Judge: Abercrombie shirt not 'Situation' violation

Judge found products not the same, can't confuse consumers

Published On: Jul 03 2013 05:41:51 PM EDT
Money-Bills
MIAMI, Fla. -

A South Florida federal judge says Abercrombie & Fitch Co. didn't violate trademark rules by producing a shirt playing on the nickname of Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino of TV's "Jersey Shore."

Sorrentino's company sued the clothing company in 2011 over its shirt containing the phrase "The Fitchuation." Sorrentino claimed that amounted to trademark infringement and other violations of his nickname, which is based on his abdominal muscles.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge John O'Sullivan recently ruled for Abercrombie and tossed the case. O'Sullivan concluded that the company marketed the shirt as a parody and that Sorrentino's company didn't start selling its own shirt until later. And the judge found the products are not the same and thus can't confuse purchasers.

"Jersey Shore" ran on MTV for six seasons, ending last December.