When you hear the name Ivanka, what do you think?
Chances are that the first thing that springs to mind is President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter. And she wants to keep it that way: According to Advertising Age, Ivanka Trump has filed for trademarks in both the United States and China to make sure that she, and only she, can market products under not only her full name but also just “Ivanka” on its own. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s actively expanding her brand; in China especially, proactively pursuing trademarks to ward off knockoffs is fairly common practice. Her company received three of those Chinese trademarks, for jewelry, bags, and spa services, on April 6—the same day she joined her father and Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, though there was nothing to suggest the timing was anything more than a coincidence.
Nevertheless, Ivanka’s quest to legally protect her own name is yet another demonstration of the ethical ambiguities that arise from a powerful businessman in the White House, staffed by members of his family. Quite often, the line between the Trump brand and the Trump administration is not a clear one. Famous (and profitable) as the family’s names were before Donald became president—there’s speculation that the name is the Trump Organization’s most valuable asset—Trump’s ascension to arguably the highest office on earth, and his subsequent decision to bring his daughter into the White House, have drastically increased their visibility.