Cardi B’s application to trademark her signature catchphrase “okurrr” has been turned down by the US Trademark Office.
Under trademark laws, you cannot apply to register a word that is a commonplace term. The US Trademark Office stated that the term “okurrr” is one that is commonly used in the:
…drag community and by celebrities as an alternative way of saying “OK” or “something that is said to affirm when someone is being put in their place”
Cardi B didn’t do herself any favours when she explained the catchphrase as meaning “OK” but that “OK is played out.”
If it is true that the term “okurrr” is commonplace then consumers seeing that term on a t-shirt, for example, would not perceive it as a mark associated with Cardi B but rather as only conveying an informational message.
It isn’t over yet. Cardi B will be given an opportunity to respond to the US Trademark Office. If she is able to overcome this objection, i.e. show that it is not a commonplace term, her trademark application will be one step closer to registration.
What can you learn from Cardi B here?
If you think you’ve coined a catchphrase, move quickly to apply for a trademark before it becomes a term that is commonplace, okurrr?
Contact Sepideh Nassabi for questions about your trademark at firstname.lastname@example.org.