Meghan (Markle) and Prince Harry have filed a trademark application with the USPTO for the mark Archewell. The trademark application, filed under section 1(b) (meaning, they have a bona fide intent to use the trademark in future), covers a plethora of good and services, including non-profit charitable services. However, Meghan and Harry also reserve the right to use the mark Archewell for other services like music, motion picture films, television shows, and “scripted, unscripted and animated television shows” which can reasonably be classified as ‘for-profit’ businesses. The complete list of goods and services claimed is published further below.
Would Meghan and Harry Use the Archewell Mark for All the Goods/Services Described in the Application?
Only time will tell which one of these services would eventually be protected by the Archewell trademark as the mark needs to be introduced with the claimed goods/services, into the stream of commerce, within 3 years of approval of the mark. Here is the anticipated timeline of approval of the mark (presuming no objection from the examiner or opposition from a third party regarding the issuance of the trademark. Actual dates may vary drastically):
|1.||Application filing||March 3, 2020|
|2.||Assigned to Examiner||June 1-7, 2020|
|3.||Approved for publication||June 1-15, 2020|
|4.||Publication of trademark for opposition||July 25 -August 7, 2020|
|5.||30 day opposition period ends||August 25 – September 7, 2020|
|6.||Notice of Allowance||September 15 – October 6, 2020|
|7.||Period to show actual use of claimed good/services in the stream of commerce||September 15 – October 6, 2023|
Would the Trademark Archewell be Allowed?
Probably. However, there is always a risk that the trademark application would be opposed by a third party claiming that their rights will be harmed by granting Meghan and Harry the exclusive use of the mark ‘Archewell’. The risk is aggravated given the ‘not-so-favorable’ media coverage of Meghan. Thus, one can reasonably anticipate possibly frivolous third-party opposition(s) to the issuance of the trademark. Although this does not necessarily deny the couple their right to use the mark, it does slow down the application process.
Confidentiality and Foresight Issues
The fact that the existence of the application was leaked to the media is problematic, nonetheless. While trademark applications are public, clearly, proper safeguards were not taken to preserve the anonymity of the interested parties. Another problem is lack of planning/ foresight by the person who has been advising the couple. The current application was filed on March 3, yet to date (April 7) no corresponding application has been filed in the EU or the UK. Since it is now highly likely that numerous third-party applications would be filed around the world for the Archewell mark, perhaps Meghan and Harry should cut their losses and voluntarily abandon their application and choose a different name.
Of course, next time they’ll need to employ a different strategy to ensure their confidentiality is protected (and yes, it’s possible).
Goods and Services Under Which the Mark Archewell is Intended to be Used:
As filed with the USPTO, Meghan and Harry intend to use ‘Archewell’ for the following purposes:
- Creation of movies, music, and other entertainment activities, including live performances
- Downloadable and non-downloadable media including magazines, educational materials, images, photographs, images, text, audio, video and artwork related to books, articles, videos, motion pictures, digital entertainment content, Video cassettes, DVDs, MP3s and “informational programming and scripted, unscripted and animated television shows”
- Downloadable music, motion picture films, podcasts, audiovisual entertainment, digital entertainment content, informational programming and scripted, unscripted and animated television shows
- Fiction and non-fiction books; printed educational materials and articles
- General feature magazines and periodicals
- Calendars, Photographs, Posters, Art prints, Common business stationary
- Clothing and Apparel
- Education, training, Charitable and Charitable fundraising services
- Services, support groups, and website related to sporting, health, mental health and entertainment events and activities
[Source: http://tess2.uspto.gov/ (search query: Archewell)]
We wish Meghan and Harry the best with their future endeavors.