Britain’s High Court made a rather unfortunate ruling on Friday, ordering Glee to change its name because it breaches the trademark of a popular chain of comedy clubs.
Twentieth Century Fox, Glee‘s parent company, was told that “it had to re-name the series in Britain” after it was sued by Comic Enterprises, which operates the string of comedy clubs, called The Glee Club.
According to the Judge Roger Wyand, who presided over the case, Glee has to change its name because of the “likelihood of confusion” with the two similarly named brands.
CTV News said that Fox would appeal the decision, arguing that the order “would be unnecessary, unfair, and disproportionate.”
Judge Wyand had this to say about his decision:
I find it hard to believe that the cost of the re-titling and publicizing of the new name would be so prohibitive compared to the value of the series. I was told many times during the course of the trial how this series is a ‘blockbuster.’
The one upside of the ruling is that the judge did stipulate that the order would not take affect until the appeal judges had a chance to review the case.
Comic Enterprises is also seeking damanges, the amount of which has not been settled. However, the judge did order Twentieth Century Fox to make an interim payment in the meantime, equal to $170,000.
This isn’t the first hard news that Glee has been hit with recently. The once musical TV show juggernaut went from sold out concert tours and unstoppable episode ratings to dwindling viewership, which many attribute to the series overhaul in cast members, starting at the beginning of season 4.
Glee will air its sixth season, starting halfway through the 2014-2015 television season.