The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry has received a trademark covering a range of goods and services including intellectual property licensing.
The royal charity, formally known as The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, applied to the UK Intellectual Property Office for a mark covering the name in July 2012, receiving it in November.
It covers goods and services ranging from the management of charitable funds to clothing, footwear and headgear.
The Royal Foundation, as it will be known, was legally established by Princes William and Harry in 2009 and became fully operational in 2011. The foundation’s name was changed after Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton in 2011, when donations to the charity increased to £4.8 million from £629,000 in 2010.
The charity supports the wellbeing of the Armed Forces, helps disadvantaged children and promotes conservation of the country’s natural resources.
Julie Kay, partner at Marks & Clerk LLP in Birmingham, said that the party filed an international registration based on a community trademark applied for in the UK, which will be extended to other countries. The mark has been applied for in the US, New Zealand and Australia.
“In the UK the names of certain royal people are automatically reserved to them, so the UK trademark registry wouldn't allow anyone who wasn’t the Duke, Duchess or Prince to file a trademark with their name in it, but that isn't necessarily the case in other countries,” she said, describing the trademark as the safest way to control the charity name overseas.
The trademark is also in class 45, which covers “licensing of intellectual property”.
“[This is] not something that comes up often,” Kay continued, adding that it will protect the foundation against misuse of the mark if it forms partnerships abroad.
“It’s about making sure that if somebody sets themselves up as a manufacturer in another country, that third party can't claim that they are doing it on behalf of the foundation, because they haven't got a license to do it,” she said.
This article was first published on 03 April 2013 in World IP Review
Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Prince Harry, Marks & Clerk LLP