Pinoy entrep on trademark battle with Prince Harry & Meghan Markle: “I’m standing my ground” 2
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Photo from Kensington Palace via ABS-CBN News
Culture

Pinoy entrep on trademark battle with Prince Harry & Meghan Markle: “I’m standing my ground”

The deodorant brand owner seems unfazed getting into a legal tussle with the world-famous couple—except with all the legal jargon.   
ANCX Staff | Mar 04 2021

An Ilonggo businessman is in a legal battle with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, over the use of the brand name Archewell.

Apparently, Archewell became the new “It” name after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle introduced their charity in April 2020. The couple dropped the use of the SussexRoyal brand following their decision to bow out from their royal duties. 

Meanwhile, possibly riding on the name’s attachment to royals—based on his use of the hashtag #royaltawas in his tweets—Victor Martin Soriano named his tawas-based deodorant brand Archewell Harvatera.

An article published by World Trademark Review (WTR) noted that Soriano filed a trademark application for Archewell Harvatera in July 2020 for his cosmetics and fragrance products. However, it received opposition from a company representing the royal couple.

In a tweet posted by Soriano @victorphilippi1 last December 5, 2020, he said Markle blocked the registration of Archewell Harvatera in the Philippines through her legal counsel Federis & Associates Law Offices.

Affixed in that tweet is a legal document noting that Cobblestone Lane LLC, a company representing the royal couple, submitted to the Intellectual Property Office a “Motion for Extension of Time to File Verified Notice of Opposition.” The document indicated that Cobblestone Lane LLC intended to file an opposition to the trademark application of Archewell Harvatera, which was published in the Electronic Gazette of the Intellectual Property Office.

The document also noted that the “opposer is still working on the Verified Notice of Opposition and other supporting documents,” and “awaiting certified copies of the registration certificates and other documentary evidence.” It also mentioned that the opposer “will need additional time to notarize and apostille the documents in the U.S.A and have the original documents couriered to the Philippines.”

In the said motion, the Verified Notice of Opposition was supposed to have been filed until December 28, 2021. But it appears that Soriano hasn’t heard from the couple up to now.

In a tweet dated February 3, the Ilonggo businessman wrote, “They won’t talk to me,” apparently referring to the legal representatives of the royal couple. He said he is aware that the supposed extension date they requested to file the documents has expired last December 28, but he is not privy to the details. “Shouldn’t I have at least a carbon copy cc, no?” she said on Twitter. “So I can reply truthfully first hand to them. I get lost in their legal jargon.”

Soriano seems unfazed over his battle with the world famous couple. In fact, he even filed a new trademark for the brand name Archewell Cosmetics, according to records obtained by WTR.

Archewell, according to the royal couple, is a combination of two words—arche, a Greek word which means “source of action” and well, which means “a plentiful source of supply; a place we go to dig deep,” according to the its official website. The royal brand is said to be inspired by the name of Prince Harry and Markle’s firstborn, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

The purpose of Archewell Foundation, according to its website, is “to uplift and unite communities—local and global, online and offline—one act of compassion at a time.” The foundation has been involved in researches related to health and technology, as can be gleaned from its list of projects and partnerships.

Interestingly, the term “Archewell Harvatera” can be found on Urban Dictionary, where it is defined as a street lingo in the Philippines meaning “Aren’t you well?” Harvatera, meanwhile, comes from the rootword “harvat,” and is supposed to mean “night shift worker.” The website claims the term gained popularity during the lockdown in mid-2020s. To older Pinoys, of course, harbat is a slang word for steal or the verb cop. 

Here’s a bit of trivia about Soriano: he is the first open water swimmer to cross the 7.7-kilometer Guimaras-Iloilo Strait in August 7, 1994. Which the Prince and Meghan should probably interpret as “the guy doesn’t easily give up.”

ANCX messaged Martin on Twitter, asking him for the latest update. He replied, “They have a deadline on March 28, 2021 to submit a notarized answer. Their lawyer is Mila Federis of Federis Law Office. They should  know. However I am standing  my ground. Note I have proper FDA certification.”