Having trademarked their new charity, “Sussex Royal” in the UK, and following a turbulent week for the couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, face an additional and perhaps entirely foreseeable IP road-bump, with news that a US lawyer has applied to trademark the “Sussex Royal” name in the US.
The Duke and Duchess filed their application for “Sussex Royal” with the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in 2019; it was published at the end of December and includes applications for the exclusive right to use the “Sussex Royal” brand across a broad range of products, services, events, and other areas, including magazines, stationery, clothing, charitable campaigns, and fundraising events. The couple also filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on December 31st.
However, Los Angeles-based IP lawyer Joel Fogelson applied for the trademark in the US on January 8th after finding, to his surprise, that it was still available for digital platforms. According to reports, Fogelson made the move purely to raise awareness of the importance of due diligence in IP matters and has stated that, rather than exploiting the brand, he would be willing to hand the rights to the Duke and Duchess on request. He has yet to be approached by the couple.