LOS ANGELES (LALATE WORLD EXCLUSIVE) – The Situation is suing Abercrombie & Fitch for trademark infringement. Michael Sorrentino (“Jersey Shore”) and MPS Entertainment LLC filed suit today against Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc (NYSE: ANF) in United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. The suit claims Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, False Description arising under the Lanham Act, and Unfair Business Practices arising under Florida state law.
The suit claims that the plaintiffs have been “engaged in the business of developing, marketing and distributing goods and services under the trademarks ‘The Situation’ and ‘GTL’ “. The suit asserts that the Situation is “an internationally known TV Star” because of appearances on tv shows including “Jersey Shore” and “Dancing with the Stars”.
MPS asserts that it allegedly owns “common law and federally registered trademarks” for ‘The Situation’ and ‘GTL’ “. However, Abercrombie allegedly “embarked on a grand, worldwide advertising campaign using Sorrentino’s name, image and likeness to create brand awareness for its products”, claim the plaintiffs. The suit claims Abercrombie “falsely” told the public it had “offered money to Sorrentino if he would stop wearing Defendant’s goods”.
Sorrentino says that the Abercrombie campaign was completely fabricated, a “false advertising campaign using the name and image of Sorrentino to promote and advertise Defendants’ stores and its products”. Sorrentino claims that no offer was allegedly ever made to him or his representatives by Abercrombie “to … stop wearing Abercrombie brand clothing while on the show and at other times”. The plaintiffs take issue with Abercrombie t-shirts sold with the expressions ‘The Fitchuation’ and ‘GTL … You Know the Deal’.”
As a result, the plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against Abercrombie from “using the Marks”, “using any trademark that imitates or is …similar” to the marks, and Sorrentino’s name and image. The plaintiffs are asking for the merchandise at issue be destroyed, that plaintiffs be awarded Abercrombie’s alleged profits, plus costs and attorneys fees.
In addition, the plaintiffs are asking, pursuant to a Florida state statute, that Abercrombie “pay Plaintiff three times damages”, and that Abercrombie be “ordered … to pay a reasonable royalty in the amount of $1 million plus exemplary and or punitive damages in the amount of $3 million”.
This is not the first time that the Situation has sued over the use of “GTL”. For more on that previous trademark lawsuit, click HERE. Abercrombie has yet to comment on the case.