NY judge rules building can dump Trump name
Workers remove Trump signage from 180 Riverside Boulevard on Manhattan's upper west side November 16, 2016 in New York AFP/File / Bryan R. Smith

A New York judge on Thursday ruled that residents in a luxury Manhattan apartment building can remove the Trump name from their facade, ruling against the US president's family real-estate firm.

The complex at 200 Riverside Boulevard on the Upper West Side is one of a series of buildings in the US financial capital that Donald Trump helped develop decades ago and called "Trump Place," although he does not own them.

When the board considered removing the signage over fears it might reduce their property values in largely Democratic New York, lawyers from the Trump Organization -- his umbrella company -- threatened legal action.

The firm argued that the terms of their licensing agreement require the 46-floor building to display the Trump name, but New York Judge Eileen Bransten sided with the condo's board.

Reading her decision from the bench in Manhattan, Bransten ruled that the license agreement does not obligate the building to display Trump signage.

The Trump Organization said the decision was "limited to a narrow technical issue of law" and that it was "confident" the appeals court would conclude otherwise.

"To be clear, this was not a ruling concerning changing the name of the building at 200 Riverside Boulevard, but rather an interpretation of the license agreement and the process that the condominium must adhere to in order to consider future changes," said the Trump Organization.

Residents at the building launched a petition in 2016, even before Trump was elected president, demanding that his name be removed from the premises to protest his treatment of women, attacks on immigrants and "history of racism."

Since the Republican billionaire's election in 2016, three other buildings in New York have removed the Trump name, The Washington Post reported.