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From Tweet to Trademark: Lizzo Secures Rights to ‘100% That Bitch’ Phrase

When Lizzo first proclaimed, “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” on her breakout single “Truth Hurts,” the phrase almost immediately became inseparable from her artistic brand. In 2019, the musician expressed interest in trademarking the phrase for later use on clothing and merchandise. And after nearly four years, following denials and lawsuits claiming plagiarism, Lizzo has finally won the right to plaster “100% that bitch” across any piece of apparel she wants.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which denied Lizzo’s application last year, had its ruling overturned by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. “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 board ruled.

Initially, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deemed the phrase too general to warrant any official legal protections for usage, calling it a “motivational phrase” linked to “female empowerment. Despite Lizzo’s hand in popularizing the phrase, the office looked towards the plagiarism claims that surrounded the song as reasoning for denying the trademark.

In 2019, Lizzo added a songwriting credit to “Truth Hurts” for singer Mina Lioness, who claimed a year prior that her viral tweet was lifted for the now-iconic lyric. “Now everyone believes those were your words, when in fact they were mine,” she tweeted the singer in February 2018. “My creativity, my wit and my comedy.”

Lizzo denied ever having come across the viral tweet, saying that she was inspired by a meme, which ultimately had been inspired by the tweet. “There was no one in the room when I wrote ‘Truth Hurts,’ except me, Ricky Reed, and my tears,” she said in 2019. “That song is my life, and its words are my truth.”


In its ruling, the appeal board wrote: “Lizzo did not originate the expression she encountered as a Twitter meme. Nonetheless, lyrics from songs are more likely to be attributed to the artists who sing, rap or otherwise utter them, rather than the songwriters.”

Sometimes the truth does hurt, but Lizzo is probably truly feeling like she’s 100 percent that bitch now.

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