Can Meghan Markle and Prince Harry keep their ‘Sussex Royal’ trade marks?

In June 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex filed to register their charity  brand with the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

The trade mark application for the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s’ charitable foundation ‘Sussex Royal’ and ‘The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex UK’ covers a range of goods and services including printed matter, clothing and charitable fundraising services.

On the day the couple made the arguably shocking announcement of wanting to step down as royals, it emerged that they had additionally applied to register an EU trade mark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in respect of similar classes.

Shortly after, on January 19th , it was confirmed that the couple will no longer be retaining their ‘Royal Highness’ titles and will now become entirely financially independent. With this announcement questions have been raised as to whether the couple can keep their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand and pending trade mark applications with the UKIPO and EUIPO.

Both the Sussex Royal and the Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex trade mark applications are currently in the publication period due to end on 20th February 2020. During this period, the couple may face objections from anyone who wishes to oppose their applications.

For now, it seems as though much of whether the marks can be registrable or not will very much depend on whether the Queen will permit the couple to use the term ‘royal’ as a part of their brand.

If you have any questions relating to this article or the trade mark application process, contact the Trademarkroom today where we would be happy to assist you!

Sena Tokel

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