Judge says Abercrombie shirt not a "Situation" violation

Television personality Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino poses on arrival for the 2013 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California, on April 14, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) FREDERIC J. BROWN

A federal judge in Florida 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. At the time, he was asking for a reported $4 million in damages.

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 consumers.

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

Last year, "The Situation" completed a rehab stint for a prescription drug addiction. Also in 2012, he appeared in an episode of ABC's "Suburgatory" and was also a housemate on the U.K.'s "Celebrity Big Brother." Last fall, the 31-year-old reality TV star appeared in a PETA ad campaign promoting the spaying and neutering of pets.

  • CBS News Staff

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