Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is the owner MPS Entertainment, which holds federal trademark registrations for "GTL." The acronym GTL is used in the television show, Jersey Shore, as a reference to the daily activities of the stars: "Gym," "Tan," "Laundry." MPS alleges that an unauthorized third party, GTL Fuel, LLC, is producing, marketing and distributing products bearing the GTL marks, including by claiming that MPS "creates products to fuel your GTL lifestyle," constituting trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin in violation of the Lanham Act. Additionally, MPS asserts that the defendant is attempting to associate itself and its products with the GTL marks by liking the Facebook page of another cast member of Jersey Shore. Plaintiff is seeking an injunction and monetary damages.
TIP: Advertisers should exercise caution when using popular references from television and other media, as the producers and/or the talent may be likely to assert prior exclusive rights.