A US lawyer explains how Meghan Markle could successfully trademark the word 'archetypes' for her Spotify podcast

Meghan Markle has applied to trademark the 16th-century word she has chosen as the title for her upcoming podcast

How Meghan Markle could trademark 'archetypes' for podcast successfully
(Image credit: Getty)

Meghan Markle has filed an application to trademark the word, 'Archetypes', after choosing it as the title for her upcoming Spotify podcast. 

The Duchess of Sussex is hoping to trademark the title of her highly-anticipated Spotify podcast, Archetypes—and she just might be able to. 

The news follows the recent announcement of Meghan Markle's podcast release date, after months of speculation over the royal's plans with the Swedish-American streaming service. Last month, the first teaser of her upcoming audio show, which will investigate the labels and stereotypes 'that try to hold women back', dropped online. 

'Archetypes', launched under Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Archewell Radio, will see the retired US actress host "uncensored conversations" with historians, experts, and influential women, in an attempt to investigate the labels and stereotypes "that try to hold women back" in our patriarchal society. 

The word 'archetype' dates back to the mid 16th century, having first entered the English language in the 1540s. Defined in the dictionary as the 'original pattern from which copies are made', it is predominantly used to describe the typical characters in literature. The Hero, the Villain, and the Joker are just some examples of archetypes.

A spokesperson for the Sussexes said that the project had initially been delayed over concerns about Spotify’s role in spreading misinformation, particularly on the subject of Covid-19. Now "encouraged" by the platform's commitment to reviewing its "policies, practices, and strategies" to combat fake news, they have decided to move forward with the podcast. 


(Image credit: Getty)

Will Meghan Markle be able to trademark 'archetypes'? 

Archetypes may be a centuries-old word, but that doesn't mean Meghan won't be able to trademark it. 

It's understood that Spotify filed the application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office last month on behalf of the Duchess in Delaware, where she and Prince Harry have already set up 11 private companies. 

If approved, the former Suits star would technically own the word whenever it is used "in the fields of cultural treatment of women and stereotypes facing women". This includes goods and services, including television shows and podcasts. 

For Meghan to successfully trademark 'archetypes', she'll have to ensure it meets some important requirements. 

US Trademark Registration Attorney & Brand Protection Specialist, John M. Hilla, of Noble Path Trademark Law, tells woman&home that "the mark must be unique enough to specifically identify its registrant, or owner, as the source of those specific goods or services with which it is identified in the marketplace." 

Meghan Markle discusses the televsion show "Suits" at AOL Studios in New York on March 17, 2016

(Image credit: Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic via Getty)

In Meghan's case, 'archetypes' scores relatively high on the unique scale or "spectrum of distinctiveness" used to measure a trademark's strength. 

While the word technically already exists in the English language, it would be considered an 'arbitrary' mark as it has nothing to do with podcasting or discrimination against women. Like US tech giant Apple, its products and/or services would be completely unrelated to the original dictionary definition. 

"It is a good, strong proposed trademark," says Hilla. 

Meghan will also have to make sure that there are no other podcasts or similar products already called 'Archetypes' before she can trademark the word for her business.

Hilla explains that it "cannot be likely to confuse US consumer as to the source of goods or services, in relation to a prior registered trademark for the same or related goods or services." 

And lastly, and perhaps most obviously, "the mark must be used (or intended to be used) in commerce across state lines." 

If Meghan manages to demonstrate the above points, she shouldn't have any issues locking in her trademark. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.