Filipino finally “wins” his trademark dispute vs. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.
(Image: Getty Images)

Or so it seems.

With all the revelations coming out of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this week, the last thing the world would expect the royal couple to contend with right now is a deodorant maker doing business miles away in the Philippines.

Well, it looks like there isn’t any contention to talk about anymore. That’s because Victor Martin Soriano, an Iloilo businessman, has now staked his claim over the name “ARCHEWELL HARVATERA,” as the royal couple’s camp failed to file an opposition in time.

Feuding over the “Archewell” name

The reason the royal couple has lodged a legal complaint against Soriano’s enterprise is that it shares the name of Meghan and Prince Harry’s non-profit organization, Archewell Foundation, which they established in April 2020. 

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(Image from Soriano’s Twitter)

Three months after the Sussex royalties started their foundation, Gina Agnes Sarabia from Iloilo, where Soriano also serves as a representative, filed a trademark application for the term “ARCHEWELL,” which would be used as the name of Sarabia Jewelry’s range of luxury products. The trademark was registered and subsequently published in December 2020, and Sarabia Jewelry has been using Archewell ever since.

However, Soriano’s application for the term “ARCHEWELL HARVATERA,” which he plans to use for his line of tawas deodorants, didn’t get the green light just as easy. 

According to documents posted by the World Trademark Review, one month after Soriano’s trademark application was publicized in October 2020, the applicant was opposed. In an image posted by Soriano on social media, he reveals the contents of the opposition letter he received from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s legal entity, Cobblestone Lane LLC. It states the legal entity’s request for “additional time” to notarize and apostille relevant documents in the United States and have the original documents sent to the Philippines.

WTR also caught wind of Soriano’s frustration over the legal dispute on Twitter, where he has asserted that “Archewell is a Philippines-registered trademark.” He has also claimed in now-deleted tweets that since the Philippines is not a former British colony, “English laws don’t work here,” WTR confirms. 

Despite hurdles, Soriano stays undeterred. In fact, WTR reveals that Soriano has once again applied to trademark the term “Archewell Cosmetics” a month after receiving the opposition letter

In February, Soriano tweeted again, claiming that the royal couple “won’t talk to [him]” and that he is “in the dark about their extensions.” In the meantime, Soriano has ceased using the term commercially until he receives sound advice from the court. 

Now, it’s being reported by the WTR that Cobblestone Lane LLC’s extension to file an opposition was allowed to expire on 28 December 2020. This entails that the legal dispute has come to an end and Soriano’s initial application can finally move forward.

Perhaps, the Iloilo entrepreneur has Oprah to thank for it; after that explosive interview, the royal couple could use some time away from negative press. Nonetheless, “Archewell Harvatera” deodorants can finally hit the market. 

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