Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's 'Sussex Royal' trademark owned by California lawyer

Joel Fogelson told FOX Business he applied for the trademark after media stories about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex piqued his interest

A California attorney applied to trademark the U.S. rights to the term “Sussex Royal” after discovering it was available and realizing he could use the experience to raise awareness for up-and-coming business people, he said Tuesday.

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Intellectual property attorney Joel Fogelson told FOX Business he applied for the trademark on Jan. 8 after media stories about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex piqued his interest.

Partially redacted screenshot of Joel Fogelson's trademark application 

“I was reading all these stories … it’s very clear that what Harry and Meghan were doing is a business – completely understandable,” he said Tuesday when reached by phone. “I work with a lot of small and medium-sized businesses and I always think about their IP [intellectual property] stuff. It would be very basic, I would think, that if they were doing a rollout around the world in such a big way, in a very calculated way, to see, sort of, what they did in the United States.”

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TMZ was first to report on Fogelson’s trademark application. The Sussexes recently unveiled a site under the same “Sussex Royal” name.

Harry, 35, and Markle, 38, who announced last week their wish to step away from their senior roles within the royal family, filed their UK trademark documents under a different class of goods, Fogelson said.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2017 (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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After checking with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, he realized the royal couple had not registered “Sussex Royal” in the states. Fogelson, 48, saw it as an opportunity.

“Here's something I was able to do and again, I don't want anything from them and I'm not doing this, I'm not holding anything, for any purpose,” he continued. “I'm just hoping that in six months, a year, someone might think about this. And if they're a small business owner or even a CEO…maybe they talk to their in-house people and say, ‘Hey, you know, where's our IP strategy?’”

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Fogelson said he’s not looking to profit off the website and is considering using the trademark for his own consulting business unless the royals come knocking. No one has contacted him about the trademark so far.

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“Anytime you do a business, you're not going to do everything perfectly,” he said. “Seriously, folks, so many people run into problems. And if they just would have only spent 20, 30 minutes just thinking about issues ahead of time, it saves you so much, so many things down the road.”

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