," said Martin.

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On President's Day, an entire community of American entrepreneurs is anxiously awaiting the Trump Administration's rollout of an agenda on intellectual property, trademarks and patents.
presidents day, donald trump, trump, white house, president, patents, trademarks
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2017-01-19
Sunday, 19 February 2017 07:01 PM
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