Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Snooky the Cat Wins: Trademark Denied for Jersey Shore's Snooki

Article Placeholder Image
By Laura Strachan, Esq. on August 17, 2010 11:55 AM

GTL. Apparently for Jersey Shore's Snooki, the T now stands for trademark. Jersey Shore cast member Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's attempt to trademark her nickname for future use in books has been denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Yes, Snooki plans to write a book, and Jersey Shore and intellectual property are being used in the same sentence.

Although the rather unique name (and individual) is eligible for a trademark, a cartoon feline already beat the reality star to the punch -- Snooky the Cat, was trademarked in 2004 for the children's book, Adventures of Snooky: Under the Sea, according to The Smoking Gun. The adventures of Snooky the Cat mainly involve falling off a boat in the ocean and making new underwater friends. The adventures of Snooki Polizzi also involve some liquids and falling. In denying the trademark application, the government noted the "likelihood of confusion" between the two characters. The trademark denial only relates to the use of the name for printed matter.

Whether fictional cat or reality television star, the analysis for the trademark application denial is same -- whether a consumer will likely be confused or misled if the trademark is being used by the two parties. Snooki does have the option to appeal with denial based on the argument that the confusion is highly unlikely, since the confusion must be probable and not merely possible.

The Snooky v. Snooki showdown is not over. Although the clientele for Snooki's future book is arguably very different than those consumers purchasing books on Snooky the Cat, Snooki will be able to get another type of trademark for her signature nickname's use as it relates to "entertainment in the nature of personal appearances by a television personality," adds the Smoking Gun. Tune in to find out whether Snooki will try to trademark her signature hair poof...

Related Resources: