Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s application to trademark their new charitable organisation has been initially rejected because they did not sign the paperwork or pay the correct fee.
It comes just months after the couple announced they ‘look forward’ to getting started with the foundation, named Archewell after their son, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand.
The duke and duchess were forced to stop working under that name when they quit as senior members of the royal family earlier this year.
The application to trademark their new venture was turned down by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) because they had not completed it properly.
A Notice of Office Action sent by an examining attorney said they found ‘no conflicting marks that would bar registration under Trademark Act Section’.
However it said irregularities in the application ‘may present a bar to registration of the applicant’s mark’. One irregularity included the number of classes for which registration is sought, which was not covered by the fee paid.
The examiner said: ‘Applicant must either submit the filing fees for the classes not covered by the submitted fees or restrict the application to the number of classes covered by the fees already.’ The examiner also pointed out that the application was unsigned, ‘resulting in the application not being properly verified’.
The application was filed by Cobblestone Lane LLC, which is registered in Delaware but linked to the Beverly Hills offices of a Hollywood lawyer who has worked for Meghan for years, The Sun reports. The paper claims it has seen a Notice of Irregularity over the trademark, which says the description for the nature of their charitable endeavour is ‘too vague’.
The Notice of Office Action, a public document, said the wording ‘providing a website featuring content relating to philanthropy, monetary giving, volunteer and career opportunities’ is ‘indefinite and over broad’.
The pair have until August to remedy the errors in the application, which was filed on March 3. It is understood that even the most carefully drafted trademark application may be initially rejected by the USPTO, with one in five failing their first examination.
A source told The Telegraph the paperwork was part of the ‘normal back-and-forth of the trademarking process’, which is still ongoing. They said it is incorrect that the application has received a final refusal. Meghan and Harry confirmed their plans for a new charity in April after their shock exit from royal life in January.