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Glee Club wins latest round of Hollywood trademark battle; firm up against 20th century fox over use of same name.

Byline: TAMLYN JONES Business Reporter @Tamlynpost

BIRMINGHAM'S Glee club has won its latest case in the ongoing battle with US broadcasting giant 20th Century Fox over its TV show of the same name.

For a third time, citybased Comic Enterprises, which operates Glee Clubs including one in the Arcadian centre, has emerged victorious in a bitter trademark dispute.

The dispute arose when Fox titled its pop musical hit show Glee - and was found by the court of appeal to infringe Comic Enterprises' trademark for its Glee Clubs.

The Birmingham firm first won the case it took against Fox for trademark infringement in the High Court in January 2014.

Fox then appealed but, in February this year, the Court of Appeal again found that Comic Enterprises' trademark had been infringed.

However, the case was not completely determined because Fox argued that it should be referred to the European Court for a ruling on whether the UK trademark regime relating to series trademarks was compatible with Community Law.

In a ruling handed down yesterday, the Appeal Court unanimously dismissed Fox's appeal.

It was a ruling which effectively paves the way for a fresh battle over the compensation payable by Fox to the Glee Club The winning party in such disputes typically has the option to elect to receive damages for losses sustained or alternatively an "account of profits" in respect of the infringing activities.

Glee Club, which also runs venues in Cardiff, Nottingham and Oxford, has already elected for the account of profits.

It could be entitled to a royalty or share of the profits that Fox generated for the UK exploitation of the smash hit TV show.

That would include merchandising, downloads, sales of TV rights and the live show.

Fox is now liable to reimburse Comic Enterprises for legal fees incurred by the appeal action.

The parties have faced off four times now, totalling 11 days in court. Birmingham businessman Mark Tughan, managing director of the Glee Club group, said: "This really is the David and Goliath of legal battles and at the time I thought this would never end.

"The way Fox conducted this litigation was, I believe, calculated to be as long and costly as possible."

A Twentieth Century Fox Television spokesperson said: "We note the Court of Appeal's decision and will seek the Supreme Court's consideration of the issues. We remain committed to proving the merits of our case and to delivering Glee to fans."


as A Fox "This really is the David and Goliath of legal battles and at the time I thought this would never end. Mark Tughan

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 26, 2016
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