Lizzo’s music reminds women of their power, and soon fans will be able to wear her lyrics as a nudge if they ever forget.
According to a tribunal ruling at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirmed on Feb. 2, Grammy-winning singer Lizzo now owns exclusive rights to use the phrase “100% That B-tch” on apparel.
According to Billboard, the singer’s request was originally denied by the USPTO for the phrase being identified as a commonplace “motivational phrase” aimed at “female empowerment,” which did not qualify as being unique enough for eligibility.
The USPTO withdrew the rejection after deciding the phrase would immediately remind people of the singer, who used the words in her popular song “Truth Hurts.”
“I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that b-tch,” the lyrics read.
“Consumers encountering ‘100% That B-tch’ 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 appeals board wrote in its ruling.
Lizzo adopted the phrase from a viral internet meme created by Mina Lioness, who has since been given songwriting credit on the “Truth Hurts” track.
The USPTO found a flaw in the request, even though Lizzo popularized the phrase.
In their recent decision to hand the singer the exclusive rights, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board disagreed with the original ruling. The board came to a decision, ruling that the singer “popularized the lyric,” by turning a lesser known phrase into a “more memorable status.”
“Lizzo did not originate the expression she encountered as a Twitter meme,” the board wrote. “Nonetheless, lyrics from songs are more likely to be attributed to the artists who sing, rap or otherwise utter them, rather than the songwriters.”