The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bid to trademark their Sussex Royal brand has been blocked after a doctor in Australia filed a complaint. Prince Harry and Meghan are hoping to use the name – the same as their social media handles – to launch their charity foundation, with long-term plans to sell everything from pens to hoodies.
While talks are still underway with the Queen to determine how Harry and Meghan will be addressed, the couple now face additional delays and a legal battle after a man filed a legal opposition to the trademark. Documents at the Government’s Intellectual Property Office show that the formal “notice of threatened opposition” was registered on Tuesday.
There is a period of opposition after any trademark is registered, where anyone who is against its use is allowed to file a complaint, which also extends the time before the trademark can be used, allowing the opponent to build a case if necessary.
Harry and Meghan’s period of opposition has now been extended until at least 20 March, but was originally due to end on 20 February. The opposition was filed by Benjamin Worcester of Victoria, Australia, who studied medicine at University College London and reportedly worked as a doctor in the NHS in London between 2011 and 2014. It is not yet known why he filed the opposition.
Trademarking the Sussex Royal name would allow Prince Harry and Meghan to sell merchandise that would support their aim of being financially independent. The Duke and Duchess are currently spending time in Canada with their son Archie Harrison, but have agreed to repay the £2.4million of taxpayers’ money spent on renovating Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK home. They will no longer use their HRH titles, but Harry and Meghan will still be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, it was confirmed in a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Saturday.