David Woods

+44 (0)1733 887793 dvwoods@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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Corporate and Commercial / 25 February 2020

You will have seen that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Meghan) have been required to drop the word “royal” from their branding and have had to withdraw applications to trademark the brand “Sussex Royal”.

There are a large number of words that cannot be used in the name of a company or business without the relevant approval. This is due to their sensitivity and perceived ability to mislead. There are some 135 on the list of sensitive words published on the Gov.UK website.

Royal is indeed one of them.To use that word in a company or business name requires consent from the relevant government body – which in England is the Cabinet Office.

It is essential to check the proposed name for your company, business, product or service before you start to use it or invest any time or money in it. Checking against the list of sensitive names is a key part of this. Others include checking the names of existing registered companies, searching in the trademarks register and a general search of the relevant market place to see if the proposed name or something very similar is already in use.

If you do use a name that is the same as or very similar to a name that is already in use, you could be required to change it and could face legal action.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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