Intellectual Property Attorney

How’s the “TRUMP” Brand Doing Donald?

“I think the brand is hotter than it’s ever been, but it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care,” Trump said in an interview that was taped Wednesday and aired Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It doesn’t matter. I don’t care about the brand. I care about the country.”

Brand Value = Reputation of the Brand Owner

What do Brittany Spears, Tiger Woods and Samsung all have in common? They all, through self-infliction, have caused tremendous damage to their brand. While its normal (and often unavoidable) for the brand of a celebrity or a company to lose value over time, causing self-inflicted damage to your brand during its heyday can be catastrophic and cost millions. Worse still, any attempt to reverse the damage – once done – can prove to be a long, arduous and costly process, with no certainty of success.

The “TRUMP” brand – protected by hundreds of U.S. trademark registrations – is currently the cornerstone of Donald J. Trump’s businesses with reported income of more than $557 million dollars and a net worth of more than $10 billion dollars. Accordingly, much is at stake for Mr. Trump (and the investors in his various enterprises), regardless of whether he is the next POTUS. The question for Mr. Trump (and his investors) is simple: is Mr. Trump doing damage to the “TRUMP” brand?

Politico suggests that the damage is already done and that Mr. Trump’s decision to take a break from the campaign to attend a ribbon-cutting at his new D.C. hotel was motivated by his concerns. We suspect that Mr. Trump may simply be banking on the old adage (that’s been attributed to no less than Mae West, P.T. Barnum, George M. Cohan, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde): “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right.”

One thing we know about Mr. Trump is that he is a resilient fighter and historically a winner. Here’s hoping that he continues to recognize the value of his intellectual property and continues to take the requisite steps to legally protect the “TRUMP” brand. No matter the outcome of the election, when all is said and done, the “TRUMP” brand should continue as a licensing powerhouse for years to come.

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