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The 34-year-old artist has been granted the right to trademark “100 percent that bitch,” a meme-inspiring phrase that was popularized by her 2017 breakout single, “Truth Hurts.” According to People magazine, Lizzo has spent years trying secure the exclusive rights to the phrase, but was denied after eight attempts. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office argued the line was a “motivational phrase” that was way too general to warrant a trademark.
Lizzo’s relentless efforts paid off this week, when the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board determined “100 percent that bitch” was undeniably linked to her.
“Consumers encountering ‘100% That Bitch’ 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 board ruled. “All of the evidence of record regarding third-party use of 100% THAT Bitch is from 2017 or later. The Urban Dictionary entry for the term is dated June 12, 2019. Thus, the evidence is contemporaneous with or subsequent to the release of Lizzo’s hit single ‘Truth Hurts.’
“There is no evidence of use of the term 100% THAT Bitch prior to 2017, so we have no indication that the proposed mark already was ‘widely used, over a long period of time and by a large number of merchandisers’ before Lizzo popularized it,” the board added.
Lizzo now has the right to use the phrase on apparel.
Two years after “Truth Hurts’” original release, Lizzo announced she would grant a writing credit to Mina Lioness, a London-based singer who tweeted, “I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch” in February 2017. The post was dated Feb. 24, 2017, months before “Truth Hurts” hit streaming services.
“In 2017, while working on a demo, I saw a meme that resonated with me…” Lizzo said in 2019. “I later used the line in ‘Truth Hurts’… I later learned that a tweet inspired the meme. The creator of the tweet is the person I am sharing my success with…”
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