The feud between Jersey Shore’s Mike Sorrentino and Abercrombie & Fitch is playing out about as noisily as a Seaside Heights bar brawl. Last month, Sorrentino filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie, arguing their sale of t-shirts printed with slogans reminiscent of his “catchphrases” constituted copyright infringement. (This is, of course, despite Abercrombie’s earlier attempts to disassociate itself from the show.)
Abercrombie’s new response to the lawsuit and its situation/the Situation is two-fold — and both cases the retailer presented ask for Sorrentino’s suit be thrown out. They’re arguing he doesn’t actually yet own the trademarks he’s alleging have been infringed — so far, he has apparently just applied for them, like any good reality TV star would nowadays. Furthermore, one application, for the phrase “Gym, Tan, Laundry,” has been suspended by a no-doubt bemused official the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office because it’s too similar to an MTV-patented slogan, “Gym, Tanning, Laundry.”
The retailer also states their slogans are protected under the First Amendment — as parodies. If this argument’s accepted, it means sales of the tees are perfectly legal, and puts the joke back firmly on poor Sorrentino. Of course, the real “humor” is that Jersey Shore-related business now warrants Constitutional analysis, and that’s a joke on everyone.