Thursday, May 04, 2006

Donald And Ivana In Trademark Tangle

Mogul seeks to "Trump" ex-wife's bid to use his famous surname

MAY 3--Fearful of a dilution of his powerful brand, Donald Trump is fighting his ex-wife Ivana's bid to trademark her name for use in the real estate business. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records show that Trump recently lodged a formal opposition to his former wife's application to trademark the term "Ivana Trump."

In a March 21 filing, Donald (who is identified as the "famous real estate developer") argues that issuance of the trademark sought by his ex would be "confusingly similar" to his own valuable handle. Ivana filed her trademark application in September 2004, but it wasn't until the mark was "published" in February that USPTO proceedings could be started by anyone seeking to challenge the requested trademark.

On March 21, Trump filed his opposition, a copy of which you can find below. According to the millionaire developer, despite the pair's 1992 divorce and her "intervening marriage," Ivana has "chosen to keep Mr. Trump's surname" and is now "attempting to go into business--the identical line of business as Mr. Trump--using the TRUMP name and trademark." The "Apprentice" host claims that he has used the Trump name "in connection with a multitude of high-profile real estate projects" since 1964, when Trump turned 18.

In an April 28 answer to her former husband's opposition, Ivana denies that a new Trump trademark would cause confusion, adding that her continuing use of his surname "has been undertaken with the consent and acquiescence" of The Donald. Kudos to eagle-eyed Trademark Guy blogger Owen Smigelski for first discovering the Trump tussle.

Read the actual Court Filing Here

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