Russia renewed Trump Organization trademarks during election: report

Russia renewed several unused trademarks held by the Trump Organization during the 2016 election, according to a new report.

The New York Times reports that the Russian government agency in charge of intellectual property, Rospatent, granted extensions for six trademarks owned by the Trump Organization last year. The trademarks were originally obtained for hotels and other business ventures between 1996 and 2007, according to the Times, but those ventures never took off, and the trademarks were set to expire in 2016.

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The Trump Organization reportedly sought to renew the trademarks despite their inactivity, and the Russian government began granting new 10-year terms for the trademarks in April 2016. Four of the trademarks were officially registered on Election Day, the Times reported.

A Rospatent spokesperson did not answer questions from the newspaper, and a White House spokesperson referred a reporter to the Trump Organization for comment.

Alan Garten, chief legal counsel for the Trump Organization, told The Times that the company sought the renewals “to prevent third parties from infringing on the company’s intellectual property rights.” He also said there were no plans to use the trademarks in the future.

“The company will not be seeking any new business opportunities in Russia,” Garten added.

President Trump has maintained that he has no business dealings in Russia. Last month, Trump’s lawyers issued a letter claiming Trump’s tax returns do not reveal “any income of any type from Russian sources,” with “few exceptions.”