Not Okurrr!

July 4, 2019

Trade Marks

Following on from our previous blog about Cardi B’s trade mark registration of “okurrr,” we now have the results and it’s not good for Cardi. The application to trade mark her catchphrase “okurrr” has been turned down by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The benefits of having a catchphrase registered as a trade mark is that it enables the owner to use the saying commercially, and to prohibit others from doing the same. A trade mark owner can sue an alleged infringer and stop them from using it for profit and even recover damages for infringement.

The office stated the term was already widely used as a “commonplace term, message, or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment.”

Cardi had hoped to use the distinctive catchphrase on a range of merchandise. The application was filed for paper articles and clothing. It’s noted that the expression is “commonly used in the drag community and by celebrities as an alternative way of saying OK.” Celebrities such as Khloé Kardashian and RuPaul have been cited to use the phrase. Both examples were cited by the USPTO.

The Rapper came out herself as describing the phrase as being like saying OK, “but OK is played out.” So she can’t really argue with the USPTO comments on rejection of the application. However Cardi has the opportunity to respond to the USPTO and fight to seek registration for her mark but it’s looking like quite an uphill battle.

We at Briffa will definitely be keeping an eye on this, especially if Cardi does choose to battle for her trade mark. Whatever the case, I am sure that it will be “okurrr” in the end. Sorry had to get one last pun in!

Written by Hasnath Ahmed, Solicitor

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