|From "OfficialSituation.com" Website|
Viacom has filed a formal complaint with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), asserting a legal opposition to Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino's attempt to register federal trademarks for certain catchphrases such as "twinning" and "GTL" ("Gym, Tan, Laundry") that he made popular on MTV's hit show Jersey Shore.
According to Viacom's TTAB filings, on June 22, 2009, Sorrentino signed a detailed written "Participant Agreement" assigning all rights to 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. A copy of the agreement was attached as an exhibit to the complaint, but was heavily redacted to remove any extraneous information.
Additionally, to clearly demonstrate priority (seniority) of use, lawyers for Viacom included images of t-shirts, hats, mugs, mousepads and other paraphernalia that have been offered by Viacom's official store on Zazzle.com. The printouts show use in commerce well before the date of Sorrentino's.
The only class of goods for which there may still be room for negotiation are GTL laundry bags, which are currently being sold by the Situation, at a discount.