Viacom has filed suit with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother’s MPS production company claiming that they have the rights to his many sayings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Who really owns the words coming out of his mouth?
Apparently back when Sorrentino signed his contract with 495 productions, the reality star forked over his rights to the catchphrases. It stated “all ideas, gags, plots, texts…and other material” belonged to the company. An amended contract drawn up after the show became a hit further clarified he wouldn’t be allowed to use these phrases on T-shirts.
In addition to a clothing deal with Dilligaf, MPS production also has endorsements with Reebok and a “GTL” app on iTunes which Viacom is trying to stop.
No stranger to lawsuits over words, Sorrentino previously filed suit with Abercrombie and Fitch after they released shirts with slogans like “The Fitchuation,” which the retail giant then countered back were owned by Viacom.
Another celeb in the news recently for attempting to file paperwork on this own catchphrase was Ryan Lochte.
His rep confirmed that the Olympic gold medalist wants to copyright his phrase “jeah” to use on a variety of merchandise from workout DVDs to t-shirts. There’s no word on the status of his paperwork yet.