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Posted at 1:01 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Brand Kate? Not so fast.

By Autumn Brewington

The monarchy is making it known that attempts to co-opt the name of the royal bride-to-be won't be tolerated. (AP)

With royal watchers, fashionistas and designers worldwide lapping up Kate Middleton's every outfit, the monarchy is making it known that attempts to co-opt the name of the royal bride-to-be will not be tolerated.

According to the Daily Mail: "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.

"There are no written rules, but courtiers said firms would be warned that they risk falling foul of trademark and copyright law if they use her full name on merchandise."

That last point seems like common sense as well as good business sense -- but with copy-Kate replicas of her clothes and engagement ring cropping up worldwide, it's not surprising the palace is trying to stay ahead of the curve.

The article quotes an unnamed royal aide as saying it is "highly unlikely" the palace would complain "if a company wanted to call a dress 'the Kate dress.' ... It may, however, be a different scenario if it was called the 'Catherine/Kate Middleton' dress as that impacts ... on personal copyright. Or indeed if a company was suggesting a dress was officially endorsed by Catherine."

The thing is, designers Kate Middleton does favor are unlikely to court media attention by attempting to "brand" items with her name, much as real friends of the couple don't talk about them to the press. This is out of respect -- and in hopes of staying in the royals' good graces. Consider this point in a New York Times article speculating on whether the Issa brand Kate has been seen in several times is a favorite to design her wedding dress. Designer Daniella Issa Helayel was "flinty" on the topic, according to the Times, "insisting before agreeing to be interviewed that questions about a bridal gown never be raised."

By Autumn Brewington  | January 11, 2011; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Kate Middleton, Media coverage, Wedding souvenirs  
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