Can 21 Savage copyright or trade mark the word “Yessirskiii”?

Rapper 21 Savage has recently come out with a claim that he ‘coined’ the phrase ‘Yessirskiii”, which led him to address other artists on Twitter with the statement that he should receive “50 percent of every song” which makes use of his phrase. Although the rapper hasn’t made an official case of the matter, it raises a question as to whether he can trade mark the word he claims as his own.

The simple use of the term by other artists doesn’t provide 21 with a case for trade mark infringement. If he were to apply to trade mark the phrase, it could probably be achieved, and could be aided if there is some sort of product or service to represent the mark. For example, he could release merchandise which bears the phrase, as that would enable him to trade mark it and protect his rights.

Copyright arises automatically, however, there appears to be no strong case for infringement, as this is one word only, as opposed to a phrase, or long text which would make the work more distinctive. His Tweet, whether serious or more light-hearted, will not suffice to ensure he received 50% of the profits from other artists’ music which incorporate the phrase. If he wishes to exercise rights over the wording in question, the rapper should file for a trade mark.

If you have any queries regarding the above article or would require assistance with a trade mark, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our legal experts at the Trademarkroom today.

Lora Krasteva

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