'Storage Wars' Star and Rapper End Legal Battle Over 'YUUUP!' Catchphrase
David Hester went to court after getting a cease-and-desist letter that demanded he stop exploiting the signature phrase on television and on merchandise.
Dave Hester, star of A&E's hit reality series Storage Wars, and rapper/singer Trey Songz have settled the lawsuit over who gets to say "YUUUP!" on television.
Last November, Hester sued Songz (born Tremaine Neverson) and sought a court order that would bar the rapper from "interfering" with his use of "YUUUP!"
Both Hester and Songz each argued that the exclamation was a signature catchphrase. Songz claimed to have used it first, but Hester had attempted to register "YUUUP!" at the trademark office on three occassions while Songz hadn't.
Hester filed a lawsuit after getting a cease-and-desist letter from Songz's attorneys demanding he stop calling out the phrase during Storage Wars’ auctions of seized goods. In his original complaint, Hester asserted his "YUUUP!" was different. Songz's version “resembles an animal-like or nonhuman squeal which begins with a distinct ‘yeeee’ sound before finishing with a squeal-like ‘uuuup’ sound," said the lawsuit.
Songz filed a countersuit in April and said that his vocalization was well known to consumers for many years. At concerts, he would engage a call-and-response with the audience on "YUUUP!" The R&B star also said that he's been selling the word on clothing and other products for sale on his website since 2009. And Songz said there wasn't any difference in the way both were using "YUUUP!" According to the cross-claims, "Hester’s purported mark, as used, is styled identically or virtually identically to Songz LLC’s mark, displaying the mark YUUUP! in a sans serif font in all capital letters."
Songz demanded a cancellation of Hester's trademark registration and an injunction preventing Hester from selling clothing baring the signature word.
On Friday, Hester and Songz came together to tell a New York federal judge that yuuup, they had settled the dispute. The parties didn't reveal the details of the agreement.