Megan Thee Stallion has gained ownership of the “Hot Girl Summer” trademark, and she now officially governs the summer.
The smash-hit was a cultural reset that spawned a slew of marketing initiatives across the country. It’s no surprise, then, that Megan Thee Stallion wanted to claim ownership. In a 2019 interview with Allure, the rapper claimed she decided it was time to trademark her invented word after seeing it gain popularity in places like Forever 21.
“I really didn’t even know that it was gonna catch on how it did… When I saw Wendy’s and Forever 21 saying, ‘Hey, are you having a Hot Girl Summer?’ I was like, ‘Hell no, Forever 21, you’re going to have to pay me.’” But I just wanted to get it trademarked because it’s me. It’s my thing,” Megan Thee Stallion said, according to Allure.
In order to get things started, the Houston rapper applied for the trademark in 2019. Hot Girl Trademark Holdings, LLC submitted numerous trademark applications for the catchphrase to be used in recorded music for CDs, DVDs, and downloadable music, according to an official document from Gerben Law. The catchphrase was also registered for use in music streaming services, photographs, multimedia content, and a variety of other goods and services.
Due to a few stumbling blocks, the trademark approval process took a long time. Josh Gerben, trademark attorney and founder of Gerben Intellectual Property, told Girls United that trademarking “Hot Girl” clothes was challenging because it was already well-known and widely disseminated across the country.
“Sometimes, if a trademark is too widely used, they won’t allow registration,” Gerben said, according to Girls United. “The best thing I can think of is, once the cat’s out of the bag, it can be really hard to put the cat back in the bag.”
Josh Gerben announced on Twitter about the matter, saying:
@JoshGerben: It took Megan Thee Stallion 2+ years of wrangling with the USPTO, but she is now the owner of a federal trademark registration for HOT GIRL SUMMER.
The registration was just issued to @theestallion on January 4th. 👇
Due to the popularity of the term, the trademark for “Hot Girl” clothes was challenged. “Sometimes, if a trademark is too widely used, they won’t allow registration,” Gerben shared. “The best thing I can think of is, once the cat’s out of the bag, it can be really hard to put the cat back in the bag.”
We chatted with Gerben to learn more about the trademarking procedure and why Megan’s ownership took two years to be awarded.
“So, normally when you file an application, it takes about six months to get the government to review it,” Gerben exclusively said to Girls United. “So, you’re filing an application with a government agency called the United States Patent and Trademark Office,” he added. Then, the trademark is either approved, or they may circle back to the filer with a conflict.
He went on to say that a few technical issues (a missing signature and establishing how she would use the trademark) had also slowed down the process. “There are some really technical requirements to demonstrate to the government [how you’re] using this,” Gerben explained. Someone else filed a trademark for Hot Girl Summer a few months before Megan, which needed to be addressed.” The entertainment firm subsequently abandoned its application.
Megan appears to be enjoying a Hot Girl Year, as seen by her newly trademarked tagline.