Cardi B’s “Okurrr”
Image Source: Okurrr Extended Cut | Pepsi
The motion was denied due to the phrase being too common and having too much similarity/overlap to the common phrase “OK”. Additionally, Hassan states in her CNN article that the phrase already had some relevance in pop culture. Other celebrities like the Kardashians and members of the LGBTQIA+ community have used this phrase on their own platforms making the term not original to Cardi B. The Atlantic pinpoints origins of the phrase “okurrr” can be traced back to RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, Laura Bell Bundy, who actually attempted to trademark the sound of the phrase in 2018.
Bundy’s case was weakened by the fact that Cardi had acquired distinctiveness over the phrase, meaning the majority people associated the phrase with her rather than the creator. All of these factors contributed to the denial of the trademark.
Earlier this year, top charting artist Cardi B filed with the US Patent and Trademark corporation in an attempt to gain ownership over her famous phrase “Okurr”. Cardi described her tagline in an interview with Jimmy Fallon as “it’s like a cold pigeon in New York City”. The artist has featured this phrase in commercials and countless interviews. Her lawyer Doreen Small filed in March, with the hopes of using Cardi’s phrase for merchandise including sweatshirts and water bottles.
The Cardi B “okurrr” case is both complex and unique because it is clear that Cardi B is not the creator of the phrase but the first to ask the legal system for ownership over it. Additionally, her case shows that board is not always better, meaning that having a simple phrase doesn’t always make the registration simple. Lastly, we see that both the written and sound of a phrase can be trademarked by an entity. Artworks is committed to making the trademarking process feel simple, despite the complexity processes’.