Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Bid To Trademark Sussex Royal Is Being Challenged

Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage.
No one thought Harry and Meghan’s transition from the duties of royal life would be easy, but it turns out there are a lot of steps and hurdles along the way that were difficult to anticipate. In June 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex filed for a global trademark of the term “Sussex Royal” for their own use, but now it is being challenged with a “notice of threatened opposition.” 
It is not clear on what basis the complaint, filed on January 21, is being made. The notice isn’t a formal opposition, but it could pose significant additional time and costs to the couple’s effort to obtain the trademark, according to World Trademark Review. The complaint was reportedly filed by Dr. Benjamin Worcester in Victoria, Australia, who established a private practice in 2014 after working for the National Health Service in London. 
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The application process for a world trademark is a lengthy one, especially when you add references to the royal family into the name. Since the application was filed, it has been under examination at the U.K. Intellectual Property Office, which was due to end on February 20. The new notice automatically extends the review period by one month. 
Harry and Meghan’s trademark application lists six categories in which the name would be protected, covering printed content such as magazines and greeting cards, clothing, charitable fundraising, and management, as well as educational and social care services including emotional support groups, reports The Guardian. Since announcing their plan to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family, Harry and Meghan made it clear that they wished to be financially independent and make their own money. This global trademark not only helps them do that, but also protects them from being associated with goods and services they didn’t sign off on. The couple also filed for a trademark of the term “Sussex Royal the Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.” 
So where does that leave the duke and duchess? Filing a notice of threatened opposition is relatively easy and can be done for free online. It also doesn’t require evidence to be submitted. In fact, since the first object was publicized, three more notices have been filed as of January 24, reports BBC News. 
It is the filing of a formal opposition that gets much more complicated. If a formal opposition is filed, fees, grounds of opposition, evidence, and legal submissions must be given that support that the trademark would compete with their brand, confuse consumers, or be misleading in some way.
If this were to keep up, whether a formal complaint was filed or not, Harry and Meghan could wait months or years more before they could be awarded the trademark Sussex Royal.

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