Kate Middleton’s Name Off-limits to Designers

Kate Middleton Prince William blue Issa dress
Photo: Getty Images
Kate Middleton in the buzzed about blue Issa dress.

Attention, enterprising designers: Using Kate Middleton’s name to sell knockoffs is going to land you in a whole lot of trouble. The Daily Mail reports that royal aides have warned that using the Kate Middleton brand can and will get you sued:

A ban on suggesting that any member of the Royal Family has endorsed a product is now understood to extend to Kate, even ahead of her formal inclusion as a royal with her wedding to Prince William on April 29.

Whether the ban applies retroactively is unknown: Kenneth Jay Lane’s replica of Middelton’s engagement ring is being sold on QVC, while Tesco’s copies of Middleton’s blue Issa dress flew off the shelves.

The future royal is clearly a style icon in the making, with nearly every look she wears selling out, studied furiously, or copied. According to the Daily Mail:

Courtiers last night denied Kate is now classed as a brand in her own right, but one legal expert said: ‘Her name is now controlled by the Royal Family. She has a reputation to uphold and because of that she is, to all intents and purposes, akin to a brand or marque.’

And though there are currently no rules in writing, the Daily Mail warns that designers who break this royal decree will be violating copyright and trademark laws—and will have to pay the fines and fees that go along with such violations.

Worth the attention the name gets you? Unlikely.