NASHVILLE (CN) – Jeff Allen, who calls himself “one of the top comics specializing in Christian, family-friendly comedy today,” claims NBC Universal violated his trademarked phrase “Happy Wife, Happy Life” on the “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” He claims that one of the “real housewives,” “Giudice,” uses the phrase repeatedly, and that NBC sells trinkets bearing the phrase, such as T-Shirts and coffee mugs, to promote its show.
Allen, whose given name is Jeffrey Mishler, claims, “He has used his signature phrase ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life,’ throughout his comedy routines since at least as early as 1999.
“Mishler sells DVDs of his comedy routine called ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ and
‘Happy Wife, Happy Life, Revisited’ and sells T-shirts and other merchandise bearing the phrase ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life.'”
He says he filed a trademark application for Happy Wife, Happy Life on Dec. 17, 1998, and was granted the trademark on Dec. 7, 2004.
He objects to the character Giudice’s use of his phrase on the “Real Housewives” show, which is broadcast on NBC’s Bravo channel.
“Giudice uses ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ repeatedly in an attempt to associate herself with that Phrase,” his complaint states. “NBC materially assists Giudice in her use of ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ in connection with Giudice’s self-promotion and the sale of goods on television and through interactive websites on the internet by featuring her on the program ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ and promoting her on their website <bravotv.com>.
“NBC sells T-shirts and coffee mugs bearing ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ from
<shopbybravo.com> in connection with the ‘Real Housewives’ program. …
“In addition to the merchandise for sale on <shopbybravo.com>, Giudice, through defendant Fabulicious, LLC, sells T-shirts and hats bearing ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ on <www.tgfabulicious.com>.”
Mishler says he got there first. He demands treble damages and punitive damages for trademark infringement and dilution, unfair competition, false designation, passing off and false advertising.
He claims that suspicion that he stole the phrase from NBC, rather than the other way around, would hurt his reputation and career.
Named as defendants are NBCUniversal and Fabulicious.
Mishler is represented in Federal Court by Richard Busch with King & Ballow.