Long after her Super Bowl half time show ended, many people are still talking about Katy Perry and her show. More specifically, they’re still talking about Left Shark, one of the costumed back up dancers that Katy Perry had during her performance that couldn’t keep up with the dance routine, and ended up becoming an internet sensation, completely overshadowing Perry’s performance.
— Kayley (@kayleydonnelly) April 16, 2015
— Adrian Storrier (@AdrianStorrier) April 22, 2015
Unfortunately, trademark examiner David Collier was not convinced by her attempt to register the character design, and denied the trademark request. To begin with, Collier argued that Left Shark “does not function as a service to identify and distinguish applicant’s services from those of others…” That is to say, people don’t instantly connect Left Shark to the pop singer’s music or concerts.
“Specifically, the specimen displays the mark as a stylized depiction of a forward leaning shark in nearly a front profile with a portion of a dorsal fin, two pectoral fins and two legs and feet substituted for the caudal fin on the tail. The shark has five gills, a full mouth with teeth and round eyes with eyelids; however, the drawing displays the mark as a stylized depiction of an upright shark in full front profile with no dorsal fin, two full pectoral fins and two legs and feet; the shark has three gills and the sharks mouth appears without teeth; the shark also has oval eyes without eyelids.”
Over the past few months since Perry’s Super Bowl performance, Left Shark has turned up almost everywhere; he’s been used as memes across all of social media, many people have donned t-shirts and other pieces of clothing featuring him, and many people have even spotted Left Shark at Coachella, including Katy Perry herself, as evidenced by a recent post on her Instagram account.
A photo posted by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on
These trademark attempts come after Perry tried to stop a man from selling 3D printed Left Shark figures. That case mostly involved copyright — whether the man could sell anything resembling Left Shark — rather than trademark — whether he could label it “Left Shark.”