Trademark battle: DJ Pauly vs. DJ Paulie
While DJ Pauly D is raking in the big bucks as the star of the wildly successful Jersey Shore, a Connecticut man is losing the business he built up for almost 40 years as a DJ. DJ Paulie is suing the Jersey Shore star for $4 million as well as trademark infringement. This comes after a rush by the Jersey Shore stars to copyright their nicknames as a way to make further income as their show's popularity continues to grow.
Jersey Shore's Pauly D might think twice about spending that $100K per episode he's getting this season as a star of the wildly popular MTV reality show, as well as the millions he's getting as the house DJ for the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. He just might need it to fight a court battle against a Connecticut DJ who is suing the star for copyright infringement of the name DJ Pauly.
Paul Lis, a music producer and wedding DJ from South Windsor, Connecticut who goes by the name DJ Paulie, has filed a suit against the Jersey Shore star, MTV and the businesses that have contacts with them. He claims to have spent 40 years building up his reputation as a family DJ and since DJ Pauly D is his polar opposite, his clients are shying away from hiring him; therefore ruining his reputation and the business he worked so hard to establish. "I've prided myself in being G-rated, Jersey Shore is hardly family entertainment. It's ruining my reputation. I've even had death threats," explained Lis.
An attorney for Lis, Jose M. Rojas, stated, "[Lis] formally trademarked the name 'DJ Paulie' and then came theJersey Shore which basically wiped him off the face of the map. The reality television show [follows] a group of young adults pursuing a debauched lifestyle suggestive of loose morals, violence, intoxication and liberal profanity, the exact opposite of the reputation the Plaintiff, 'DJ Paulie' that [sic] he had spent decades cultivating."
Lis' case stated that with all the information about the reality star on the Internet, it is almost impossible to find a listing for his Connecticut-based business. He also sent a cease-and-desist letter to MTV, which received no response.
Stated Lis, "Anytime you search DJ Paulie, his name and face come up. I can't compete. My Internet radio show went on the air (DJ Paulie's Worldwide Countdown), my website was very successful and getting attention from advertisers. Now, I've been pretty much wiped off the Google map."
DelVecchio has tried to trademark his stage name to no avail. His claims have been repeatedly denied.