Judge finds that 'The Fitchuation" T-shirt does not pose a risk to Mike Sorrentino's career, such as it is
Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino just got served … with a defeat in his legal battle against clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch.
Former "Jersey Shore" star Sorrentino was shot down in his lawsuit over T-shirts bearing the expression "The Fitchuation" on Friday, after a judge granted Abercrombie & Fitch's motion for summary judgment.
Sorrentino sued Abercrombie & Fitch in November 2011 claiming, among other things, that the apparel company was violating his trademark and unfairly profiting from his name and image.
In the motion for summary judgment, U.S. Magistrate Judge John J. O'Sullivan disagreed, noting that Abercrombie & Fitch began selling the shirts before Sorrentino's company, MPS, began using "The Situation" as an apparel trademark.
The judge also found that Abercrombie & Fitch did not appear to claim that its own shirts were associated with Sorrentino.
"There is no evidence of A&F 'palming off' its T-shirt as that of the plaintiffs where, as here, the T-shirt has the A&F inside label and prominently uses A&F's own famous trademark 'Fitch' as part of the parody," the motion reads.
The motion also makes mention of an August 2011 press release in which the company offered Sorrentino and his "Jersey Shore" cohorts up to $10,000 not to wear any clothing bearing trademarks owned by the company. Sorrentino's suit alleged that the release was a publicity stunt trading off of Sorrentino's popularity. However, the motion found otherwise.
"The press release did not directly promote a product or service but, as the plaintiffs concede, responded to Sorrentino's wearing A&F's brand," the motion reads.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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