By Danny Cevallos, CNN Legal Analyst
(CNN)This week the Chinese government finally gave Donald Trump’s company trademark protection for use of his name in the construction industry.
Trump sought protection and control of his trademark in the Chinese courts for years, including at the time of his campaign. Last September, China’s trademark review board announced it would invalidate a rival claim for Trump’s mark, and in November, after he was elected, the board gave the trademark to the President’s business. This week it was officially registered.
Does this mean there was some quid pro quo between China and the Trump team? Even if the US government hasn’t yet offered any “quo” for China’s “quid,” this might be an issue. But this issue should not be viewed in a vacuum. China has some baggage in the area of international and intellectual property.
First, the world of “intellectual property” itself is highly specialized and highly confusing to most Americans. Intellectual property law is designed to reward and protect innovation.
A capitalistic society despises monopolies, because they stifle — among other things — innovation. Yet to incentivize inventions and creativity, we award clever innovations with a limited monopoly.