Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” Sues Abercrombie for Trademark Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on November 16, 2011

jersey_shore-thumb-200x150-30200 Orange County – A few months after apparel company Abercrombie & Fitch reportedly offered reality television star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino a “substantial” sum to cease wearing its merchandise on MTV’s Jersey Shore, Sorrentino is now suing Abercrombie for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and other claims. Sorrentino claims that despite Abercrombie’s attempts to distance itself from Sorrentino and the Jersey Shore cast, Abercrombie used Sorrentino’s trademarked slogans on its apparel. Sorrentino claims that Abercrombie marketed shirts bearing the slogans, “GTL…You Know the Deal” and “The Fitchuation” infringing his trademarks.

Sorrentino alleges in his complaint that Abercrombie has profited from a false association with his popular Jersey Shore persona. He also claims that despite a press release issued by Abercrombie asking Sorrentino and Jersey Shore cast members to cease wearing the Abercrombie brand, he was never offered any money to stop wearing the clothes. Sorrentino claims that despite Abercrombie’s public statements that he and his fellow cast members were degrading the brand, Abercrombie still attempted to profit from Sorrentino.

Sorrentino makes references to Abercrombie’s press release in his complaint, stating that asking him to stop wearing the brand was simply a publicity move that resulted in significant media buzz regarding the Abercrombie name. Abercrombie’s press release stated that the association between Sorrentino and cast members created by frequently wearing Abercrombie apparel on the show was “contradictory to the aspirational nature of our brand.” Abercrombie also stated that a continued association between Jersey Shore and Abercrombie “may be distressing to many of our fans.”

Sorrentino has demanded a jury trial in the action. He alleges seven causes of action including trademark infringement, false description, and unfair competition, among others. He seeks a royalty of $1 million and other damages of $3 million.

Jersey Shore will air its fifth season in January of 2012 as the cast returns to Seaside, New Jersey where the first and third season were filmed. Since the third season, the show has featured the same seven cast members including reality television stars Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, and Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio.

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