KEY POINTS

  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's request to trademark Archewell Audio has not yet been approved, a report says
  • They were reportedly asked to clarify some details and add a disclaimer that they're not seeking to trademark "Audio"
  • The Sussexes will need to resubmit the application with the adjustments within six months

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Archewell Audio has yet to release new episodes since its holiday special last year, and the delay may be due to the issues they encountered in trademarking their chosen name.

It was announced in December 2020 that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched their own audio-first production company, Archewell Audio, and signed a multimillion-dollar deal with streaming service Spotify to produce and host podcasts.

Before the New Year, Prince Harry and Markle released the “2020 Archewell Audio Holiday Special,” which featured appearances by Sir Elton John, Dr. Brené Brown, Stacey Abrams, Naomi Osaka, Tyler Perry and the royal couple's son Archie, among many others. However, there have been no new releases from Archewell Audio since then, Marie Claire noted.

According to the outlet, the project may have stalled due to problems in trademarking Archewell as well as Archewell Audio and Archewell Foundation. Royal correspondent Rebecca Taylor reported via Yahoo News that though the U.S. Patent Office has approved Archewell, the latter two are still up in the air.

The office has required Markle and Prince Harry to "make more changes" to their trademark requests for Archewell Audio and Archewell Foundation, Taylor reported, citing the latest documents registered online.

Prince Harry and Markle have to add disclaimers to the copyright requests that they are not seeking to trademark the words "Audio" or "Foundation." In addition, their application for Archewell Audio also needs more clarification, according to the papers.

The Sussexes will need to make it clear that the "podcasts, audio programs, music, and audio books" they want to trademark are "entertainment-based services." They were also asked to clarify the nature of the "live stage performances" that they say Archewell Audio could hold, the report said.

Prince Harry and Markle were asked to make similar clarifications to their request to trademark Archewell Foundation. Starting June 25, they will need to resubmit the applications with the adjustments within six months.

Although Archewell Audio stalled, the Sussexes continue to work on the project. In fact, they announced a new member of staff earlier this month.

Rebecca Sananes joined Archewell Audio as the head of audio, Variety reported. She previously served as lead producer for New York Magazine’s “Pivot” tech, media and business podcast hosted by Recode co-founder Kara Swisher and New York University Stern School of Business professor Scott Galloway.

Last summer, Prince Harry and Markle also ran into some problems with their copyright application, which an examining attorney had deemed too vague. Their spokesman told Yahoo U.K. at the time that "this is part of the normal back-and-forth of the trademarking process" and made it clear that their application had not been denied.

But while there have been no new updates on Archewell Audio from the Sussexes, Marie Claire noted that the Spotify press release announcing the project last year only stated that Prince Harry and Markle's podcast would be launched this year but did not provide an exact date. 

"In 2021, The Duke and Duchess will produce and host podcasts that build community through shared experiences and values," the release stated.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 02: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a Creative Industries and Business Reception on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images