Jersey Shore Starring Cast Members Encountered a “Situation” with the USPTO
Jersey Shore cast members attempted to trademark their nicknames with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). To their dismay, many Jersey Shore members could not successfully obtain trademarks on their nicknames. For instance, the USPTO did not grant Mike Sorrentino a trademark for his nickname, “The Situation,” because Julio Aref already owned a trademark for his chain of stores in Memphis, Tennessee called “Situation.” Mr. Aref said he is willing to make a deal with Mr. Sorrentino regarding the trademark because Mr. Sorrentino wishes to sell “The Situation” T-Shirt and underwear lines. On the bright side, Mr. Sorrentino has so far prevailed against the USPTO for the trademark “Situation Nation.”
Jersey Shore favorite Paul Delvecchio had trouble trademarking “DJ Pauly D” for his DJ business. The USPTO held that “DJ Pauly D” is too similar to the existing trademark—“DJ Pauli.” Jersey Shore’s Nicole Polizzi faced a similar issue when she tried to trademark her nickname “Snooki.” Unfortunately for her, the trademark has already been registered for a children’s books called “Adventures of Snooky: Under the Sea.”
Jenni Farley has had more success obtaining a trademark for her nickname “Jwoww.” Although she initially failed to show that her name is used in commerce, she will most likely be able to overcome this hurdle and obtain a trademark for her nickname.