Harry and Meghan seek global trademark for 'Sussex Royal' brand

<span>Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are seeking to register the Sussex Royal” brand as a global trademark for a range of items and activities including clothing, stationery and the running of “emotional support groups”, international filings suggest.

The application covering Australia, Canada, the EU and US was filed in December with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the name of their new foundation, according to details online.

As well as the application to register Sussex Royal – which the couple have been using on their Instagram account and on a website launched last week as they announced they were “stepping back” as senior royals – one was also made to register “Sussex Royal the Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex”.

Six classes were listed in the applications, covering printed matter such as magazines and greeting cards, clothing ranging from footwear to pyjamas, charitable fundraising and management, as well as education and social care services including the organising and conducting of “emotional support groups”.

Applications to trademark Sussex Royal for a range of goods and activities were lodged with UK intellectual property authorities last June by their advisers Natalie Campbell and Sara Latham. Ownership was switched to the couple in December.

(July 1, 2016) 

The pair meet in London through friends and begin a relationship.

(October 30, 2016) 

News breaks that the prince and Markle are dating. 

(November 8, 2016) 

Kensington Palace confirms in an unprecedented statement that they are dating. The prince attacks the media over its “abuse and harassment” of his girlfriend. 

(November 11, 2017) 

Markle is spotted in London amid unconfirmed reports she is enjoying her first stay at Kensington Palace since the relationship was made public. 

(January 10, 2017) 

Markle reportedly meets the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte for the first time in London. 

(September 5, 2017) 

The engagement looks set when Markle graces the cover of US magazine Vanity Fair and speaks openly about Harry for the first time, revealing: “We’re two people who are really happy and in love.” 

(September 24, 2017) 

Markle makes her first appearance at an official engagement attended by the prince when she attends the Invictus Games opening ceremony in Toronto, Canada – although the pair sit about 18 seats apart. 

(October 19, 2017) 

It emerges that the prince has taken Markle to meet his grandmother, the Queen, whose permission they need to marry. They met over afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace. 

(October 22, 2017) 

The prince’s aides are reported to have been told to start planning for a royal wedding, with senior members of the royal family asked to look at their diaries to shortlist a series of suitable weekends in 2018. 

(November 21, 2017) 

Markle is spotted in London, prompting speculation she is preparing for an engagement announcement. 

(November 27, 2017) 

Clarence House announces the engagement, and the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh say they are “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness”.

(May 19, 2018) 

The couple marry before a celebrity-studded congregation at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

(May 6, 2019) 

The couple's first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is born in London.

(January 8, 2020) 

They announce that they are to step back from life as 'senior' royals, triggering a row with Buckingham Palace

However, Harry and Meghan face having to potentially make an objection to protect their would-be brand after an application was lodged with EU authorities to trademark a range of goods including beer and jewellery under Sussex Royal.

It was lodged on Thursday by an applicant who appears to be based in Italy and filed it in German, with English listed as a second language. Database searches suggest it was made in the name of Ui Phoenix Kerbl, possibly after the Guardian reported on Thursday that the Sussexes had yet to register their brand outside the UK.

Six categories of goods and services were listed – covering areas including toiletries, sporting goods, toys and alcoholic beverages – in the application to the European Union intellectual property office (EUIPO).

Some experts have suggested Harry and Meghan could make as much as £500,000 in their first year of being released from the boundaries of senior royalty, particularly by tapping into the lucrative north American market.

In a lengthy statement released last week, the couple spoke about a “transition into a new working model” which they believe will enable them to remain members of the royal family but have financial independence.

Others have speculated that future enterprises could include book deals or a charity-based clothing line, perhaps with an emphasis on sustainability or environmental causes that the couple have taken to heart. Another suggestion is that future ventures combining commercial opportunities with their charitable projects could include Prince Harry’s Apple TV+ project with Oprah, spotlighting mental health.