It seems there is a bit of a situation between “Jersey Shore” star Mike Sorrentino and Viacom, MTV’s parent company.Viacom wants to make sure “The Situation” knows who really owns the rights to “twinning” and “GTL”—a popular phrase short for “gym, tan laundry” from MTV’s ratings winner.
(The former word, “twinning” is what Sorrentino used to describe his get together with two blonde twins.)
Viacom filed papers at the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board saying it owns any and all catchphrases the reality star comes up with on the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Sorrentino has been attempting to trademark his phrases outside the show for use by MPS Entertainment, the company he started with his brother.
However, it looks like Sorrentino may have forgotten he signed his rights away to Viacom when he agreed to appear on “Jersey Shore.”
From his Participant Agreement:
“All ideas, gags, suggestions, themes, plots, stories, characters, characterizations, dialogue, text, designs, graphics, titles, drawings, artwork, digital works, songs, music, photography, video, film and other material whether or not fixed or reduced to drawing or writing, at any time heretofore or hereafter created or contributed by me which in any way relate to [“Jersey Shore“]…”
After the show became a cash cow for MTV, an amended contract pressed Viacom’s rights further:
“The above language shall not be construed to grant to Artist or otherwise allow Artist the right to issue t-shirts featuring Artist’s quotes from the series.”
Seems pretty clear cut.
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