Fox Team Prevails in ITC Matter Involving Major Television Network

February 25, 2014 – In The News
Intellectual Property Today

Jody Simon and Jeffrey S. Kravitz were featured in the Intellectual Property Today article, "Fox Team Prevails in ITC Matter Involving Major Television Network." Full text can be found in the February 25, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is noted below.

A team of attorneys from the Entertainment and Intellectual Property Departments of Fox Rothschild LLP, led by Partners Jody Simon and Jeffrey S. Kravitz, successfully defended a Canadian production company, Thunderbird Films, Inc., in a case brought before the International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding the originality of a broadcast television program and allegedly unfair methods of competition.

The show in question, Mr. Young, was originally produced and aired in Canada and then licensed and aired nationally in the United States on Disney XD. One of the complainants in the case claimed that he created a television program and then saw his ideas come to life onscreen without his consent or any type of royalty payment. The complainant alleged he had delivered his script to an agent who worked at the same agency that represented the creator of Thunderbird’s show.

The complainants previously brought an action in the Central District of California, alleging substantially the same claims. They voluntarily withdrew their complaint on the same day that the Fox team and other defendants filed their motions to dismiss, and subsequently brought the action before the ITC.

After an eight-month proceeding in the ITC, the Fox team prevailed in a motion for summary determination that the idea for the show in question was independently created and that the creator of our client’s show had developed the idea well before the complainant submitted his script for review. The Fox team also demonstrated that there was no substantial similarity in any of the main elements of program. Based on Fox’s successful motion for summary determination, the Administrative Law Judge found that the complainants could not prove their claim of unfair methods of competition, and dismissed the Investigation in its entirety.