Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has trademark dispute with Filipino businessman

Published March 3, 2021, 5:26 PM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

With so many businesses sprouting left, right, and all over the world, there is a chance that companies will share the same names. One that caught the attention of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s non-profit organization with the Archewell brand.

According to World Trademark Review (WTR), the couple’s legal representative Cobblestone Lane LCC proceeded to file trademark rights to the name all over the world. But one trademark application in the Philippines is having problems as of the moment. Filed by Manila resident Victor Martin Soriano in July 2020 for the name Archewell Harvatera. He received an opposition letter in 2020 stating that there is a need to extend filing of verified notice of the opposition.

Confused with all the legal jargon, Soriano tweeted some more today, February 2, on how he should handle the scenario that he is in. For one, he tweeted that the name is registered and rightfully his.

He also tweeted, “I’m so in the dark about their extensions. Shouldn’t I have at least a carbon copy cc, no? So I can reply truthfully first hand to them. I get lost in their legal jargon.”

And lastly, he tweeted, “Archwell is now a registered trademark in the Philippines (And it’s not a former British colony). English laws don’t work here.”

While this battle is still ongoing, WTR shares that there are “headaches” when it comes to third-party trademark applications. Lee Curtis says that it was ‘inevitable’ the people would file for the same brand name as the couple. “Frankly, I would have been more surprised, if speculative applications had not been filed,” he tells WTR.

Although there are other Archewell trademark filings in the Philippines, including one under a jewelry brand, it can be observed that the couple is choosing their battles when it comes to guarding their trademark brand name. “An assessment can be made whether an application is truly a bad-faith filing and how an applicant potentially using a brand might prompt a view that some applicants and applications are more problematic than others,” explains Curtis.