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When Donald Trump meets China’s Trump-branded toilet

shenzhen trump, donald trump

What happens when the world's classiest brand meets Chinese toilet makers with a flexible understanding of trademark law? You get Trump toilets — high-end flushing machines with self-changing seat protectors available in both green and blue.

假如全球最高大上的品牌遇到了中国马桶厂商,而双方对商标法的理解又存在弹性,那会出现什么样的情况?你将目睹"特朗普牌马桶"的诞生——这种高端冲便机器能够自动更换马桶盖的套子,而且套子有蓝绿两种颜色供选择。

Shenzhen Trump Industries — no apparent relationship to U.S. businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump — was founded in 2002. It makes high-end "smart" commodes for use in spas, hotels, beauty centers, and hospitals. The company's Chinese name, Chuang Pu, means "innovate everywhere" and sounds almost the same as the nickname Chinese netizens often use to refer to the presidential candidate, "Chuan Pu." (The Chinese pronunciation of both names is similar to Trump.)

深圳市创普实业有限公司成立于2002年,应该和美国企业家及总统竞选人唐纳德•特朗普没有任何关系——虽说"创普"与"特朗普"的英文拼法一模一样,都是"Trump"。创普公司为洗浴中心、酒店、美容院和医院提供高端"智能"便具。公司中文名称的含义是"创新无处不在"。另一方面,中国网友给特朗普先生起的昵称是"川普",从读音上讲跟"创普"也很相似。

The company seems to have adopted a bit of the Republican Party frontrunner's characteristic swagger. On its website, Shenzhen Trump claimed that it was "the first company in the world" to use retractable toilet seat protectors to "solve the problem of toilet hygiene on a global scale," and that its products have one billion "users" each year. The toilet maker's English-language slogan is "Triple Care, Double Enjoyment." And kids just love 'em — the homepage features a photo of a smiling blonde toddler in a pink dress hugging one of the porcelain thrones.

创普公司似乎稍微借鉴了共和党热门竞选人夸大其词的习惯。公司官网声称他们是"全球第一家"运用回卷式坐便器卫生垫套"解决全球性马桶卫生难题"的企业,每年为10亿"使用者"提供服务。创普公司的宣传口号是"三重呵护、倍享尊荣",而且深受宝宝们喜爱——官网上就有一个金发碧眼的小女孩的照片,她身穿粉红色裙子,满脸微笑抱住一只陶瓷马桶。

Knockoffs, especially of well-known Western brands, are common in China, from counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags, imitation Hyatt and Marriott hotels, and even a fake Apple store. Under Chinese law, close imitations are not necessarily considered trademark violations. (Toilets aren't the only Trump-branded household items in China; Trump Electronics, with factories in Shanghai and Guangzhou, makes air purifiers.) In July 2015, Michael Jordan lost a lawsuit against Qiaodan, or "Jordan" in Chinese, a Chinese company which uses an image of a jumping basketball player as its logo. Dan Harris, a lawyer who helps U.S. firms navigate Chinese law, said that Chinese trademark regulations differ from those in the United States. "Most countries, including China, give trademarks to whomever files for it first," he told NPR in an August 2015 interview. "But [in] the United States, it's whoever uses it first."

仿冒名牌,尤其是仿冒西方知名品牌的现象在中国相当普遍。你会买到仿冒的路易威登手包,住进假冒的凯悦和万豪酒店,甚至步入一家山寨苹果专卖店。按照中国法律的规定,高仿行为不一定违反有关商标的规定(马桶不是唯一挂了"特朗普"招牌的中国家居用品,有一家生产空气净化器的企业名叫"创普电业国际集团有限公司",其厂房设在上海和广州)。2015年7月,前篮球巨星迈克尔•乔丹输掉了与中国"乔丹"公司的官司。乔丹公司的商标是一位高高跃起的篮球运动员。负责协助美国企业理解中国法律的美国律师丹•哈里斯告诉记者,中国的商标法规与美国不太一样。哈里斯去年8月接受美国全国公共广播电台时采访说:"包括中国在内的大多数国家把商标授予最先提出申请的人,但美国会授予最先投入使用的人。"

Trump is well-known for lending his name to business endeavors ranging from hotels, to wine and steak, to education. The financial disclosure forms that Trump filed in 2015 as part of his presidential candidacy revealed that 268 of the listed 515 entities contained the name "Trump." Shenzhen Trump Industries did not appear on this list. 

众所周知,特朗普喜欢把姓名挂在各种生意上,无论是酒店、葡萄酒、牛排还是教育项目。从他2015年为竞选总统提交的财务报表来看,515个商业项目中有268个被冠以"特朗普"之名。深圳市创普实业有限公司没有出现在这份报表里。

Given Trump's preoccupation with the value of his synonymous brand, it seems unlikely that Shenzhen Trump received official permission to use the name — the "U" in the company's Trump logo is fashioned to resemble a toilet bowl.

鉴于特朗普本人极其看重同名品牌的价值,所以创普公司不太可能得到他姓名的使用权——毕竟,创普公司把英文商标"TRUMP"中的字母"U"设计成了马桶的形状。

2016-06-23

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