Aussie bike firm nabs Sussex Royal website

A motorcycle company in coastal Victoria has become the unexpected base of royalty in Australia, with a canny IT worker registering the local Sussex Royal website name before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex got to it.

Despite a new worldwide effort to claim "Sussex Royal" as a trademark, Brett McIntyre said he snapped up the Australian web domain for the new royal brand on a whim, telling News Corp he "just jumped online and had a look and thought 'bugger it!',".

An Aussie IT worker has already registered the Sussex Royal website name. Picture: Getty Images
An Aussie IT worker has already registered the Sussex Royal website name. Picture: Getty Images

But an intellectual property lawyer said the new web name may have to work hard to justify keeping it.

The SussexRoyal.com.au website doesn't currently host any content - Mr McIntyre said Warrnambool Motorcycle and Gardening Products didn't have immediate plans for the site but may launch something "later on".

"We're not sure what we'll do with it yet," he said.

But his canny move, made the same day Prince Harry and Meghan announced surprise plans to "step back as senior members of the Royal Family," certainly won the small company a high-profile claim to fame.

 

Mr McIntyre said he didn't expect the royals to get in touch about the website, and was neither a Monarchist nor a republican.

The Aussie move comes amid a worldwide scramble to register websites and trademarks under the "Sussex Royal" name.

The Duke and Duchess applied to protect the brand globally in December, in an application to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, and won a UK trademark in June last year.

But competing requests for the Sussex Royal brand have already been lodged in the European Union, the US, and Germany.

Eaglegate Lawyers principal Nicole Murdoch said a flurry of trademark and intellectual property claims were to be expected as internet-savvy business people sought to cash in on the new brand name.

But she said Australia's newly royal base may have some trouble keeping the website address as Australian domain registration required owners to prove they had an "entitlement" to web names based on the name of their business.

"It is difficult to see how a motorcycle company will have an entitlement to the domain name," Ms Murdoch said.

While online registries show the real Royal Family has claimed SussexRoyal.com, other offshoots are still available, including sussexroyal.diamonds, sussexroyal.plumbing, and sussexroyal.diet.


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