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Intellectual Property

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What's happening in intellectual property

18 April 2019

In this issue: We examine a patentee's ability to enforce Swiss-style claims against makers of bioequivalent products following the Mylan Health decision; the EU Copyright Directive raises more questions than answers; Jim Beam drives home its trade mark rights; Telstra calls for its right to Belong; IPONZ announces major fee changes for patents and trade marks; NZ accedes to the Budapest Treaty; illegal Banksy merch raises compelling questions over artists' rights; and Cardi B thinks trade marks are OKURRR.

 

What do the Swiss and artificial sweetener have to do with patents?

In brief: The recent Federal Court decision in Mylan Health Pty Ltd v Sun Pharma ANZ Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 28 deals with fascinating issues for patentees seeking to enforce Swiss-style claims against makers of bioequivalent products. Senior Associate Lauren John and Lawyer Amelia van der Rijt explain.

Background

Mylan Health (Mylan) owned three patents covering formulations of fenofibrate products, or methods of treating diabetic retinopathy (a complication associated with diabetes, which can lead to severe and long-term vision loss) using fenofibrate products. Sun Pharma ANZ, formerly known as Ranbaxy Australia (Ranbaxy), proposed to market a number of fenofibrate products in Australia (Ranbaxy Products). Mylan argued Ranbaxy threatened to infringe its patents because:

  1. the Product Information (PI) for Mylan's fenofibrate products (Lipidil) states they are indicated for diabetic retinopathy; and
  2. the PI for the Ranbaxy Products states they are 'bioequivalent to Lipidil', and does not state they are not indicated for diabetic retinopathy or bioequivalent for that purpose (PI Evidence).

Ranbaxy denied infringement and cross-claimed, challenging the validity of the patents. Two interesting issues arise from the court's decision in this matter.

What is the nature of the 'mental element' required by Swiss-style claims?

As noted in the Patent Manual of Practice and Procedure, Swiss-styles claims generally appear in the format: 'The use of (substance X) for the manufacture of a medicament for the therapeutic and/or prophylactic treatment of (medical condition Y).' Such claims essentially define a new medical use for a particular substance, rather than a new substance.

In considering whether the Ranbaxy Products infringed the Swiss-style claims of the Mylan patents, the court said the crucial question to be asked is whether the manufacturer has the intention that the medicament be used to treat the designated condition – mere knowledge that the relevant medicament is suitable for use in the claimed treatment is insufficient.

The intention is to be ascertained objectively, and relevant factors include the PI for the product, any product labelling and the nature, size and other characteristics of the market for the product.

In this case, the court held the PI Evidence did not provide a sufficient basis to find the Ranbaxy Products would be manufactured with the intention of being used for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Is the Saccharin doctrine relevant under Australian patent law?

The Saccharin doctrine, named after a century-old case in the UK concerning the artificial sweetener, establishes that the importation of a non-infringing product may still infringe a patented method or product if that patented method or product was used as an intermediary in the manufacture of the non-infringing product overseas. The doctrine is no longer in use in the UK under the current legislative regime.

Seeking to invoke the Saccharin doctrine, Mylan alleged certain product claims would be infringed by the importation and sale of the Ranbaxy Products. The Ranbaxy Products are not, and do not include, any product within the scope of these product claims, but Ranbaxy uses products falling within their scope in the course of manufacturing the Ranbaxy Products. Mylan argued that, as the doing of certain acts, in Australia, in respect of a product made using a patented method overseas, constitutes infringement, it should likewise be an infringement to use a patented product overseas to produce another, non-infringing product that is subsequently imported.

The court rejected this argument. An incongruity arises because the Patents Act defines the concept of exploitation for product claims and method claims differently. The definition of 'exploit' in the Act is silent as to situations where a patented product is used overseas to make another product, which is then imported into Australia. There was no infringement of the product claims.

The decision leaves open the question of whether a person infringes a patented method for producing Product A, by performing that process overseas and using resulting Product A to manufacture Product B, which is then imported into Australia.

The EU Copyright Directive – still more questions than answers

In brief: Last October, we reported on the European Parliament's vote to adopt changes to the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The final form of the Directive was approved in March, and on 15 April, the Council of the European Union gave the Directive the green light. This means Member States will soon begin the process of adopting the controversial legislation into local law. Senior Associate Kaelah Ford and Lawyer Amelia van der Rijt report.

How short is 'very short'?

Article 11 (now Article 15) gives press publishers the right to obtain fair and proportionate remuneration for the online use of their press publications. The original version of the article, known as the 'link tax', had raised concerns it could require online aggregators to pay licence fees for hyperlinks or short snippets of news articles shown on their sites. The final version excludes from the press publisher's right both hyperlinks and 'very short extracts' of publications. While it remains to be seen just how short 'very short' is, the article no longer resembles a link tax.

Amendments have also clarified that press publishers will only have this right for two years from the date of publication (as opposed to the 20 year term initially proposed), and the rights conferred will only apply to works published after the Directive enters into force (more on this below).

A near miss for the controversial 'upload filter'

The most controversial provision of the Directive, Article 13 (now Article 17), almost got the axe, with a last minute proposal to remove it rejected by just 5 votes. Coined the 'upload filter', Article 17 makes online service providers directly liable for infringing content uploaded by their users.

The original version of the article obliged online providers to enter into 'fair and appropriate licensing arrangements' with rightsholders. This has been amended to an obligation to:

  • obtain appropriate authorisations from rightsholders or make best efforts to obtain authorisation; and
  • failing that, make best efforts in accordance with 'high industry standards of professional diligence' to ensure works of which they are notified by rightsholders are not made available.

Online providers will also be obliged to operate an 'expeditious notice-and-take-down procedure'. Notably, there is limited liability for start-ups which have been operating for less than three years and have an annual turnover of less than 10 million euros – this is tacit acknowledgement of the burden imposed by compliance and is designed to ensure European start-ups can compete with established providers.

Notwithstanding the revisions to this article, we are still left with uncertainty. What does 'best efforts' mean? How do you measure 'high industry standards of professional diligence'?

Meme ban? Ain't nobody got time for that

In welcome news for meme fans, the revised version of the Directive makes clear that users will be free to upload and make available memes and gifs under exceptions for quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody or pastiche. Online providers must inform users of their rights to rely on these exceptions in their terms and conditions. The question remains whether online providers will err on the side of moderating this type of content to avoid liability, particularly given the uncertainty surrounding the scope of parody and similar exceptions to copyright infringement.

Certainty is still years away

The Directive will enter into force 20 days after publication in the official journal of the EU, and Member States will then have two years to implement the Directive into local law. Accordingly, new laws are unlikely to come into effect until May 2021. EU Member States have a degree of flexibility when it comes to implementing directives into local law, and each Member State will need to determine how the Directive ought to be interpreted and applied. The debate is far from over.

Imitation is not always the sincerest form of flattery

In brief: The decision of Jim Beam Brands Co v Donald and Christine Crowden [2019] ATMO 21 sends a clear warning to traders wishing to adopt trade marks that essentially replicate well-known marks, while also confirming the rights vested in a well-known mark can extend to unrelated goods or services. Senior Associate Lena Balakrishnan reports on the Trade Mark Office's decision.

Background

The Crowdens provided transportation services targeting customers that had consumed too much alcohol. They sought registration for the below logo in respect of 'Vehicle transport services including driving services; transport of vehicles on behalf of a vehicle owner; arrangement of passenger transport' in class 39:

(DIAL A DRIVER logo)

The logo shared a number of essential features with Jim Beam's famous eyebrow and rosette logo depicted below:

(Jim Beam logo)

Jim Beam Brands is most famously known for its JIM BEAM bourbon whiskey, which is recognised as one of the best-selling brands of bourbon in the world. Since at least the 1960s, the Jim Beam logo has featured on all bourbon whiskey products sold by Jim Beam Brands, as well as on merchandise and marketing material. The evidence lodged by Jim Beam Brands confirmed it had acquired a significant reputation in the Jim Beam logo, including earning 'iconic status' in Australia.

Jim Beam also sponsored the Dick Johnson V8 Supercar Rally team from 2007-2014, through which the Jim Beam logo appeared on all vehicles driven by the Dick Johnson Racing team.

(source of image: www.zimbio.com)

The Dick Johnson Racing team regularly raced its vehicles bearing the logo at the Bathurst Supercar Rally series. In 2012, to ensure spectators of the Bathurst Supercar Rally series had suitable transport to and from the race track, Jim Beam also offered a transportation bus called the Jim Beam Travel Safe Bus. The flyer for this service also depicted the Jim Beam logo. While Jim Beam Brands owned a number of registrations for the Jim Beam logo, none of the registrations covered class 39 services.

Jim Beam's evidence also included extracts from the Crowdens' website and Facebook page, with a number of images comparing the vehicles bearing the DIAL A DRIVER logo with the vehicles bearing the JIM BEAM logo:

These images strongly inferred that the Crowdens deliberately tried to imitate or replicate both the Jim Beam logo and the Dick Johnson Racing car in the creation and use of the DIAL A DRIVER logo.

Decision

Even though the Crowdens changed some words in the Jim Beam logo, the Hearing Officer did not find these changes amounted to a parody or 'cheeky take' on the Jim Beam logo. The Hearing Officer agreed the overall similarities between the marks were so apparent that consumers could be misled or deceived into thinking the services were in some way associated with, or endorsed by, Jim Beam, stating at paragraph 43 of the decision:

[A]lthough the Applicants’ intentions in this regard are unknown, their prior use of the Trade Mark, in particular their internet postings… strongly suggest that they have deliberately cultivated a perception by consumers that there is an affiliation or association between the Services and the Opponent which does not and did not exist. There is no indication that such postings were 'cheeky' or intended as parody, being, in my estimation, more 'rip-off' than 'take-off'.

Any use of the DIAL A DRIVER logo by the Crowdens was likely to mislead or deceive consumers, or amount to a false representation in trade, in contravention of sections 18 and 29 of Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). Registration was therefore refused under section 42(b) of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) (the TMA), where use of the mark is likely to be contrary to law.

Take home points

This case sends a stern warning to traders who think they can simply change a few words of a well-known mark to avoid liability under the TMA or Australian Consumer Law. Unlike comparable legislation in other jurisdictions, such as New Zealand or the United Kingdom, there is no basis under Australia's TMA for examiners to refuse registration of a trade mark which conflicts with an earlier, well-known mark. It is left up to trade mark owners and rights holders to oppose the registration of marks that mimic or closely resemble their well-known marks to prevent such marks from proceeding to registration. While the Australian Trade Marks Office will cite a prior trade mark on the Register that conflicts with a later filed mark, if that prior mark covers different goods or services to the mark being applied for (as was the case with Jim Beam's registered rights in the Jim Beam logo), the prior marks will not be cited.

What can you do as the owner of a well-known mark?

Rights holders should routinely monitor the Australian Register for any marks that may contain elements that resemble their well-known marks and consider the merits of opposing registration of marks that are similar in appearance, even if the application covers different goods and services.

When you use what doesn't Belong to you…

In brief: Telstra Corporation Limited v BelongEnergy Pty Ltd (VID206/2019), recently resolved by consent orders in Telstra's favour, highlights the importance and utility of adequate trade mark protection. Lawyer Oliver Lloyd reports.

Background

Telstra Corporation Limited (Telstra) has operated a low-cost telecommunications business called Belong since 2013 using the registered trade marks shown below. Telstra asserted it had acquired substantial reputation and goodwill in Australia in relation to its Belong trade marks.

The respondent was incorporated under the name Solarhouse Victoria Pty Ltd in November 2018, but over the course of December 2018 and January 2019, registered the business name 'belongenergy', the domain name 'belong.energy' and changed its company name to BelongEnergy Pty Ltd (BelongEnergy). Using its own unregistered trade marks as shown below (BelongEnergy Marks), BelongEnergy promoted its solar energy services via its website and various social media channels.

Telstra requested that BelongEnergy cease promoting and supplying its services under the trade mark 'Belong Energy' and any other trade mark including 'Belong', but BelongEnergy declined to do so. On 8 March 2019, Telstra filed a proceeding in the Federal Court of Australia claiming an injunction immediately and permanently restraining BelongEnergy from promoting and carrying on its business by reference to the sign 'Belong' or 'Belong Energy', or from representing to the public any association with Telstra. Telstra also sought an order cancelling BelongEnergy's registered business name and transferring the domain name registration to Telstra.

Infringement of Telstra's Belong trade marks

Telstra submitted BelongEnergy's marks were substantially identical with, or deceptively similar to, its registered Belong trade marks, and were being used in relation to goods or services in respect of which Telstra's Belong trade marks were registered. One of Telstra's Belong trade marks was registered in respect of energy efficiency and energy saving services.

In addition, Telstra submitted that, in light of Telstra's reputation and goodwill in the Belong trade marks, BelongEnergy's use of its own marks represented to ordinary Australian consumers that its services were provided by, licensed or approved by, or associated, connected or affiliated with Telstra. Telstra therefore submitted that BelongEnergy was engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct, or false or misleading representations under the Australian Consumer Law, and claimed damages in respect of those allegations.

The final result

On 19 March 2019, less than two weeks after filing proceedings, the Court ordered by consent of the parties that BelongEnergy:

  • cease promoting and carrying on its business by reference to the BelongEnergy Marks;
  • cancel its registered business name; and
  • transfer its domain name registrations to Telstra.

The other terms of the settlement agreed by Telstra and BelongEnergy remain confidential.

This case highlights the importance of having trade mark registrations for the protection of a business' brand. Further, it underscores the need for a business to consider its branding strategy and assess whether it is sufficiently protected, or alternatively, at risk of infringing the rights of third parties (even where those third party trade marks might be registered for different goods or services).

Significant fee changes for patents and trade marks are coming in New Zealand

In brief: On 2 April 2019, the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) announced a number of patent and trade mark fee changes that will take effect later in 2019. The changes will result in a significant increase in official fees throughout the lifecycle of a patent, and moderate fee reductions for trade marks. Associate Cici Cui outlines the upcoming IPONZ fee changes.

Background

IPONZ proposed the current fee changes as a result of a routine fee review, the purpose of which was to balance the revenue of patent and trade mark services. According to IPONZ, the costs of providing patent services continue to exceed its revenue, and the trade mark revenue continues to exceed its costs.

The fee changes were approved on 11 March 2019. This is bad news for patent owners and good news for trade mark owners. A complete overview of the changes can be found here.

The bad news for patents

The fee increases under the Patents Act 2013 are summarised below, ranging from 50 per cent to a staggering 500 per cent.

Services under Patents Act 2013 Current fee (NZ$) New fee (NZ$)
Application maintenance fee if paid within 3 months of anniversary $100 $200
Application maintenance fee if paid within 9 months of anniversary $150 $300
Request for examination $500 $750
Re-examination $500 $750
Request for leave to amend after acceptance $150 $500
Request for restoration of patent or patent application $100 $600
4th-9th year renewal $100 $200
10th - 14th year renewal $200 $450
15th - 19th year renewal $350 $1,000
Late payment penalty $50 $100

In addition, new excess claims fees have been introduced. These fees will be calculated at acceptance (allowance) of a patent application on the basis of the maximum number of claims 'at any point' during the examination process. The excess claims fees will be a flat fee of NZ$120 for the first 30 claims, and an additional NZ$120 for each group of 5 claims in excess of 30.

Services under the Patents Act 1953 will also see a number of significant fee increases. Most relevantly, it will be much more expensive to amend a complete specification, whether before or after acceptance. The amendment fee is currently NZ$60, but will be increased to NZ$150 for amending a complete specification before acceptance, and NZ$500 for post-acceptance (including post-grant) amendments.

The good news for trade marks

The news is not all bad, with trade mark owners receiving a number of fee reductions:

Changes to trade mark fees Current fee (NZ$) New fee (NZ$)
Application – not based on pre-application advice and not using the pick-list of pre-approved terms (per class) $150 $100
Application – based on pre-application advice (per class) $150 $50
Application – using picklist of pre-approved classification terms (per class) $150 $70
Application – based on pre-application advice and using picklist of pre-approved classification terms (per class) $150 $50
Renewal (per class, every 10 years) $350 $200
Search and preliminary advice $40 each $50 combined

What's next

Following approval by the NZ Government, the changes are expected to take effect in the third quarter of 2019. We will provide an update on the date the new fees will come into force and any recommended actions for patent and trade mark rights holders once the date has been confirmed.

From Budapest to Wellington – Patents for microorganisms in New Zealand

In brief: New Zealand recently acceded to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (Budapest Treaty), which came into force in New Zealand on 17 March 2019. Managing Associate Tony Shaw discusses what this means for patent applicants.

Why does this matter?

In order to meet the support and enablement requirements for patentability, a patent must disclose an invention in enough detail that it can be performed by a skilled person. However, where the invention involves a microorganism, it is not always possible to describe the invention in a manner that provides enough information to allow a skilled person to reproduce the microorganism. In such cases, the Budapest Treaty provides a mechanism for an applicant to deposit a microorganism at any one of over 45 International Depositary Authorities (IDAs). Under the provisions of the Budapest Treaty, the depositor of a viable microorganism is issued with a deposit receipt. The receipt (and a translation, if required) is recognised by the Patent Offices of all Contracting States to the Treaty as a sufficient description of the microorganism. This avoids the need for applicants to deposit a sample of the microorganism in each jurisdiction where patent protection is sought.

When the current New Zealand Patents Act 2013 (the Act) and accompanying Regulations came into force, applicants were required to provide the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) with a copy of the deposit receipt for a microorganism within three months of making the deposit. This was too soon! Microorganism deposits are generally made around the time a PCT application is filed (or earlier), which is typically around 18 months before any thought is given to where national patent applications will be filed.

For a time, IPONZ provided a free extension of time in which to file a copy of the deposit receipt. However, the Regulations were amended in 2018 to allow a deposit receipt to be validly filed by the deadline for acceptance (allowance) of the patent application.

All that is now required to rely on a deposit made under the Budapest Treaty is to file a copy of a deposit receipt (and its English translation, if required), within 12 months from the date that a first Examination Report is issued, although an extension of time is possible. Where the deposit is not in the name of the applicant, it will also be necessary to inform IPONZ of how the applicant is entitled to the deposit.

Access to the deposit

In some Contracting States to the Budapest Treaty, the so-called 'expert solution' allows a third party to access the deposited microorganism in certain circumstances. The microorganism deposited under the provisions of the Budapest Treaty can be accessed only by an independent expert and solely for experimental purposes. It may not be transferred to third parties. There are currently no IPONZ guidelines as to how an interested party would request a deposited sample from IPONZ under the Budapest Treaty, but we understand these guidelines are currently under consideration by IPONZ.

Banksy stops unauthorised merchandising in Italian museum

In brief: A company called Pest Control, which claims to act on behalf of the anonymous street artist Banksy, has won a trade mark infringement claim against an art exhibition organiser for selling Banksy merchandise in a museum gift shop. Law Graduate Max Jones reports.

Background

You would be forgiven for thinking that Banksy, the UK-based artist who has earned a name for flouting the law and making works with a distinct anti-establishment sentiment, is not the litigating type. The artist's safely-guarded anonymity may have offered protection from the consequences of making illegal street art, but it presents an obstacle to bringing a legal claim. This year, though, a company claiming to represent Banksy won a claim for trade mark infringement against the organiser of an exhibition of the artist's works at the MUDEC Museum in Milan.

The claim

The claim was brought by Pest Control Office Limited, which describes itself as a 'handling service' that certifies Banksy works. Although the company purports to act on behalf of Banksy, it brought this claim in its own right. Pest Control holds European Union trade mark rights over the word mark 'BANKSY' and a number of figurative marks depicting well-known Banksy pieces, including the 'Girl with a Red Balloon' and 'Flower Thrower' works.

The exhibition, a retrospective entitled 'A Visual Protest: The Art of Banksy', ran between November 2018 and April 2019. It was not authorised by the artist and, although the works presented were authenticated, the organiser also sold merchandise (notebooks, postcards, bookmarks and the like) which incorporated reproductions of Banksy's art.

Pest Control claimed, amongst other things, that the exhibition organiser infringed its trade marks by unlawfully reproducing them in promotional materials and publications, and in the merchandise sold in the museum gift shop.

The decision

The Milan judge held that use of the trade marks on merchandise was purely commercial and amounted to infringement, ordering that all unauthorised merchandise be removed from the shop. The use of the trade marks in promotional materials, however, was not infringement because it was descriptive use, which was necessary to describe the content of the exhibition to the public. The judge took into account that the marketing materials expressly indicated the lack of authorisation from Banksy.

The exhibition organiser also challenged the validity of the trade marks on the grounds they were registered in bad faith – not for commercial use by Pest Control, but rather to prevent use by third parties. The judge did not assess the claim because it was not properly supported. However, he did note that Pest Control had shown only limited use of Banksy's brand. This suggests that, unless Banksy begins producing and selling branded merchandise, it may be difficult for Pest Control to defend the validity of the trade marks in the future. Under Australian law, such trade marks would be vulnerable for removal from the register on the ground of non-use.

What about copyright?

Notably, there was no copyright infringement claim in this case, which is how artists traditionally enforce their rights in their artworks. This is because Pest Control could not show the Court the assignment of copyright without revealing the identity of Banksy as the assignor, and therefore could not demonstrate that Pest Control was the copyright owner. Banksy's anonymity means there are evidentiary challenges that affect the availability of copyright and other claims such as passing off.

Lessons for artists

Banksy was once quoted as having said 'copyright is for losers'. We tend to disagree, and believe copyright remains the best way for artists to protect their work. However, this case shows that trade marks are other valuable IP rights that can offer protection for artists who can show commercial use of their work. It also highlights the unique obstacle anonymity presents in copyright claims, which is particularly relevant to artists or musicians who operate under a pseudonym like Banksy.

I like it [trade marked] like that, OKURRR?

In brief: American rapper Cardi B brought trade mark law into news headlines recently when the rapper's company, Washpoppin Inc., lodged trade mark applications in the US for 'OKURRR'. What is OKURRR, and why are these trade mark applications making global headlines? Trade Marks Attorney Thomas Campbell investigates.

OKURRR, bring us up to speed

The trade mark applications, lodged with the USPTO earlier this year, cover goods such as t-shirts, bodysuits and undergarments, as well as paper cups and posters.

The phrase, 'OKURRR', was described by Cardi B during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in April 2018 as contextually-dependent:

It depends on the situation that you're in. If somebody checks somebody, it's like...okurr! I didn't know she had all of that in her, okurr! It's like okaaay, but okay is played out.

So, for those attempting to keep up, 'OK' is out, 'OKURRR' is in.

During her appearance on Fallon, the rapper helpfully described the sound as like a 'cold pigeon in New York City'.

Society reached peak-OKURRR earlier this year when a Cardi B-featured Pepsi commercial aired during the Superbowl, reaching millions of viewers. The commercial centred around restaurant patrons attempting to speak the phrase. Fittingly, perhaps poetically, the commercial ends with two 'Okurrr'-ing pigeons perched next to the Pepsi logo.

The only cold pigeon in New York?

The public controversy is linked to who first used the phrase. So, when did the first utterance of OKURRR, occur?

On 9 April 2018, Cardi B stated, in response to a Twitter user's statement about the origins of the word, 'The Kardash did got me hooked on saying it now Im here [sic]'.

The reference to the Kardashian family led journalists to review episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians dating back to 2016 (time well spent), in which Khloe Kardashian can be heard using the phrase. Others have identified earlier use by contestants on the US TV show RuPaul's Drag Race, on which Khloe Kardashian was a guest judge at one point – conspiracy?

The USPTO Register sheds further light on earlier use. A US trade mark application for a sound mark of the phrase was lodged by Bellavitte, Inc. in July 2018 in respect of entertainment-related services. The application claims first use in commerce at 13 January 2010 and describes the sound mark as consisting of 'the pronunciation "okrrr" which is a proprietary pronunciation of the word "Okay" originally created by Applicant and associated with Applicant's wholly original character named Shocantelle'. The application appears to be lodged for Laura Bell Bundy, an actress who used the phrase in an internet skit in which she played the character Shocantelle Brown.

Interestingly, the Bundy Registration was refused by the USPTO in February on the grounds that the phrase is in common use in the drag community and by celebrities, and 'therefore consumers would not consider the mark as identifying source of the applicant's services'. Despite Bundy appearing to be the first user of the mark, the USPTO uses a screenshot of Cardi B's appearance on Fallon in 2018 to support its objection to the Bundy application.

So will Cardi B be able to claim exclusive rights to OKURRR in relation to undergarments and bodysuits? Or will a similar rejection be issued per the Bundy application? These all-important questions will play out before the USPTO in coming months.

In the meantime, an application for one of Cardi B's other catchphrases, 'Eeeeowwww', is yet to be filed. According to Cardi B, it is best described as 'almost like a sad cat… like a cat that is going through pain … Eeeeeowwww'.

A new controversy awaits: when did the first sad cat 'Eeeeeowwww'?

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