After a protracted legal battle, Britain’s High Court has ordered Twentieth Century Fox to change the name of its all-singing, all-dancing earworm delivery vehicle Glee to something that doesn’t tread all over English trademark law. This order has been on the way since February, when the High Court ruled that the show was in violation of a trademark held by British company Comic Enterprises for The Glee Club, a stand-up comedy chain with four locations throughout the the U.K. Its owner Mark Tughan brought the lawsuit in 2011, presumably after one too many people walked into his club and realized that Lea Michele wasn’t going to perform, then left without buying a drink.
Although Fox argued that forcing it to change the name of the series was unnecessary and disproportionate to the harm done to Tughan’s line of clubs, the judge didn’t think it was a big deal. “I was told many times during the course of the trial how this series is a `blockbuster,’” the judge said, possibly quoting from press materials Fox slipped into the court record. “I find it hard to believe that the cost of the retitling and publicizing of the new name would be so prohibitive compared to the value of the series.”
The order won’t take effect until Fox’s appeal has been heard, which should give the network enough time to come up with a catchy new name—something like Eternal Sadness, or Glee (In No Way Associated With The Glee Club). Given that the next season of Glee will be its last, Fox could also try to stall the appeals process until after the series finale has aired. Although, that wouldn’t save it from having to change the name for the show’s syndicated run in the U.K. In any case, the floor for suggesting improbable new names for the show is officially open.
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