Miami-based Latin rapper, Pitbull has successfully obtained trademark registration for his signature grito: “ EEEEEEEYOOOOOO!” for use in connection with musical recordings and live performances.
Under the Lanham Act (the law which governs federal trademark law), a trademark is defined as "any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof... to identify and distinguish goods and/services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods and/or services, even if that source is unknown." In other words, a trademark is a source identifier.
According to Section 1202.15 of the USPTO's Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure: “A sound mark identifies and distinguishes a product or service through audio rather than visual means.
In Pitbull’s case, when you hear “EEEEEEEYOOOOOO!,” you’ll know that it’s Pitbull on the track and not another artist. There are other instances in which you‘ve heard a signature sound and immediately knew the source of it: think about the NBC chime and the MGM lion roar at the beginning of movies.
Obtaining a soundmark is no easy feat as there are just under 40 registered soundmarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database.
Do you have a unique sound that identifies your brand?