MIAMI - A South Florida teenager and her mother are suing three gaming companies for using her catchphrase, "Cash me outside, how bow dah?"
Danielle Bregoli, 14, and her mother, Barbara Bregoli, filed a trademark lawsuit Thursday against Anonymous Games Inc., Appnoxious LLC, Squad Social LLC and two men who worked to develop and publish two mobile applications called "Cash Me Outside" and "How Bout Dat," according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in South Florida, seeks at least $1 million in damages and demands a jury trial.
Danielle Bregoli became a social media star after her 2016 appearance on the "Dr. Phil" show in which she said, "Cash me outside, how bow dah?" She is now known on the internet as the "Cash Me Outside" girl.
According to the lawsuit, Bregoli and her mother hired business managers who helped them form Dani B Holdings to make money from selling her catchphrase on merchandise, public appearances, television appearances and marketing opportunities.
The lawsuit claims that plaintiffs Josiah Jenkins and Matthew Gruettner, listed as owners of the three gaming companies, developed and published the app "Cash Me Outside" in January. It claims they developed a second app, "How Bout Dat," in February.
According to the lawsuit, the "Cash Me Outside" app "uses Danielle's actual voice saying her signature catchphrase" and an avatar "designed to look exactly like Danielle." The lawsuit calls it an "unabashed exploitation" of the teen and claims that the game was the No. 1-downloaded gaming application on Apple's iTunes app store.
A search of the app store Monday morning showed that Anonymous Games Inc. changed the name of the app to "Get Cash Outside," and "How Bout Dat" couldn't be found.
Gruettner told Local10.com in an email that Appnoxious, Social Squad and Jenkins were not involved in the making of the game. He said the Bregoli family filed for trademark rights in May, but it has yet to be approved.
"I normally make games off trending topics and make sure to not use any trademark or copyrighted assets," Gruettner said. "That's why I changed the name of the game to remove the phrase back in April after I heard they might try to file for a trademark for it in May."
Gruettner said he expects the lawsuit to be dismissed and intends to fight the allegations.
"Naming random companies with no involvement seems frivolous and is a blatant misuse of our court system," he said.
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