Trademark Registration: 100% THAT BITCH

by Dennis Cxrouch

In re Lizzo LLC (TTAB 2023)

In a brand new precedential opinion, the TTAB has sided with the musical artist Lizzo — agreeing to register her mark “100% THAT BITCH” to be used on attire.  The Trademark Inspecting Lawyer had refused registration on “failure-to-function” — concluding that the phrase was a commonplace expression used to precise a well-recognized sentiment.

The phrase comes from Lizzo’s 2017 track Reality Hurts (remade in 2019) that has turn into a viral sleeper hit.  The unique line within the track is “I simply took a DNA check, seems I’m 100% that bitch.” However Lizzo herself didn’t create the phrase. Quite, Lizzo apparently noticed a social media meme about being 100% that bitch after which added it to her track.  The analyzing lawyer concluded that “proof that buyers might affiliate the phrase with the well-known singer/track as a result of it was a lyric within the singer’s track doesn’t entitle the applicant as a singer-songwriter to applicable for itself unique use of the phrase.”

On attraction, the TTAB reversed the refusal.  Not like patents and copyrights, trademark legislation shouldn’t be designed to reward the inventive endeavor of invention or authorship.  Quite, trademark is designed as a consume-protection and market-function instrument and so focuses on client notion.  Right here, the proof means that the mark is being utilized in a decorative trend (reasonably than as merely phrases) and that bizarre customers affiliate the mark with Lizzo.  Regardless that she didn’t create the phrases – she is the one who made them in style and remodeled the “lesser identified phrase to extra memorable standing.”  On these grounds, the TTAB concluded that the mark is registrable and thus reversed the denial.

A number of years in the past the mark would have additionally been rejected as scandalous, however that concern has been off the desk for the reason that Supreme Court docket’s FUCT determination.

Learn the TTAB Determination right here: Lizzo TTAB Determination