NOOOPE! – The Story Behind the Catchphrase YUUUP! and the Following Dual Lawsuits


If you’re one of the avid followers of A&E Storage Wars (or even if you’ve just caught an episode now and then), you’re most likely familiar with one of the stars, Dave Hester.

Dave Hester is painted as the villain in the popular show and rightfully so; he ridicules his fellow bidders in a sneering, snide tone, he often drives the price on auctions up just for the sake of making the other bidders pay through the nose, and he almost always gets what he wants. Hester might not be a villain when he’s off screen and away from the role but that doesn’t prevent him from continuing to go after what he wants: in this case, he wanted the trademark on his signature phrase, “Yuuup!”

Hester filed for the trademark on this catchphrase in 2011 and began creating merchandise to sell to his fans revolving around this word. For those unfamiliar with the show, Hester often waits until the very last moment in an auction and then will yell out his catchphrase – annoying his fellow bidders and driving the price up on the unit in question.

Hester was all set until Tremaine Neverson (more popularly known as Trey Songz) found out about the trademark. Songz has used “Yuuup” in his music since 2009; albeit in what Hester’s lawyers claimed to be a slightly different way.

Songz is a rapper, producer, and song-writer that earned the nickname Trigga Trey as well as being called a heart-throb by a few different young women. Songz popularity did not come overnight but grew steadily and continues to do so, even though he’s now over 27. Songz did not file a trademark on the way he used Yuuup! in his songs but this did not keep him from sending Hester a cease and desist letter!

Hester received the cease and desist letter but immediately went to a judge, asking that he still be allowed to use the phrase and that he be allowed to continue to have merchandise produced revolving around the trademark.

In retaliation to Hester’s request, Songz moved forward swiftly, actually suing the A&E star for the use of the word. Hester claims that Songz forgot to file for the trademark – and once again, that the word is actually different from the way that Hester uses it. It is quoted that the differences are that Songz use “resembles an animal-like or nonhuman squeal which begins with a distinct ‘yeeee’ sound before finishing with a squeal=like ‘uuuup’ sound, and is distinct and different from Hester’s more monosyllabic-sounding guttural auction bidding phrase.”

Hester rose up to meet Songz’ challenge in this case though and counter-sued, filing a suit for damages against Songz which would award him some monetary value as well as banning Songz from interfering with Hester and the way that he wants to say the word.

Recently, the two stars have reached a settlement for both claims. It is undisclosed exactly what the agreement was or what money would be exchanged over this phrase.

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