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Viacom to Jersey Shore's The Situation: You Can't Trademark GTL and Other Catchphrases

Date August 23, 2012

Mike Sorrentino

MTV's parent company, Viacom, has filed legal documents to prevent Jersey Shore star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino from trademarking catchphrases including "twinning" and "GTL" that he popularized on the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In papers filed with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Viacom claims that Sorrentino cannot trademark such phrases because the company owns anything he comes up with on the show it airs. MPS Entertainment, the company Sorrentino owns with his brother, had registered for trademarks of "twinning," "GTL" and other phrases from the Jersey Shore lexicon and has used them in partnerships with other companies including Apple and Reebok.

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Sorrentino signed a contract conceding the rights of any "ideas, gags, suggestions ... and other material" he originated on Jersey Shore to the show's producers, and saying he would not use his quotes on T-shirts and other promotional items, according to the report.

Last year, Sorrentino sued clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch for selling T-shirts that featured phrases associated with him. In its response, Abercrombie & Fitch cited Viacom as the owner of the catchphrases.

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