Katy Perry's 'Left Shark' trademark bid rejected by U.S. trademark office

A U.S. trademark examiner has rejected Kate Perry's bid to have the Left Shark costume from the pop star's Super Bowl halftime show registered, according to various reports.

Decision comes after pop star's lawyers took on figurine designer Fernando Sosa

The 'Left Shark', named because of his position on stage during Katy Perry's Super Bowl half time show on Feb. 1 became an internet phenomenon. The pop star's lawyers have reportedly lost their first bid to trademark the costume to prevent others from making money off the non-licensed designs. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Katy Perry, American pop superstar, has lost her bid to have the Left Shark costume from her Super Bowl halftime show trademarked, according to various reports.

Lawyers for the Roar singer had applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to have the design registered to prevent others from making money from unlicensed depictions of the outfit, made famous by an out-of-step back-up dancer.

The dancer's awkward fin-flapping movements stole the show during Perry's Feb. 1. performance, and immediately became an internet sensation.

But trademark examiner David Collier decided to reject Perry's application on the grounds there was not enough evidence to prove that consumers would associate the Left Shark image solely with the singer.

In his decision, quoted by Billboard, Collier said the shark design "identifies only a particular character; it does not function as a service mark to identify and distinguish applicant's services from those of others and to indicate the source of applicant's services."

3D printing artist Fernando Sosa began selling these miniature figurines modelled after the Left Shark meme. (Twitter, Shapeways.com)
Collier also found that the drawing submitted in the application did not match the actual Left Shark.

Despite the decision, the singer can reapply to the U.S. trademark office if she specifies which types of designs she would like to register control over, like Halloween costumes or dance costumes.

She's more likely to have success registering the word mark "Left Shark".

Florida artist celebrates

The decision comes comes after Perry's lawyers took on Florida-based designer Fernando Sosa over 3D printed figures he was selling online earlier this year.

In a cease and desist letter posted on Sosa's Instagram three months ago, Perry's legal team argued Sosa's sea creature figurines, which he sold though Shapeways.com for about $24.99 US each, infringed on Perry's intellectual property. 

"Your infringing conduct entitles our client to significant legal relief against you, which may include actual damages, statutory damages and punitive damages," the notice warned.

Sosa celebrated Perry's trademark rejection in a post Wednesday.

"I've used the terms #Leftshark #drunkshark #rightshark before her trademark application, so I can dispute the remaining trademark applications," Sosa wrote.

He also reminded fans that his Left Shark desk figurines were still available for purchase on Etsy

In the meantime, the Teenage Dream singer is still finding out-of-step Left Sharks. Perry shared this image with her 68 million of Twitter followers last week, complete with a frowning face emoji.


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