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Parker v. Viacom International

March 11, 2009

GORDON ROY PARKER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VIACOM INTERNATIONAL, INC. ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

MEMORANDUM

Defendant Viacom International Inc. filed the instant motion to dismiss (doc. no. 4), arguing that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons that follow, Defendant's motion to dismiss will be granted.*fn1

I. BACKGROUND

Pro se Plaintiff Gordon Roy Parker, an individual who currently residing in Pennsylvania, brings the instant action against Defendants, Viacom International Inc., Venusian Arts Corp. (hereinafter "VAC"), and Erik "Mystery" Von Markovik.

Defendant Viacom International Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York, and the network on which the reality show, "The Pickup Artist" (hereinafter "TPUA") aired. Defendant Venusian Arts Corporation is headquartered in California, and provides information and live seminars on "dating" related advice. Defendant Von Markovic is an owner/ officer of Defendant VAC.

Defendant Viacom's reality television program, TPUA, debuted on August 5, 2007.*fn2 Plaintiff alleges violations of the Lanham Act, Fair Housing Act, and Antitrust law stemming from this television program. Specifically, Plaintiff's complaint contains five clusters of allegations:

1. Misleading advertising under the Lanham Act

This assertion is premised upon three misrepresentations:

(a) Defendant Viacom lied about whether certain women in a dance club scene were paid actors; (b) one scene in a strip club was "completely fake;" and (c) Defendant Viacom overstated the social awkwardness of male contestants.

2. False Designations of Origin Under the Lanham Act

Plaintiff contends that he is in the business of providing "seduction" advice to members of the public. In connection with this venture, Plaintiff authored a book entitled, "29 Reasons Not to Be a Nice Guy." Plaintiff asserts that he has "first use trademark" to the use of the term 'pivot,' as used in his book, in commerce related to "seduction" advice. Plaintiff contends that Defendants' use of the term constitutes false designations of the origin under the Lanham Act.

3. Fair Housing Act Violations

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Von Markovik posted disparaging messages about Plaintiff on the Internet and attempted to harass Plaintiff, "in the hope" that Plaintiff would move out of his residence and thereafter lose his internet access.

4. Antitrust Violations

Plaintiff contends that Defendant Von Markovik won a battle among the seduction gurus and is now "abus[ing] their majority relevant market share."

5. Tortious Interference

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants tortiously interfered with ...


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