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Intellectual property lawyer trademarks US Sussex Royal brand

Jard Fogelson, an intellectual property lawyer from LA, claims to have applied for the Sussex Royal trademark in the US

An intellectual property lawyer claims to have trademarked the ‘Royal Sussex’ brand in America to teach Harry and Meghan a valuable lesson about planning. 

Jared Fogelson, from Los Angeles, filed to own the brand on digital platforms on January 8 after finding – to his shock – that the name was still available. 

A trademark application in the US in Fogelson’s name claims ownership to the Sussex Royal brand for ‘communications by computer terminals, transmission and delivery of video, and data via the internet and wireless networks’.

Speaking to TMZ, Fogelson said his intention is not to hold on to the brand – and that he would even be willing to give it to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for free.

Instead, he said he wanted to give them a lesson about paying attention to details and avoiding a potentially massive oversight.

However, Harry and Meghan’s team will soon be teaching Fogelson a lesson – because they filed an application for ‘Sussex Royal’ with the World Intellectual Property Organisation on December 31 – a full week before him.

The application covers everything from branded pencils to charity fundraising and social care services in Australia, Canada the EU and US.

While the application is still pending, it would almost certainly supersede Fogelson’s application with local US authorities.  

Mr Fogelson said he did it 'to teach Harry and Meghan a lesson about planning', after the couple carefully trademarked their brand in the UK - but apparently not in the US

Mr Fogelson said he did it ‘to teach Harry and Meghan a lesson about planning’, after the couple carefully trademarked their brand in the UK – but apparently not in the US

The Sussexes applied for trademarks in the UK first because, as part of the international system, applicants are required to have a ‘home office’.

As with their global application, the couple trademarked their Sussex Royal brand on items including pencils, socks and bookmarks in the UK in June last year.

The couple have an estimated £34million private fortune to fund their new life after quitting as senior royals, but can make even more with various business ventures such as book deals, TV deals, public speaking and fashion and brand partnerships.

The Sussexes, who also launched a slick website called Sussexroyal.com last week, intend moving towards becoming ‘financially independent’.  

They appear intent on turning their brand into a global empire as they stamp their name on goods and services by submitting trademark applications last June.

The Sussexes want to stamp their name on dozens of products including T-shirts, hoodies, journals and gloves for their newly-created foundation Sussex Royal.

Retail expert Andy Barr said he would expect Prince Harry and Meghan’s new Sussex Royal product empire to generate revenues of £400million.

He told MailOnline of the trademark applications: ‘This will just be the stepping stone for higher value products being launched later down the line.

‘Undoubtedly this will be a multi-million pound revenue business given they are effectively trading on the back of the Royal name which is ironic given they are seemingly trying to escape its clutches.

However, it seems Harry and Meghan will be teaching Mr Fogelson a lesson because they have already filed a global trademark application covering the US as well as Australia, Canada and the EU - covering everything from pencils to social care programs

However, it seems Harry and Meghan will be teaching Mr Fogelson a lesson because they have already filed a global trademark application covering the US as well as Australia, Canada and the EU – covering everything from pencils to social care programs

‘We would conservatively estimate that the ‘MegRy’ revenue will dwarf that of Prince Charles various Duchy business fortunes.

‘With his revenue estimated to be £200million in the last year, we would not be surprised to see Harry and Meghan more than double that from scratch with their combined global appeal.

‘As the brand they are building will automatically have global appeal, their revenue will grow even further.’

PR expert Mark Borkowski, who has worked with Noel Edmonds and Graham Norton, suggested that the Sussex ‘brand’ could rival that of the House of Windsor.

He said: ‘Harry loves Meghan and can see what she’s going through and, influenced also by what he saw, what he experienced with his mother, he didn’t want to see the woman he loves go through it.

‘They’ve had their time to think about it and they’re now separated totally from the royal family and we will now see the Sussex brand, you know, and we’ll see something which is going to be a very powerful foundation or brand outside the royal family.

‘And that’s possibly the most dangerous thing for the royal brand. Could they become more potent? Could they have a world focus in a way the House of Windsor can’t?’

Mr Borkowski said Meghan and Harry stand to make ‘a fortune’ due to the demand for the Sussex brand in countries such as China, India and the US.

He said: ‘They are going to, they have to make a lot of money to fuel the lifestyle and everything that they need.

‘It’s not that easy to separate yourself, security issues alone are enormous, and they are a target for security – how they live, how they operate.

‘I think around the world – China, America, South East Asia, India, parts of Europe – people will be falling over to get brand connections with them. They will make a fortune.’

They have vowed to become ‘financially independent’ after saying they will step down as senior royals, but the two should not have much trouble making money.

Some of the products which Harry and Meghan are looking to trademark under their brand

Some of the products which Harry and Meghan are looking to trademark under their brand

If famous political couples like the Obamas and Clintons are any indication, the two can easily procure a fortune through book deals, public speaking and fashion.

Experts say they have the potential to rake in tens of millions of pounds annually, particularly if they choose to follow in Barack and Michelle’s lucrative footsteps.

Ronn Torossian, chief executive of New York-based PR firm 5W Public Relations, told DailyMail.com: ‘Their earning power — both individually and as a couple — is limitless in all aspects of endorsements.

‘Whether appearances, brand partnerships or more, they could make eight or nine figures annually with endorsement deals.’

Mr Torossian said it ‘wouldn’t be surprising’ if the couple started looking at how to make money in North America, where they will be staying when not in Britain.

‘With the level of name recognition both of them have, brands will no doubt be tripping over themselves to offer Meghan and Harry partnerships, endorsement deals, positions as brand ambassadors, and more,’ he explained.

‘The sky is the limit for the two of them in terms of earning potential in North America.’

Documents published by the Intellectual Property Office disclose that among the items the royals have so far trademarked are instructional and teaching materials; printed educational materials; printed publications; educational books; textbooks; magazines and newsletters.

Also on the list are clothing; footwear; headgear; t-shirts; coats; jackets; anoraks; trousers; sweaters; jerseys; dresses; pyjamas; suits; sweat shirts; hooded tops; caps; hats; bandanas; headbands; socks; scarves and neckwear; gloves; sportswear.

The list also shows the royal pair have hopes to trademark the title on developing and coordinating volunteer projects for charitable purposes; providing volunteering opportunities and recruitment of volunteers and information, advisory and consultancy services.

Prince Harry and Meghan unveiled a slick new website just moments after announcing they were stepping back from royal duties

Prince Harry and Meghan unveiled a slick new website just moments after announcing they were stepping back from royal duties

While some of the items align with what the royal pair continue to promote, others appear to indicate that former actress Meghan and Harry truly are intent on ‘changing the world’, as their admirer Kim Kardashian once said.

The list also revealed the pair have submitted trademarks in periodicals; printed reports; fact sheets; brochures; programmes; booklets; pamphlets; leaflets; manuals; journals; diaries; calendars; posters; art prints; notebooks; postcards and greeting cards.

Experts said Harry and Meghan were actively preparing to quit the Royal Family months ago by filing trade mark applications to commercially protect their brand.

Nicole Murdoch, a trademark lawyer based in Brisbane, Australia, said the signs that the Sussexes were leaving the Royal Family were emerging last summer.

She said: ‘This could be because they may lose their titles as part of leaving the Royal Family. So this is a defensive move to allow them to continue using the titles or a name that alludes to the titles.

BOOK DEALS 

If Prince Harry and Meghan choose to write memoirs about their lives, they will likely start a bidding war between publishing houses and procure eight-figure advances.

Fans would love to read about their vastly different childhoods and how their lives became entwined when they were brought together through a mutual friend. 

Their love story is one for the ages, and while they have shared bits and pieces about their courtship, people are still clamoring for more information about the highs and lows of their romance. 

Success: Michelle's memoir, Becoming, has sold more than 10 million copies

Success: Michelle’s memoir, Becoming, has sold more than 10 million copies 

In 2017, the Obamas scored a joint book deal at Penguin Random House worth a reported $65 million — an unprecedented amount for a presidential memoir. 

While Barack’s upcoming book has yet to be released, Michelle’s autobiography, Becoming, sold 1.4 million copies in the first week and went on to become the best-selling book in the U.S. in 2018. 

As of March 2019, it sold more than 10 million copies and was on track to become the best-selling memoir of all time.   

Prior to Barack and Michelle’s record-breaking deal, Bill Clinton was given a hefty $15 million advance for his 2004 autobiography, My Life.  

He has written four books since leaving the White House in 2001. Most recently, he published his first best-selling novel, The President is Missing, which he co-wrote with superstar author James Patterson.  

Barack and Michelle Obama (pictured in Chicago last October) scored a reported $65million advance as part of their joint book deal, and it's possible the royals can bring in even more

Barack and Michelle Obama (pictured in Chicago last October) scored a reported $65million advance as part of their joint book deal, and it’s possible the royals can bring in even more

His wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has written numerous books as well. She earned a reported $8 million dollar advance for her 2003 memoir, Living History, and a believed $14 million for her 2014 follow-up, Hard Choices. 

If Harry and Meghan aren’t willing to get personal, there are other options. 

Hillary and her daughter Chelsea recently co-wrote and published The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience, which features portraits of female role models who inspire them. 

Now that they’re parents, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may want to follow in Chelsea’s footsteps and write children’s books focusing on topics they’re passionate about.   

Potential: It's possible Harry and Meghan will start their own production company like the Obamas and start producing their own documentaries and podcasts

Potential: It’s possible Harry and Meghan will start their own production company like the Obamas and start producing their own documentaries and podcasts 

In the game: Harry has already teamed up with Oprah to create a multi-part documentary series about mental health that will air on the Apple TV platform this year

In the game: Harry has already teamed up with Oprah to create a multi-part documentary series about mental health that will air on the Apple TV platform this year

TV AND STREAMING DEALS 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are both activists in their own right, so it’s not hard to imagine them getting into film and television production to raise awareness for the causes that are important to them. 

Harry has already teamed up with Oprah to create a multi-part documentary series about mental health that will air on the Apple TV platform this year.  

Millions of viewers tuned in to watch them open up about the struggles they’ve faced as a couple in their emotional 2019 documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, a testament to their built-in fan base.  

It’s possible they’ll take a cue from the Obamas and start their own production company to pitch their passion projects.  

It was announced in 2018 that Barack and Michelle had signed a multi-year deal to produce movies, series, and documentaries for Netflix through their production company, Higher Ground. 

It’s unclear how much the former president and first lady made off the deal, but those who have signed onto similar agreements are set to make millions.  

Shonda Rhimes, who created Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, signed a five-year deal with Netflix in 2017 that is estimated to be worth $150 million. 

The following year, American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy reportedly scored up to $300 million when he inked his own five-year deal with the streaming giant. 

Taking the mic: The Obamas and Clintons command six-figure fees for speaking engagements, and experts believe Meghan and Harry can easily do the same

Taking the mic: The Obamas and Clintons command six-figure fees for speaking engagements, and experts believe Meghan and Harry can easily do the same 

At the podium: Meghan has a passion for using her voice to promote awareness for the causes near and dear to heart. She's pictured at the launch of her charity clothing line in September

At the podium: Meghan has a passion for using her voice to promote awareness for the causes near and dear to heart. She’s pictured at the launch of her charity clothing line in September 

PUBLIC SPEAKING  

The U.S.’s former presidents and first ladies are taking home millions of dollars from their public appearances, so why can’t royals? 

Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush have all made a pretty penny from their six-figure speaking fees over the years. 

After leaving the White House, Barack started commanding a reported $400,000 per speaking engagement, while his wife, Michelle, has been said to make $200,000. 

George W. takes in $100,000 to $175,000 per appearance, Politico reported in 2015, noting that he has done at least 200 paid speeches since he left office.  

And according to CNN analysis, Bill and Hillary have earned more than $153 million in paid speeches from 2001 until the former secretary of state launched her 2016 presidential campaign. 

Jeff Jacobson, co-founder of the Talent Bureau speaking agency, says the couple would get at least $100,000 per appearance, and Harry could get up $500,000.

He told Bloomberg: ‘I would imagine they are going to start having these conversations ASAP, if they haven’t already. I suspect they will both get on the circuit, and it will be one of Harry’s primary revenue streams.’

And it won’t just be one-off appearances that Meghan and Harry can earn money from; if, as experts predict, the two choose to follow the Obamas’ lead and sign a book deal, they could go on to rake in a fortune from a subsequent book tour – as former FLOTUS Michelle recently did. 

When Michelle launched her book tour back in 2018, the costs of tickets shocked some fans, with prices ranging from $29.95 for general admission to $3,000 for a VIP package which included a front row seat, a photo with Mrs. Obama and a signed book. 

Fashionable philanthropy: Last year, Meghan helped create a capsule collection to benefit Smart Works, a charity that provides clothes and coaching to unemployed women

Fashionable philanthropy: Last year, Meghan helped create a capsule collection to benefit Smart Works, a charity that provides clothes and coaching to unemployed women

Walking advertisement: Catbird, the jewelry brand behind Meghan's favorite thin, stackable gold ring revealed 20,000 people have snapped up the band since she was seen wearing it

Walking advertisement: Catbird, the jewelry brand behind Meghan's favorite thin, stackable gold ring revealed 20,000 people have snapped up the band since she was seen wearing it

Walking advertisement: Catbird, the jewelry brand behind Meghan’s favorite thin, stackable gold ring revealed 20,000 people have snapped up the band since she was seen wearing it 

FASHION AND BRAND PARTNERSHIPS 

When it comes to fashion, Meghan has the magic touch. Whatever the actress-turned-royal wears sells out almost immediately, making her any brand’s dream partner. 

The Duchess of Sussex has many friends in the fashion industry, including tennis star Serena Williams and designer Misha Nonoo, who both have their own clothing lines. 

Meghan’s close pal Jessica Mulroney also happens to be a famous stylist who has been credited with helping indie Canadian fashion brands get their start. 

Jessica can easily help her connect with brands, though the royal likely doesn’t need the help.  

Editorial: The Duchess of Sussex guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue in 2019

Editorial: The Duchess of Sussex guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue in 2019 

Last year, Meghan guest-edited British Vogue, and she is said to be close with the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful as well as American Vogue’s Anna Wintour. 

The Duchess of Sussex combined her love of fashion and philanthropy in 2019 to launch a capsule clothing line to benefit Smart Works, a charity that provides clothes and coaching to unemployed women.

The collection was created in partnership with Misha, the clothing brand Jigsaw, and the department stores Marks & Spencer and John Lewis. For each item that was purchased, one was donated to the charity. 

And if she so chooses, Meghan could also revive her lifestyle blog, The Tig, which she launched in 2014 and used to share her favorite things with her fans.  

She abruptly shut down the site in April 2017, taking down all the posts she had shared over the previous three years. Meghan and Harry’s engagement was announced in November 2017.

However, Meghan recently filed documents in the U.S. aiming to keep the rights to the blog’s name until 2021. 

A palace spokesperson made it clear that the lasting trademark is to ‘prevent false branding, but she could always have a change of heart. 

Mystery project: Philanthropy is a large part of Harry and Meghan's lives, and they revealed they will be launching a new 'new charitable entity'

Mystery project: Philanthropy is a large part of Harry and Meghan’s lives, and they revealed they will be launching a new ‘new charitable entity’

Going their own way: Though they likely won't make money from their charitable endeavors, the new venture will certainly help them carve out their new identities

Going their own way: Though they likely won’t make money from their charitable endeavors, the new venture will certainly help them carve out their new identities 

CHARITIES 

Philanthropy is a large part of Harry and Meghan’s lives, and in their statement announcing their decision to step down from senior royal duties, they said they will be launching a ‘new charitable entity.’ 

The couple didn’t share any additional details about the upcoming venture, but they may take inspiration from the Obamas, Bushes, and Clintons, who all have their own charitable foundations in the U.S.

Though they likely won’t make money from their charitable endeavours, the new venture will certainly help them carve out their new identities as they move away from the British monarchy. 

Last year, Harry and Meghan walked away from the Royal Foundation, their formerly joint charity with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to start their own charitable organisation called Sussex Royal. 

It’s unclear what will happen with the foundation now that they are no longer going to be working as senior royals and they have yet to clarify their plans for the organisation.


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