Trademark Attorney Morris Turek

Morris E. Turek

(314) 749-4059

morris@yourtrademarkattorney.com

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Here’s “The Situation”: Jersey Shore Cast Members Attempt to Register Their Nicknames as Trademarks

The most watched show currently airing on MTV is a reality-based program called Jersey Shore.  By all accounts, it is mindless dreck that features a cast of four guys and four girls who do almost nothing besides drink, party, fight, and fornicate.  I’ve personally never seen more than 10 minutes of the wildly popular show, but upon information and belief, a few of the cast members apparently have unique nicknames that have pretty much become household names for young people between the ages of 16 and 35 (but not this household).  So, for all you Jersey Shore fans out there, I’ve decided to investigate to what extent these cast members have attempted to parlay their nicknames into registered trademarks for products and services.

On February 7, 2010, Nicole Polizzi (a/k/a “Snooki”) filed five trademark applications on an intent-to-use basis seeking to register the following marks:

  • SNOOKI (Serial No. 77929985) for “printed matter, namely, books” and “entertainment in the nature of personal appearances by a television personality”
  • I SNOOK THE NIGHT (Serial No. 77929981) for “shot glasses, cups” and “clothing for men, women and children, namely, shirts, sweat pants, sweat shirts, track suits and underwear”
  • SNOOK A-LIKE (Serial No. 77929983) for “sunglasses; cell phone accessories, namely, carrying cases for cell phones, cell phone charms, cell phone covers; Portable music player accessories, namely, carrying cases for music players, music player covers” and “clothing for men, women and children, namely, hoodies and hats”
  • SNOOKIT (Serial No. 77929984) for “hair shampoo, hair conditioner, hair styling gel, hair spray; self tanner tanning spray” and “hair accessories and hair ornaments, namely, hair ties, hair combs, hair clips, and hair bumps”
  • SNOOKIN FOR LOVE (Serial No. 77929986) for “printed matter, namely, books” and “entertainment services rendered through the medium of television and radio; television show productions”

Unfortunately for Ms. Polizzi (but perhaps not so for the rest of society), she is encountering some obstacles to registering a few of her trademarks.  The Trademark Office has initially refused registration of SNOOKI for “books” on the basis that the mark is likely to cause confusion with a 2004 trademark registration for ADVENTURES OF SNOOKY for “a series of children’s books.”  In addition, the Trademark Office has preliminarily refused registration of I SNOOK THE NIGHT and SNOOK A-LIKE based on a prior-filed trademark application for SNOOK for a variety of clothing and footwear items.  But, thank God, it looks like the Trademark Office will allow SNOOKIN FOR LOVE once some minor clarifications are made to the application.  My guess is that this show is going to be something like the train wreck that was VH1’s “Flavor of Love,” which admittedly I found quite amusing.

But Ms. Polizzi isn’t the only Jersey Shore cast member wanting to turn their nickname into a revenue generating machine.  Michael Sorrentino (a/k/a “The Situation”) is the owner of three trademark applications for the following marks, all of which are for “clothing, namely, t-shirts and underwear”:

  • SITUATION NATION (Serial No. 77928739)

Like Ms. Polizzi, Mr. Sorrentino is experiencing some issues on his quest to register his trademarks.  His application for SITCH is currently suspended pending the disposition of an earlier-filed trademark application for SITCH for “all-purpose carrying bags,” and his application for THE SITUATION has been preliminarily rejected for a number of reasons, most notably because the Trademark Office believes it is likely to cause confusion with an existing 2009 trademark registration for SITUATION for “retail store services featuring men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, footwear, and accessories.”  Not a good situation for The Situation.

Finally, it appears that Jenni Farley (a/k/a “JWoww”) is perhaps looking beyond Jersey Shore as evidenced by these recently-filed trademark applications for television programs I will most certainly not be watching:

  • JWOWW (Serial No. 77938448) for “entertainment services in the nature of an on-going reality based television program”
  • JENNI WOWW (Serial No. 77949355) for “entertainment services in the nature of an on-going reality based television program”

Ms. Farley has had substantially better luck with the Trademark Office than both Snooki and The Situation.  Both of her applications will most likely be allowed once some relatively minor issues are resolved.  But, JWoww also owns an application for FILTHY COUTURE (Serial No. 77949431) for “women’s clothing,” which is currently being rejected on the basis that the mark is confusingly similar to a trademark registration for FILTHY.  Hey, two out of three ain’t bad.

I swear, I feel like I need a bath after writing about this sleazy show.  But, it could be worse.  I could have a stupid nickname that nobody will remember 18 months from now.

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