It looks like Jersey Shore is beginning to spawn “sound alike” products, as this article on TMZ.com mentions (I never, ever thought I’d be citing to TMZ in my life)
Two applications were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the hopes of sealing the deal on the phrase for use on clothing — however, neither one of the applicants is Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino himself.
The quasi-law site The Smoking Gun fills in the details. Looks like one application was filed by the brother of the “real” Situtation, Michael Sorrentino, and another by an unrelated Jersey individual.
The interloper’s application, no. 77/891,064, is a 1(b) intent-to-use application, meaning that the mark has not yet been used in commerce. It establishes a priority date as of the date of filing (if, of course, the application is approved). It was filed on December 11, 2009.
Sorrentino’s brother’s application, no. 77/901,546, is for “The Situation” (stylized). It’s a 1(a) application, meaning that the company has already begun to use the mark in commerce. The first use date is December 21, 2009. That means, all things being equal, the interloper has nationwide priority. (But expect a pretty good fight. The porn company has an attorney; it looks like the interloper filed pro se.)
Users at CafePress creating an “I [heart] The Situation” thong should be wary, or, if they’ve been around for a while, should oppose both applications!
Also surprising is that there do not appear to be any other applications or registrations for “THE SITUATION,” and there is only one other registration in International Class 25 (the clothing goods class) that significantly features “situtation” in the registration– FEEL GOOD SITUATIONS, Reg. No. 3,723,714, for “short sleeved or long sleeved t-shirts,” owned by an individual in Humble, Texas. Interestingly, the registration was issued December 9 of this year. Is “situation” the dominant portion of that mark, such that confusion would be likely with “The Situation”? Stay tuned.