The Sussexes’ charity trademark was not ‘denied’, the application is still ongoing


There was an extremely stupid story making the rounds last week, and I saw the tweets sent to me. I avoided covering it because I hate these kinds of “there’s drama with so-and-so’s trademark application” stories. They’re boring and dumb and the “story” is usually that some lawyer (rather than a celebrity or royal) didn’t do their job properly. So it is with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Foundation. Apparently, it’s still slow-going with the pandemic, and Harry and Meghan are taking their time with all of the paperwork. The “controversy” was that – according to several British tabloids – their charity application was “denied.” Again, I figured there was more to the story, but more than anything, I didn’t care. But here’s Fox News’ coverage, for what it’s worth:

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new charity organization has suffered a minor delay before it even kicked off the ground, Fox News can confirm. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex filed paperwork earlier this year for their upcoming charitable foundation named Archewell –­ one of their first actions since departing as senior members of the royal family –­ but U.S. patenting and trademarking documents viewed by Fox News show their application has not yet been approved and is currently in limbo.

However, sources close to the couple told us on Friday that their application is simply in the review process.

“The applications are live and pending, and do not need to be refiled or restarted,” said the royal insider. “Both in the US and internationally, each trademark application is moving forward with a request for clarification of terms and certain administrative items. This is very routine and is part of the normal back and forth in the trademarking process.”

The Sun reported on Wednesday, referencing a letter dated June 2, that a trademark attorney who reviewed the application found a number of issues that need to be fixed within six months or it will be “abandoned,” however the Markle insider assured such wasn’t the case.

[From Fox News]

You know what I wonder? I wonder if the British tabloids latched onto something banal and made it into a controversy because the Brits don’t understand American trademark applications and process. Could it really be that simple? Of course not – the Sun and the Mail were desperately trying to make Meghan and Harry sound bad over anything, and this was what they had. Some dumb trademark issue. The Sussexes also went to People Magazine and said something similar about the issue:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are moving forward with their new organization, Archewell, and the trademark filings are “live and pending,” says a source. Reports out of the U.K. that the trademarks had been rejected are “false,” the source tells PEOPLE, adding that the filings “are going through the customary and normal process.”

In fact, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — who began working on the new foundation three months ago, when they relocated to Los Angeles with 1-year-old son Archie — have been quietly focused behind the scenes on further developing Archewell amid the rapidly changing social landscape.

“They have had the opportunity to speak with some incredible thought leaders, and those conversations have been deeply educational and helpful in identifying the work they want to with Archewell,” says the source. “They are applying all their learnings to the future of the organization.”

[From People]

So there you go. Speaking of the “rapidly changing landscape,” the Daily Mail had an exclusive featuring quotes from an unnamed “friend” of Meghan’s (a friend who does not exist). This friend claimed that Meghan believes she was “destined to help fight systemic racism in the US” and Meghan is now super-glad that she left the UK when she did, because Meghan is so happy that she’s in America for this BLM moment. The friend says Meghan is talking to Oprah and maybe thinking about running for office. Once again, the British tabloids are completely and willfully misunderstanding something involving Meghan. They have zero idea how to cover Meghan, black lives, BLM, race, racism, American politics or American people. They’re just throwing sh-t against the wall.

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at service to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force on 10/07/2018

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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66 Responses to “The Sussexes’ charity trademark was not ‘denied’, the application is still ongoing”

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  1. truthSF says:

    Well, a royal couple’s foundation trademark application was denied repeatedly, since it was first filed in 2013?!, but it wasn’t the Sussex!!

  2. Molly says:

    Bet that Meghan running for president is based on a Suits clip when her castmates said that Meghan would be a good presidential candidate.

    Will and Kate’s application was outright rejected so there had to be a distraction with the Sussexes. That being said, I do think the Sussexes have a tendency to over-explain.

    • Becks1 says:

      actually, I don’t think this was the Sussexes explaining. there was a Telegraph (maybe Guardian?) article last week or the week before about this, and the language in it is almost verbatim what this article is quoting as the “royal insider.” It sounds to me like these other stories just lifted the language from that article.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      @ Molly

      I do agree with you that the Sussexes overexplain. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a well placed and clearly visible middle finger.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The Sussexes aren’t explaining. See Becks1 as to the ‘royal insider’ being another journalist who figured it out for themselves.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        I agree that they’re not explaining in this particular case.

        However, I do think they have that tendency. Their social media posts can also be a little verbose for my taste. Many times, they use 10 sentences, where 1 well constructed sentence would do the trick.

        Obviously I’m saying this as a huge supporter of theirs. But the fact is that nobody is or can be perfect and there are always areas that can be improved. This is one of those areas.

      • notasugarhere says:

        As they have no social media, you’re referencing the past. Any recent posts have been written by staff at the charities they were promoting. They stated themselves that no one would speak for them in articles or in the press, they wouldn’t be doing ‘sources close to the Sussexes’ etc. Everything that is being written now about them is complete fabrication.

    • Abena Asantewaa says:

      @Molly, this story is a clip from SUITS cast, suggesting Meghan would be the best President among them, a harmless exercise all in good fun. Now this has turned into facts. I think they want to criticise her support for BLM, so they allege she wants to be president or run for office. All tosh!

  3. Erinn says:

    LOL at the ‘running for office’ portion of that. She was harassed in the media for taking on a largely unpolitical role – as if she’d put herself in the crossfire again with an added level of partisan yelling. I think she’s much more of an advocate than a politician, but I also know how out of left field that story is haha.

    I also find it pretty amusing that everyone media wise got all worked up and said the application was denied, when in reality that have SIX MONTHS to work on it. Assuming the issues are minor, that could be handled pretty quickly, I’d imagine.

  4. Becks1 says:

    yeah, this story is boring in terms of the facts but it sounds good on twitter – “SUSSEXES APPLICATION DENIED!!!” No, it wasn’t denied and the Sussexes and their foundation are going to be just fine.

    LMAO at that daily mail article though.

  5. MissM says:

    Can’t they just leave her alone? They make up articles, then the sussex haters on daily fail are like “go away MEgain”, lather, rinse and repeat.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      @ MissM : The same thing is happening in the US with the tabloids here. Same made up stories – last week I saw one that said Charles and Camilla had come to the US to take Archie “home” to Britain. LOL. Tabloids all over the world print crap and everybody knows it. The Daily Mail just has a higher profile. The Sussexes are just the latest shiny object that the tabloids are chasing.

  6. Microsoft says:

    Lol meghan running for office will jeopardize harry and archie position in line to throne. Running for office is no joke and will come out lot of skeleton and media will bully her everywhere. I dont think she will put archie in that position. The first children will get lot of flake and will harm little archie.

  7. Bella DuPont says:

    Also in the news this week, thrillingly, Harry picked his teeth, while Meghan drank half a cup of water. Sources claim she may have added a twist of lemon or lime to the beverage. 🙄🙄

  8. Megan H says:

    IP attorney focusing in Trademark prosecution. I quickly glanced at the office action last week.

    Issues identified in the Office Action:

    1) 2(d) Advisory (likelihood of confusion with a previously filed application) regarding ArcheCares
    2) Amendment to Goods and Services (Super duper common. Not that it’s necessarily vague, but something was likely in the wrong class or the Examiner wanted something specified.
    3) Addition of IC 42 based on the Amendment of Goods and Services so an additional $275 is needed. Also pretty normal and not that they didn’t pay the fee.
    4) Improper signature…. those forms are confusing as to who needs to sign what

    A super thorough response (from scratch, not using one of my templates) to this would take like 5 hours max.

    And Office actions do have a six month response window after which the application is considered abandoned

    • Bella DuPont says:

      @ Megan H

      Interesting break down, thank you. 🙂

      1 and 3 seem fair enough, but 2 and 4 seem easily avoidable……..would you say this had an element of amateur hour to it, or are these all routine complaints?

      • Megan H says:

        3 is a result of 2 and super common. I think that I have an amendment to goods and services more often than not, sometimes for something as benign as “you need to change onesies to infant bodysuits”

        Because their organization is complex, I’m not shocked about the Examiner requiring it

        As to 4, I didn’t look too closely at it, but Examiners have started to scrutinize who the person is who signs the application. It may be that the Examiner doesn’t believe whomever signed has the authority to bind the entity. Alternatively, the attorney could have put a different name than who signed in. I don’t think the system will allow the application to be submitted without a signature.

    • Flamingo says:

      I don’t practice IP law, so I can’t comment on the other issues, but I got a big kick out of people freaking out about a missing signature when this story came out last week. It happens all the time! Yes, their attorney should have caught it, but I can’t tell you how many times in my career I have seen things get filed with missing signatures. I am so lucky that I have a super detail oriented paralegal or else I’d probably be in the same boat.

    • Original Jenns says:

      I’m not in IP law either, so thank you for the outline – which is also something the media could gather if they contacted a competent attorney. Perhaps we’ll see you as an anonymous source in the next media cycle! 🙂

    • Yvette says:

      What is ‘ArcheCares?’ I thought their foundatio name was Archewell.

      • Megan H says:

        Someone filed an application for ArcheCares prior to the filing date of the Archewell application. I didn’t look it up, so I don’t know who the applicant is

      • Megan H says:

        ArcheCares was filed by an individual named Scott Kantro and is no longer relevant to the prosecution of the Archewell mark because it was officially abandoned today by a non-response.

    • Mary says:

      I’m sorry, Megan H, but an “improper signature?” That is a rookie mistake. Yes, I am sure that the application forms are confusing …. FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC!! But any IP attorney worth their salt would know exactly how and by whom those forms should be signed. That is why you go to an IP attorney, as opposed to a general practitioner, because THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE EXPERTS! I would not trust an attorney that made such a basic mistake.

      • Lady D says:

        That’s probably why they recently fired the Queen’s lawyers. Maybe they were actively slowing down the approval of the Sussex trademark?

      • Mary says:

        Good question, @Lady D.

      • Megan H says:

        Hi Mary,

        Did you see my further clarification? In an attempt to stop a lot of fraudulent applications (most coming from within China) Examiners have started to scrutinize and require proof that the signatory has the authority to sign.

        As to your comment about “any lawyer worth their salt,” I’m a senior associate for an AMLAW 100 firm, have prosecuted thousands of trademark applications, and within the last year have started to get “improper signature” refusals several times a month. And for $700, I better know damn well what I’m doing.

      • Megan H says:

        @Lady D I can’t reply to your comment, but it’s unlikely the two were related. It doesn’t appear that the Sussex’s filing was based on a foreign application and the USPTO rules have recently changed to require a US licensed attorney to prosecute the application. I don’t think that it was handled in the U.K./EU first and then pushed to the US firm as foreign counsel, but I don’t know that for sure. Regardless, the U.K. firm isn’t involved in the prosecution of the US application

      • Megan H says:


        I just did a quick further review. Apparently a verification statement wasn’t signed. This can be a strategy decision in order to get a filing date when the client is unavailable, the attorney could have thought one was unnecessary (ie the attorney was able to sign for the client which is often the case), or the attorney could have been incompetent. Regardless, it’s an easy fix that does not impact the application in any meaningful way.

      • Mary says:

        @Megan H, you say that upon “further review …a verification statement wasn’t signed. This can be a strategy decision … the attorney could have thought one was unnecessary … or the attorney could have been incompetent.” Sorry, still don’t see how any of these three excuses justify a basic mistake for which the Sussexes would have paid.

        You seem to think “no harm no foul” as the mistake can be fixed. My point was not that this mistake could not be rectified but rather that the law firm should be axed for making a basic mistake because, as you said, it “could have been incompetent.”

        Not impressed by attorneys that spout off about how impressive they think their credentials are but by attorneys that just get the job done correctly the first time.

      • Megan H says:

        Final comment to you Mary. When you’ve prosecuted even a quarter of the trademark applications that I have, I will consider listening to your opinion. You might not be impressed with attorneys who spout about their credentials, but my T14 law school degree, my license, and my experience are far superior to whatever you think you’ve learned via google.

        If you want people to actually explain things to you, that’s one thing. But to ask questions intending come across as a condescending know-it-all when you actually are completely uninformed is disingenuous.

      • Mary says:

        Wow, @Megan H, you really are full of yourself aren’t you?; You don’t know the backgrounds of people in this thread, just like I don’t know yours. You could say whatever you want. Ftr, I dabbled a bit in IP law many moons ago, law clerking while also editing the Law Review for my school. I did not continue in that vein, in my long ago legal career, however, because I became a “lifer” Judicial Clerk (as distinct from a law or court clerk).

        So, my perspective, of review for, in part, the sufficiency of filings by attorneys means that I am not inclined to let basic mistakes slide. I expect more of attorneys. Much more. I also have a close relative who is an IP lawyer that, I daresay, would not have made that mistake; or, if the mistake was made, never try to justify it

  9. taylor says:

    The UK continues to use Meghan (and now Harry) as a punching bag for all their pent up frustration with the failures of their government. She’s been gone and largely quiet. Get over her already.

    Anyway, I miss seeing her.

  10. Bri says:

    The desperation,lol. I really can’t wait until they start working for real because these papers and the lack of access is going to drive these reporters and papers insane. It is hysterical at this point.

    • L4frimaire says:

      The UK media seem to be the only ones getting all worked up again about the Sussexes. The thing is, even once they launch, they don’t need to be in the press, unless they want to share what exactly they’re doing. How much daily news do you see from different charities and foundations in the press? If the media thinks they’ll have the same type of access they had while they were in U.K., they’re delusional. They better go to their TED talks because I don’t think it will be similar to what there was before.

  11. Tessa says:

    The comments on the blogs about Harry and Meghan get more and more disgusting. There are a few speculating about how Meghan and Harry will “steal the money” from the charity they set up. Sickening comments

    • Yvette says:

      I found it funny that haters consider Megan and Harry thirsty paupers. Meghan was hardly broke when she married Harry and Diana left Harry 25 million in her will.

  12. Em says:

    Can they please leave them alone? I’m literally begging here

    • Lady D says:

      Stiff upper lip, Em. They would enjoy knowing they caused you pain. Support the Sussex charities and bring them good fortune that way, despite nasty bitter commenters. Remind yourself that hurt people, hurt people.

  13. Bettyrose says:

    But actually Oprah would be a great campaign manager.

    • L4frimaire says:

      She’s not their fairy godmotherI. don’t see Oprah doing that, but she has other talents, especially influence and media. She’s in the mega donor/ king maker; endorser category. Campaign managers are a totally different animal like a David Axelrod or James Carville. People who can get in the weeds, get dirty, crunch numbers, data and do opposition research.

  14. Original Jenns says:

    I don’t know whether they authorized the People piece or not, but to me it also sounds like they are truly involved in the legal aspect of creating this philanthropy. Before, I’m sure they knew what they wanted to do, but had the Firm’s giant network to do all of this background stuff. The People article seems to be saying to me that they are really in on the ground floor and moving up with the building. Which makes me appreciate it all the more.

    • Olenna says:

      I didn’t see anything revelatory or insightful in this People piece, and I don’t believe People has been Sussex-friendly for some time now.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        @Olenna: People’s Magazine is definitely not Sussex-friendly or even neutral when it comes to its royal coverage. Jess Cagle, the longtime editor who was there when the friends’ piece came out, retired from the business in March 2019. His replacement is Dan Wakeford, a British journalist who edited lower-tier gossip mags like In-Touch before coming to People as the deputy editor. I keep mentioning this when the matter of People’s royal coverage comes up in the discussions, but I think it’s important to recognize the people running the show here; especially because People’s royal coverage had a subtle but distinct shift in tone once Wakeford stepped up to take over from Cagle.

      • Olenna says:

        @Beach Dreams, thanks for the background info the editor. I guess he’s brought the taint of tabloid news and its conservative leanings with him.

  15. Lisa says:

    Yet no story about the other couple who had their application outright denied. This is the normal process and it must be irritating to have your every move scrutinized to such a degree.

  16. L4frimaire says:

    Well that’s that. It’s an ongoing tedious process. The charity will launch when it launches. Why are people over there so worried that Meghan would run for elected office? They really don’t have much actual news on them. One of the Royal reporters Emily Andrew was on twitter saying they get no news on the Sussexes.

    • Ginger says:

      Lady Colon Campbell is saying in her book that Meghan wants to be president and they are running this stupid story again. She has admitted to never meeting them and she talked to the Markles for her book.

      I loved that Emily Andrews admitted to not being able to verify stories regarding the Sussex’s anymore. That was amazing. The RR are completely closed off

      • Nic919 says:

        I don’t know if you meant to write Colon but I can’t stop laughing.

      • L4frimaire says:

        The whole presidential thing is so far out there. Why do they even think that? If Meghan for whatever reason decided to run for President, which she isn’t, she better get in line behind Biden’s veep and AOC, because those will be the women to watch for the presidential ticket going forward. Also, frankly, while we adore Harry, he’s too tricky as a presidential spouse because of his title. He’d have to become a US citizen as well. I just don’t get the whole presidential thing. Are the Brits worried she’d have access to the nuclear codes and screw them, deservedly so, in post Brexit trade deals? The whole premise is ridiculous. They’ve barely been back in the US, and are just getting acclimated.

      • Ginger says:

        I did misspell but I like it haha

  17. Becky says:

    Just throwing this out there for discussion but how much of the H & M drama could have been avoided if invitations to the wedding had been sent to her immediate family? Being left out so publicly was a slap in the face even if some of them are well….different. Heavy criticism in the press began with her father (even if he did make an ass of himself) and Samantha running her fat mouth. I hate things turned out as they have, both H&M seem like nice people. I Wish them well. The books and news articles are never going to stop.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Uh…they weren’t just “different”; they were hateful and toxic people, and her half-siblings had been estranged from her for years. They didn’t give a damn about her until she got engaged to Harry. Their own mother said that Samantha was racist towards Doria. Why should such people –who were practically strangers at that point– ever receive an invite to the wedding?

    • Molly says:

      You don’t placate your abusers in the hope that they won’t abuse you more.

      I noticed in 2018 that the anti-stans were convinced Thomas was never really invited. And the facts don’t matter.

      The “drama” was the palace endorsed smear campaign.

      • Olenna says:

        Thank you, @Molly. The anti-stans love to rehash their alternate universe, speculative fiction stories on the grifting, unstable half-siblings and father.

    • anon says:

      None of it first started with her awful family. They were just tools used to try to separate them. The blame lies on HIS awful family and their courtiers.

    • Becks1 says:

      Well, her father WAS invited, and look how that turned out.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Have you ever read ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’? A basic guide to why you don’t feed your abusers, because they’ll never stop demanding more.

  18. Ellen Olenska says:

    The Daily Fail, who keeps telling us how unimportant Meghan is and how important and impressive the FFQ is, had an entire tab devoted to Meghan at the top of their mobile masthead yesterday. It would seem that someone who is so unimportant and has had zero to say to the press wouldn’t rate their own tab…

  19. Sorella says:

    There’s probably delays because of COVID, just like every other business. Nothing more than that. Likely delays in getting the charity up and running to with the whole world having to slow down and then restart. And even restarting, so many limitations on public gatherings, ect. So i don’t doubt there are delays and the timing probably sucks for them as “strike when the iron is hot” was likely the goal, but I personally think it’s all COVID that slowed it down.