Lizzo can celebrate a new victory. The U.S. Patent and Trademark office approved her application to trademark the phrase “100 percent that b****.”
A tribunal ruled Thursday that Lizzo owns the saying and can use it however she likes, including on merchandise. The singer famously used that phrase to open her 2019 hit song “Truth Hurts.”
It should be noted the singer didn’t actually create the phrase. The saying was once used as a viral meme and its true creator, Mina Lioness, has since been given songwriting credit on “Truth Hurts.”
Lizzo attempted to trademark the phrase after the song took off, but its fate was in limbo for literal years as the agency debated if the wording was unique enough to warrant trademark protection. Lizzo’s application was actually tossed last year, with the ruling saying the wording was too commonplace and that she didn’t have the right to appropriate it.
Billboard reports the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reversed that decision because they believe Lizzo is inherently connected to the phrase. Part of their argument was that if a person were to read “100 percent that b****” on a shirt, they would most likely think of the rapper.
The ruling reads, “Consumers encountering ‘100% That B****’ on the specific types of clothing identified in the application ― even when offered by third parties ― associate the term with Lizzo and her music.”
The TTAB argued that Lizzo popularized a phrase, adding it was “lesser known” before it was featured on “Truth Hurts.”
“Lizzo did not originate the expression she encountered as a Twitter meme,” the ruling stated. “Nonetheless, lyrics from songs are more likely to be attributed to the artists who sing, rap or otherwise utter them, rather than the songwriters.”
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