SMALL BUSINESS
12/27/2012 11:38 am ET Updated Dec 28, 2012

Gangnam-Style Vodka Coming Soon From Russian Company

HuffPost Food's relationship with the whole "Gangnam-style" trend is probably a lot like most others' relationship with the social phenomenon inspired by Psy's wildly popular music video. We thought it was amusing at first, but around the time a group of Whole Foods employees jumped on the bandwagon, the thought of another imitator started to make us want to grab a stiff drink.

But it's almost as if the trend were a living entity with the ability sense that desire. Because Russian company Woobo International reportedly plans to use the phrase "Oppah, Gangnam-Style" to promote a brand of vodka. The company registered the trademark "Gangnam-Style" with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Sept. 26 for use three categories: action figures, vegetable-based snack foods and alcoholic beverages besides beer.

Woobo International also filed a trademark in its native Russia just this week, though it's not clear that it will be able to use it there without Psy's permission. Russia is the world's biggest market for vodka.

Psy's record label YG Entertainment had already trademarked the phrase for the promotion of most goods in both Russia and the United States, but it had failed to include beverages in its list of applicable categories.

Incidentally, if sipping Gangnam-style vodka gives you the drunk munchies, you needn't fear braving the world of non-Gangnam-style products, even if you're not a fan of "vegetable-based snack foods." A Memphis, Tenn. man named Edward C. Lee filed trademarks for Gangnam-style chicken and Gangnam-style hot wings on Nov. 7. There's even a whole restaurant in Los Angeles's Koreatown dedicated to Gangnam-Style. Psy specifically said he will not sue the latter, which bodes well for the legality (if not success) of the others.

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