Dianna Williams, the founder of the Dancing Dolls for life (DD4L) dance band, is involved in a trademark battle with Southern University and A&M College (SU).

According to a viral video, Williams says that the University trademarked the name in an attempt to prevent her from using it.

In a 30+ minute Instagram live, Williams alleges that the University attempted to prevent her from using the name “dancing dolls” by trademarking it and sending her a cease and desist letter.

Williams explained that the school trademarked the name in 2019, but she never heard anything about it; she notes that many schools use the phrase “dancing dolls” but have only come after her because she is well known.

“You got the trademark for dancing dolls on Mar. 19, 2019—is when you filed for it. Mar. 19, 2019. It was published for opposition [sic] Jan. 7, 2020; nobody never sent anything to me. I never received anything for the opposition,” Williams said. “But you know I probably would have never said anything anyway, but you know why—because there are so many dance teams, middle school, high school, elementary of children, whose teams are called the dancing dolls. So when you attack one, you’re coming for all of us. But oh wait, you only came for me because my name is the most relevant in the situation.”

Owner of the dance team, Dancing Dolls, Williams was not pleased with SU’s action against her over the name. Williams, who once appeared on Lifetime’s Bring it, wanted to trademark the name but was prevented by the school with a cease and desist letter. 



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Williams revealed that the school asked her not to use the name in the letter and remove it from her website. However, she explained that her lawyer was already on the case. 

“The university sent me a cease and desist letter in the mail in February telling me I can’t use the name and to take it off my website,” Williams said. “My lawyer has responded to it already; I will let her handle it.”

Williams concluded by saying that she proceeded to trademark the name “Dancing Dolls” under Article 35, which includes apparel like bags, hats, jackets, etc. She also trademarked “DD4L” and “Buck or Die.” And to add insult to injury, Williams also confirmed that she trademarked the name “Fabulous Dancing Dolls,” which is the name of SU’s cheerleading squad. 

“‘Southern Dancing Dolls,’ see the serial numbers. It’s going to take about 3 or 5 days to show up in the USPTO,” Williams said. “My business owns it. Fabulous Dancing Dolls, my business owns your name now for the usage of dance events, live visual performances. The same class you trademarked ‘Dancing Dolls’ in, now I got ‘Fabulous.'”


Twitter users reacted to the trademark battle between Williams and the HBCU, with some taking the side of the school and others taking Williams’ side.

There is no word on whether Southern University’s dance team has responded to Williams’ comments.