Don't Say YUUUP! Or You Might Get Sued

from the ownership-society dept

The latest example of ownership society gone mad involves the star of a reality TV series, Storage Wars, suing a rapper, because they both say “YUUUP!” Dave Hester, the reality TV guy, registered YUUUP! as a trademark earlier this year. Trey Songz, the rapper, says he’s been using YUUUP! since 2009, but never registered a trademark — which is perfectly reasonable. It seems worth pointing out here that you don’t have to register a trademark. Just using it can give you a common law trademark, which is plenty powerful — especially in this case, where it seems like Songz would have priority.

But, really, that’s getting way too far down into the legal weeds. Let’s remember what we’re talking about here: two people fighting over who can say “YUUUP!” Can we just agree that that’s insane, and there should be nothing wrong with multiple people saying YUUUP? I say YUUUP!

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Comments on “Don't Say YUUUP! Or You Might Get Sued”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Importantly, none of these three applications have issued as a trademark. One recently was published for opposition, but the other two remain somewhere in the bowels of the USPTO. Of the marks, only one is associated with entertainment services. The other two deal with mundane things like caps, decals, etc.

As for the rapper, it would be useful to know the geographic extent to which the phrase has been used. If it embraces all of the US, then a common law tradmark would trump the application associated with entertainment services.

No matter what the outcome, I must scratch my head and ask “What were they thinking when the applications were filed?”

Kip256 (profile) says:

We should start a movement with these silly lawsuits over the use of a word. Every time anyone sees someone say “Yup” in whatever context or manner, contact Dave and notify him that someone is stealing his trademark and remind him that he must “enforce” his trademark in fear of losing it. Then after spending all of his time and money in courts over the word “Yup” he will realize how stupid this is.

BentFranklin (profile) says:

?A sound mark depends upon aural perception of the listener which may be as fleeting as the sound itself unless, of course, the sound is so inherently different or distinctive that it attaches to the subliminal mind of the listener to be awakened when heard and to be associated with the source or event with which it is struck.?

So now we can have findings of fact about the subliminal mind?

Anonymous Coward says:

We are writing to notify you that your unlawful copying of of the word YUUUUP! infringes upon our client?s exclusive trademarks. Accordingly, you are hereby directed to


Mr. David Hester is the owner of a trademark in various aspects of the word “YUUUUP!”. Under United States tradmark law, Mr. Hester?s trademarks have been in effect since the date that the trademark was registered. All utterances of the word “YUUUUP!” are tradmarked under United States trademark law.

It has come to our attention that you have been using the word “YUUUUP!”. We have evidence of your unlawful usage to preserve as evidence. Your actions constitute trademark infringement in violation of United States trademark laws. If you continue to engage in trademark infringement after receiving this notice, your actions will be evidence of ?willful infringement.?

We demand that you immediately (A) cease and desist your unlawful use of the word “YUUUUP!” and (B) provide us with prompt written assurance within ten (10) days that you will cease and desist from further infringement of Mr. Hester?s trademarked word.


[your name here]

Anonymous Coward says:

I recently trademarked the letter “e” so consider this a cease and desist and remove all e’s from your replies. In other news, I have just filed a lawsuit against Sesame Street for brazenly infringing on my trademark for daring to say that some of their shows were sponsored by the letter “e” when they clearly did not seek my approval to use my trademark. I also have a pending trademark for the schwa character.

zgork says:


Face it Dave is an igotistical self-centered jerk which has nothing better in life. Abouot the show it is what middle America does so PrometheeFeu you need to get a life and go out and see what people really do… Although, one can trademark a word/phrase try to get a common word such as Yuup in the court system and try and win against a rapper who has the money to spend on the case – get real

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:


The whole phrasing convo reminds me of pretty much everything Tobias Funke ever said.

Narrator: Tobias listens to a day’s worth of his own words, to see what Michael was referring to…
Tobias F?nke: [on tape] … even if it means me taking a chubby, I will suck it up.
Tobias F?nke: Nothing wrong with that.
Tobias F?nke: [on tape] Oh, I’ve been in the film business for a while, but I just can’t seem to get one in the can.
Tobias F?nke: It’s out of context.
Tobias F?nke: [on tape] I wouldn’t mind kissing that man between the cheeks.
Narrator: …and he realized there is something distinct about the way he speaks.
Tobias F?nke: Tobias, you blowhard.

Lanthus (profile) says:

Reading Comprehension

Come on everybody. I hate Hester on the show as much as anyone else but I at least bothered to read the article.

Songz is the one that sent Hester a cease and desist. Hester is trying to get a court order to stop him from interfering with his use of the phrase.

“Attorneys for Songz sent a cease-and-desist letter to Hester that demanded the reality TV star stop uttering the phrase during the show?s auctions of seized goods, according to the NY Post”

“Hester has filed a lawsuit against Trey Songz (born Tremaine Neverson) and is seeking a court order that bars the rapper from “interfering” with his use of ?YUUUP!?

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:


I don’t care that it’s what “Middle America” does. I’m a software engineer in the Bay Area. And “Software Engineer Wars” would be equally stupid. Oh my god! We are shipping in 3 days and a major bug was just discovered! **Engineer runs to the screen and spends next 8 hours typing with brief breaks to refill a water glass or hit the bathroom** Of course, you could always do the standard provoking on conflicts. But alpha-geeks tend to war over emails, so it’s still 8 hours of watching a person type… Very boring…

Also, I just don’t see why the fact that Middle America does what these people are doing (highly doubtful that any more than a tiny fraction of americans trade in abandonned storage lockers) that doesn’t make it interesting. In fact, that makes it boring.

Am I being stuck up and elitist? You bet. It’s also known as having standards. And with this diatribe, I shall retire to bed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wow, Pathetic waste of time

Dave Hester is a pathetic human being that likes to find ways to step on others because of his psychologically abusive childhood. Its quite obvious. And so is the fact that we no longer have a Bill of Rights that cannot be surpassed by money and lawyers. If I were that rapper I would add an ‘up’ and be done with it… YUUUUPP!

Terminal4 says:

Re: Really Dave?

Dave is a magician. He can sell ANYTHING, no matter the condition, at full retail price! Prior use? Infringing? These words mean nothing to him. I mean, imagine everyone waiting for the “Yuuuup” clothing line! (I’ve already seen people wearing the stupid hats). His clothing line just exudes class and style. Dave the magician.

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