William and Kate, England's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have separately established companies to protect their intellectual property rights, according to Metro. Prince William founded a firm named APL Anglesey, and Kate started CE Strathearn. Prince Harry, William's younger brother, also established a company to protect his own intellectual property, called Tsessebe.
These companies will enable the royals to sell products that are officially endorsed, and to take legal action against companies using their images or names to sell products, specifically those that might harm their public image. Kensington Palace notes the companies "are not intended to be used as trading arms," according to ITV. The companies are reportedly likely to remain dormant for the foreseeable future unless they are necessary to protect intellectual property rights. However, according to the Daily Mail, aides confirmed the companies could be used for commercial purposes, and in that case proceeds would go to charity.
Images of the couple have already become iconic, from their wedding day to photographs of them with their first son. Notably, this move isn't expected to halt production and sales of memorabilia with the couple's likeness.
"When products are clearly memorabilia - tea towels, mugs, ornaments and the like - there is little that can be done to prevent this and the Royal Family have never tried to prevent this sort of patriotic thing in the past," Paul Walsh of law firm Bristows told the Daily Mail.