California Intellectual Property Blog


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Drop Sussex Royal Trademark

Orange County – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle surprised the world recently with their decision to leave the Royal Family. One complication with the decision was what to do with their recent trademark filings for Sussex Royal. The Sussex Royal brand was created as part of a business venture but with the decision to no longer be royals, they have decided to abandon the trademarks.
In statements, both Harry and Meghan have expressed their unconditional support to the Queen. However, they will no longer be in collaboration with the Commonwealth duties. It appears that the royal family decided it would be inappropriate for Harry and Meghan to use “Royal” as part of any business or trademark. Doing so may have created confusion as to whether Harry and Meghan were in fact still royals or continuing royal duties. With all the ties in Royal affairs, the two will now have to be careful they are not creating any confusion. Instead of royals, they will now be referred to as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They will not participate in any royal functions, parades, military commands, or tours that are branded as relating to Royals.

In a statement on their website, the couple said: “While there is not any jurisdiction by the monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word ‘Royal’ overseas, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘Sussex Royal’ or any iteration of the word ‘Royal’ in any territory (either within the UK or otherwise) when the transition occurs in spring 2020.” This will be in full effect by March 31st, 2020, as they begin to transition to a new life. They are reportedly planning to spend more time in North America, perhaps in Canada where Meghan lived.
The two have made this major life decision after years of UK tabloid and media scrutiny that often focused on Meghan and their newborn Archie. Their main goal had always been to begin their family and make a change in the world. With the massive expectations and constant monitoring of the Royal Family, the two decided that their future endeavors would be best pursued outside of the current circumstances of being a Royal. There is speculation that Meghan in particular did not want to live such a public life.

With all the changes, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have expressed their interest in creating an entirely new non-profit organization that is not affiliated with the Queen. The non-profit’s launch date is projected to be in the early spring. The organization will have a new trademark and will be focused on their humanitarian work. They have been withholding information about their plans until all their ties with the Royal brand have been completely separated and fulfilled in March 2020.


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