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Meghan and Harry's bid to trademark Sussex Royal blocked by Australian doctor

Mirror logo Mirror 24/01/2020 Elaine McCahill

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry smiling for the camera: Harry and Meghan's bid to trademark their Sussex Royal brand has hit a stumbling block © SIPA USA/PA Images Harry and Meghan's bid to trademark their Sussex Royal brand has hit a stumbling block Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bid to trademark Sussex Royal has hit a road block after a doctor in Australia blocked their application.

The couple, who stepped down as 'senior royals' in dramatic fashion this month, plan to use the name to launch their foundation and other branded goods.

Following a summit to decide their future, Buckingham Palace announced that the Sussexes will not use their HRH titles "as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family".

The couple will however keep their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles and will now be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Related: How Harry and Meghan could be set for a right royal cash in

How Harry and Meghan could be set for a right royal cash in © Shutterstock/Guardian How Harry and Meghan could be set for a right royal cash in

Related: The ruthless team who will make Meghan millions

However, Mirror Online understands the future of the Sussex Royal brand is still being discussed.

Earlier this month it was revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were seeking to register the brand as a global trademark for a range of items and activities including clothing, stationery, books and social-care services.

Related: Royals who gave up their titles (Lovemoney)

As well as the application to register Sussex Royal, which is also the name the couple use on their  Instagram account and their website, one request was also made to register "Sussex Royal the Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex", according to  The Guardian .

However, they've now hit a stumbling block after an Australian doctor, Benjamin Worcster, from Victoria, Australia, launched a legal opposition against their bid.

a screenshot of a cell phone: The couple's Sussex Royal Instagram account © Provided by Mirror The couple's Sussex Royal Instagram account

It is not known why Mr Worcester, who is believed to have worked as an NHS doctor from 2011 until 2013, filed the opposition.

A formal 'notice of threatened opposition' was registered this week, according to the government's Intellectual Property Office.

Harry and Meghan may now have to pay further legal fees in their bid to start their brand.

As Mr Worcester opposed their trademark, the period of 'opposition' has been extended from February 20 until at least March 20.

a close up of a coffee cup: The couple reportedly want to sell their own branded products © PA The couple reportedly want to sell their own branded products

The period of opposition is when anyone against the trademark can make their objections known before it can be used.

Related: Meghan's father: I don't know who she is now

Lee Curtis, a chartered trademark attorney and partner at specialist law firm HGF, said : “Filing a notice of threatened opposition is relatively easy and can be done online for free.

“The filing of a formal notice of opposition is much more involved.

Gallery: Prince Harry and Meghan exit: What we know so far (Photos)

“Right now, the threatened opposition delays the progress of the Sussex Royal application by at least one month, but if a formal opposition is ultimately mounted, this will involve the payment of an opposition fee, the drafting of formal grounds of opposition and the filing of evidence and legal submissions in support of the opposition.

“The whole opposition could take at least a year to get to a decision and is thus not an action entered into lightly with a possible costs award against the losing party.”

A spokeswoman for the Intellectual Property Office said last night: “We are unable to discuss specifics about trade mark applications while they are in progress.”

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