Does Trey Songz Have Ownership Over the Phrase “Yuuuup!”?

trey songz

Posted by on 11/15/2011 at 6:12 PM News

The Popdust Files: catchphrases, lawsuits, trey songz

You gotta love an NY Post headline like “Reality TV Star, Rapper Go to Court Over Catch Phrase.” This is indeed what is going down between R&B star Trey Songz and Storage Wars auction hunter Dave “The Mogul” Hester. The latter has been pressing t-shirts and other paraphernalia with the phrase “YUUUP!” on them—a phrase which, the former claims, has been his signature Trigga-ism since at least 2009. Trey has even sent Hester a Cease and Desist letter demanding that he stop using the phrase on his TV show, inspiring Hester to sue him in response. The Post elaborates:

Hester, however, argues that Songz’ version “resembles an animal-like or non-human squeal which begins with a distinct ‘yeeee’ sound before finishing with a squeal-like ‘uuuup’ sound.”

That’s “distinct and different from Hester’s more monosyllabic sounding guttural auction bidding phrase…which is meant to convey the meaning of ‘yes,’ ” court papers say.

Hester’s suit seeks unspecified damages and a court order barring Songz from “interfering” with his use of “YUUUP!” which Hester trademarked in September.

To be honest, we would not have known to even identify “YUUUP!” as a Trey trademark, though our fan intern claims that it appears in just about “every song” of his, and UrbanDictionary.com backs up her story, as do the high number of Trey Songz fan sites and twitter accounts that include “YUUUP!” in their name. In any event, we have to concur with the fine folks over at Bossip, who say they’d “like to send these guys a list of charities they can donate their time and money to.” Here’s an example of Trey putting his catchphrase into action, for the record:

And here’s Trey even talking to MTV about the phrase, back in the long-ago of 2009:

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