Fox Loses ‘Glee’ Trademark Case, Series Could Be Banned In The UK

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Update:, 6:07pm: As expected, 20th Century Fox Television has now confirmed that they intend to appeal against today’s ruling. “We intend to appeal and are confident that, as the case plays out, we will ultimately prevail”, said a representative of the studio. “We remain committed to delivering Glee to all of its fans in the UK.”

Previous, 12:26pm: Questions now linger over the fate of Fox’s musical dramedy series Glee here in the UK.

After a long running trademark dispute between Fox and Mark Tughan – who owns a number of music and comedy clubs which operate under the name “The Glee Club” – , Deputy Judge Roger Wyand QC today held that Fox had infringed the trademark of the aforementioned club, which Tughan has held for the better part of 15 years.

While Fox are expected to attempt to appeal the ruling, the Deputy Judge decided Fox’s use of the name “Glee” in the UK could cause confusion, potentially resulting in members of the public choosing not to frequent the clubs under the assumption that they were connected to the TV series. “I have found that there is a likelihood of confusion. Continued use cannot be in accordance with honest practices.”

With today’s ruling, there has been a suggestion that Glee could be banned from UK broadcast, while DVDs and other merchandise could also face a ban. Fox has yet to issue a comment on the case, but such a ban would be problematic for Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, who have a life-of-series deal for Glee with Sky. While the court has not yet decided how to proceed, it has been suggested that a more likely scenario would include the court issuing compensatory damages to Tughan and Fox changing the name of the series in the UK.