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OFF BEAT: Reality star, rapper battle over catchphrase rights


Another bizarre lawsuit involving a reality star and a rapper? YUUUP!

Dave “The Mogul” Hester, star of “Storage Wars” on A&E, reportedly said he has received a cease-and-desist letter from rapper Trey Songz’s lawyer telling the auctioneer to stop using the phrase “YUUUP!” during auctions on his television show as well as on merchandise related to the program.

Mr. Songz, born Tremaine Neverson, alleges that “YUUUP!” has been his “signature sound” since 2009.

However, Mr. Hester reportedly trademarked the word in September.

Mr. Hester has filed a countersuit, alleging that the rapper’s use of the word is an “animallike or nonhuman squeal which begins with a distinct ‘yeeee’ sound before finishing with a squeallike ‘uuuup’ sound," which is “distinct and different” from Mr. Hester’s “monosyllabic sounding guttural auction bidding phrase...which is meant to convey the meaning of 'yes,'" according to the New York Post.

Mr. Hester is seeking unspecified damages and an order barring Mr. Songz from “interfering” with his use of the catchphrase.

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