Twentieth Century Fox sued over Glee trademark
- 23 March 2012
- From the section Entertainment
A chain of UK comedy clubs has taken the makers of hit TV series Glee to court over a "trademark infringement".
Comic Enterprises Ltd claims the programme - made by Twentieth Century Fox - is causing confusion for its business.
It says it opened its first Glee venue in 1994 and wants an injunction to stop the show from using the name.
Fox says that would be a disaster for the programme and the case will now be heard at the High Court.
Judge Colin Birss said tens of millions of dollars were potentially at stake for the US media company.
Comic Enterprises owns venues in Birmingham, Cardiff, Nottingham and Oxford.
Its owner. Mark Tughan, said he had known about the show since 2010 but hadn't taken action until September 2011 because he thought the show might not be a problem.
"He did not think it would be harmless but he thought Glee might fade away in a short time and not prove to be an ongoing problem to his business," said the judge at London's patents county court.
Fox's lawyers are challenging the company's trademark and launching a counter claim.
They quoted the Oxford English Dictionary and told the court that 'glee club' referred to choral singing societies in general.
Tughan told Newsbeat: "Yes the action is going ahead.
"We are looking forward to our day in court and we have every intention of going all the way. But I take this action reluctantly".
"I intend to reclaim my rights to this", he said.
"People are poisioned before they even get to us and its not something I can sit idly by and ignore it as its causing real damage to my business."
Musical hit Glee first aired in the UK in December 2009 and has also been sold to many other countries around the world.
It has also sold close to 3.5 million songs in the UK alone.