Love is in the air friends. 

The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is just around the corner. And you know what everybody loves about a Royal Wedding? 

The merch!

Yes, that's real. You can buy it on Amazon here.

But you know what the Royal Family don't like? When people overstep the Monarch...(thanks to 'The Sun' for that gem)

One is NOT Amused.

If the Royal Family don't like people trying to trademark their names and likeness (and apparently they don't), then they are in for a bit of a shock: 

A company registered in Delaware in the United States appears to have applied for an EU Trademark for Harry (see here) for the following goods and services:

The same company also appears to have filed two EU applications for Meghan (see here and here)

These applications were all filed on 19 January, 2018. 

The week before, there was also an EU trademark application filed for 'Meghan Markle' (see here). While there is no indication who filed that application, the Goods and Services, look, well, a bit familiar...

The same company (Risen Phoenix LLC) also applied for a UK trademark for 'Meghan Markle' in January 2018 (See here).


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What Does It All Mean?

I don't know. But I would like to. The UK application for 'Meghan Markle' is now showing up as having been withdrawn, and it doesn't look like the fees have been paid for the EU trademark applications. Yet. They still have three months to pay the fees and their filing date will be whatever date those fees are paid.

Watch this space.

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But Wait Folks, There's More....

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on 27 November 2018. 

The same day, perhaps by complete coincidence, a UK trademark application was filed for the word mark 'Meghan' by a UK registered company called "Pippa Beauty Limited" (see here). That company is controlled by Simon Moorehead, who is also a director of Prism Parfums, a fragrance company in the UK. 

BTW Pippa Beauty Limited's latest trademark application is for 'Old Trafford' for perfumes.....AND GIN! (see here)

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In any event, the next day Pippa Beauty Limited filed a US trademark application also for Meghan (see here).

The US application has been provisionally refused because of competing US beauty brands in the US (nothing to do with the Royal Family).

The UK application is still being examined.

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A Rose By Any Other Name...

Bill Shakespeare would love this.

A famous rose (as in the flower)  company called David Austin Roses Limited is also in on the Royal Trademark action. That's a company closely associated with David Charles Henshaw Austin OBE and it has a load of Royal Related breeds of roses already (and 399 active trademark registrations to go with them, my kind of people!)

Three days after the Royal Engagement Announcement, David Austin Roses filed a UK trademark and EU trademark application for 'Meghan' for:

Agricultural and aquacultural crops, horticulture and forestry products.

Both have been granted and registered. Again, that could well just be a coincidence. As could this: Prince William and Kate announced their engagement on 16 November 2010. On 17 November 2010, David Austin Roses Limited applied for an EU trademark for both 'Kate' and 'Catherine'.

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Wait a minute Chinese lady, you're not Meghan Markle...

In December 2017 a Chinese woman, Li Chunhua, applied for a US trademark for 'Markle' for "Belts; Boas; Caps being headwear; Corselets; Hosiery; Pelerines; Pullovers; Scarfs; Skirts; Sweaters; Tee-shirts; Trousers".

You can see that application here.

This has been refused by the US Patents Office because (see here):

"REFUSAL – SECTION 2(a) – FALSE CONNECTION

Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes matter which may falsely suggest a connection with Meghan Markle.  Trademark Act Section 2(a), 15 U.S.C. §1052(a).  Although Meghan Markle is not connected with the goods provided by applicant under the applied-for mark, Meghan Markle is so well-known that consumers would presume a connection.  See id.

 Under Trademark Act Section 2(a), the registration of a mark that “consists of or comprises matter that may falsely suggest a connection with persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols” is prohibited.   

The attached Internet evidence shows that a www.google.com search of the wording “Markle” produces a wide array of results, all of which concern Meghan Markle. Additional attached evidence shows that Meghan Markle is well recognized as the fiancé of Prince Harry, and that Meghan Markle is recognized for her fashion choices. Further, attached evidence shows that Meghan Markle is launching her own fashion line this spring."

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MeghanMoji?

In March of this year, a story did the rounds that Meghan and Kate Emojis were going to be released before the Royal wedding. Here's the Independent's take on it

Well in January of this year, a different US company applied for a US trademark for 'MeghanMoji.

Sad Face Emoji :( for DRKHORS then.

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Hey, you're a lawyer, is there a legal point in here somewhere?

Yes. If you have a brand that's worth protecting, and you don't do it, someone else will (or will try to). That's true even if you're about to be a member of the Royal Family, and I guarantee you it's true of your business too.

If you have a brand and have any queries about protecting it, call me. Free Meghan Rose from David Austin Roses for the first 100 Customers*


8-34 Percy Place, Dublin 4, Ireland, DX 93    |   TEL : +353 1 639 3000    |   DIR. DIAL :  +353 1 237 3085    |

*There will be no roses.