Comedy club boss sues TV's Glee

Comedy club boss sues TV's Glee

Members of TV's Glee Club perform at London's O2 Arena

Mark Tughan, owner of The Glee Club in Oxford

First published in News by

An Oxford comedy club has said being confused with hit TV show Glee is no laughing matter as it pursues legal action against Twentieth Century Fox Entertainment.

The Glee Club, in Hythe Bridge Street, is one of four comedy clubs of that name owned by Mark Tughan.

He launched his first venue in 1994, trademarking the name “The Glee Club” in April 2001.

But Mr Tughan claims the Oxford venue has struggled to match the success of the other clubs launched before the show became an international phenomenon.

He has now written to the entertainment company seeking to negotiate an out-of-court compensation deal and issued proceedings in the Patents County Court.

Mr Tughan said: “The alarm bells started ringing for us when within days of opening in Oxford and the feedback from the staff and the door men was that there were people walking past just pointing at the entrance and asking ‘is that something to do with the TV show?’ “The alarm bells really started ringing at full volume when three months before we were due to launch The Glee Club in Nottingham the first thing our advertising company said to us was ‘what are you going to do about the name?’”

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Mr Tughan believes the confusion is putting off his target market, who would be interested in stand-up comedy, but do not like the “cheesy TV show”.

He said: “There is significant and mounting evidence that there is confusion in the minds of the public, that we are somehow associated with or connected to the TV show and that we might provide an entertainment experience of that nature.

“This appears to be particularly acute with our newer clubs which opened in 2010, at the same time as the TV show became hugely popular. The entertainment we provide is nothing like the TV show.”

Faced with the might of Twentieth Century Fox Entertainment, which is owned by the media company News Corporation, Mr Tughan is not opening any more clubs under the same name.

He said: “When the Glee TV show started to happen it was on E4 and it had just a few thousand viewers, but it’s now on Sky, it’s got millions of viewers, it’s a movie, there are CDs, the merchandise is all over Tesco.”

He added: “Sadly, the impact of the “Glee” confusion has also forced me to put on hold plans to open new Glee Clubs next year.”

Twentieth Century Fox Entertainment did not respond to the Oxford Mail’s request for comment.

Comments (12)

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9:09am Sun 25 Sep 11

jamesp says...

Really? Glee clubs have been a thing in American schools for decades. Does this Guy really think he is going to get anywhere, or is it just a cynical marketing ploy?
Really? Glee clubs have been a thing in American schools for decades. Does this Guy really think he is going to get anywhere, or is it just a cynical marketing ploy? jamesp
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Sun 25 Sep 11

petergroves says...

Because he owns a registered trade mark, and there seems to be plenty of evidence of confusion, Mr Tughan should have every chance of succeeding in his claim. The fact that the word might be generic in the US makes no difference to the validity of a UK trade mark. If he registered it in 2001 as the story says, and the TV show was first broadcast in the US in 2009, then his rights are clearly senior to Fox's. Someone has either neglected to check that the name was free to use in the UK or decided to trample all over a small business's property. Best of luck to him!
Because he owns a registered trade mark, and there seems to be plenty of evidence of confusion, Mr Tughan should have every chance of succeeding in his claim. The fact that the word might be generic in the US makes no difference to the validity of a UK trade mark. If he registered it in 2001 as the story says, and the TV show was first broadcast in the US in 2009, then his rights are clearly senior to Fox's. Someone has either neglected to check that the name was free to use in the UK or decided to trample all over a small business's property. Best of luck to him! petergroves
  • Score: 0

6:38pm Sun 25 Sep 11

Lord Peter Macvey says...

A load of ballacks. He is providing a product that the people of Oxford do NOT want, that is why it is going bust and he wants a quick payout before jumping ship. If Jongleurs couldn't make it work there, I don't know why Mr "GLEE" thought that with an inferior product, he would succeed. Accept the fact Mr Tughan, unless you get well known comedians, you are going down the pan I.E. Man Utd 75,000 every week with well known players, Oxford Utd 6,000 every week with nondescripts. P.S. Petey. Budweiser (from the good old U S of A) won their copyright battle against Budweiser from Czechoslovakia, even though the latter were brewing Budweiser even before the good old U S of A was discovered, so I don't hold out much hope for Glee with their 50p fighting fund.
A load of ballacks. He is providing a product that the people of Oxford do NOT want, that is why it is going bust and he wants a quick payout before jumping ship. If Jongleurs couldn't make it work there, I don't know why Mr "GLEE" thought that with an inferior product, he would succeed. Accept the fact Mr Tughan, unless you get well known comedians, you are going down the pan I.E. Man Utd 75,000 every week with well known players, Oxford Utd 6,000 every week with nondescripts. P.S. Petey. Budweiser (from the good old U S of A) won their copyright battle against Budweiser from Czechoslovakia, even though the latter were brewing Budweiser even before the good old U S of A was discovered, so I don't hold out much hope for Glee with their 50p fighting fund. Lord Peter Macvey
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Sun 25 Sep 11

King Joke says...

I'm afraid it doesn't matter whether he is in the right or wrong. Fox is part of News Corp and can afford to buy off the UK judiciary just like they bought off our police and our two main poilitical parties.
.
You could try to take them on but you'd never win.
I'm afraid it doesn't matter whether he is in the right or wrong. Fox is part of News Corp and can afford to buy off the UK judiciary just like they bought off our police and our two main poilitical parties. . You could try to take them on but you'd never win. King Joke
  • Score: 0

9:30am Mon 26 Sep 11

RobOxford says...

Lord Peter Macvey wrote:
A load of ballacks. He is providing a product that the people of Oxford do NOT want, that is why it is going bust and he wants a quick payout before jumping ship. If Jongleurs couldn't make it work there, I don't know why Mr "GLEE" thought that with an inferior product, he would succeed. Accept the fact Mr Tughan, unless you get well known comedians, you are going down the pan I.E. Man Utd 75,000 every week with well known players, Oxford Utd 6,000 every week with nondescripts. P.S. Petey. Budweiser (from the good old U S of A) won their copyright battle against Budweiser from Czechoslovakia, even though the latter were brewing Budweiser even before the good old U S of A was discovered, so I don't hold out much hope for Glee with their 50p fighting fund.
Glad that Mr McVey doesn't let his poor grasp of the facts get in the way of a good argument.
For the record, Anheuser Busch didn't 'win' their trademark (not copyright) battle with Budweiser Budvar. Disputes in various territorities are still ongoing. In UK both companies use the name Budweiser. And while we're on the subject, US Budweiser was first sold in 1876. Budweiser Budvar began brewing in 1895.
Security word:
poor-lazy
Remind you of anyone?
[quote][p][bold]Lord Peter Macvey[/bold] wrote: A load of ballacks. He is providing a product that the people of Oxford do NOT want, that is why it is going bust and he wants a quick payout before jumping ship. If Jongleurs couldn't make it work there, I don't know why Mr "GLEE" thought that with an inferior product, he would succeed. Accept the fact Mr Tughan, unless you get well known comedians, you are going down the pan I.E. Man Utd 75,000 every week with well known players, Oxford Utd 6,000 every week with nondescripts. P.S. Petey. Budweiser (from the good old U S of A) won their copyright battle against Budweiser from Czechoslovakia, even though the latter were brewing Budweiser even before the good old U S of A was discovered, so I don't hold out much hope for Glee with their 50p fighting fund.[/p][/quote]Glad that Mr McVey doesn't let his poor grasp of the facts get in the way of a good argument. For the record, Anheuser Busch didn't 'win' their trademark (not copyright) battle with Budweiser Budvar. Disputes in various territorities are still ongoing. In UK both companies use the name Budweiser. And while we're on the subject, US Budweiser was first sold in 1876. Budweiser Budvar began brewing in 1895. Security word: poor-lazy Remind you of anyone? RobOxford
  • Score: 0

5:47pm Mon 26 Sep 11

Lord Peter Macvey says...

RobOxford wrote:
Lord Peter Macvey wrote:
A load of ballacks. He is providing a product that the people of Oxford do NOT want, that is why it is going bust and he wants a quick payout before jumping ship. If Jongleurs couldn't make it work there, I don't know why Mr "GLEE" thought that with an inferior product, he would succeed. Accept the fact Mr Tughan, unless you get well known comedians, you are going down the pan I.E. Man Utd 75,000 every week with well known players, Oxford Utd 6,000 every week with nondescripts. P.S. Petey. Budweiser (from the good old U S of A) won their copyright battle against Budweiser from Czechoslovakia, even though the latter were brewing Budweiser even before the good old U S of A was discovered, so I don't hold out much hope for Glee with their 50p fighting fund.
Glad that Mr McVey doesn't let his poor grasp of the facts get in the way of a good argument.
For the record, Anheuser Busch didn't 'win' their trademark (not copyright) battle with Budweiser Budvar. Disputes in various territorities are still ongoing. In UK both companies use the name Budweiser. And while we're on the subject, US Budweiser was first sold in 1876. Budweiser Budvar began brewing in 1895.
Security word:
poor-lazy
Remind you of anyone?
The original Budweiser Bier or Budweiser Bürgerbräu, was founded in 1785 in České Budějovice, which to my mind is long before the Yanks copied it not after, but your calendar may work differently to the rest of ours.
[quote][p][bold]RobOxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Peter Macvey[/bold] wrote: A load of ballacks. He is providing a product that the people of Oxford do NOT want, that is why it is going bust and he wants a quick payout before jumping ship. If Jongleurs couldn't make it work there, I don't know why Mr "GLEE" thought that with an inferior product, he would succeed. Accept the fact Mr Tughan, unless you get well known comedians, you are going down the pan I.E. Man Utd 75,000 every week with well known players, Oxford Utd 6,000 every week with nondescripts. P.S. Petey. Budweiser (from the good old U S of A) won their copyright battle against Budweiser from Czechoslovakia, even though the latter were brewing Budweiser even before the good old U S of A was discovered, so I don't hold out much hope for Glee with their 50p fighting fund.[/p][/quote]Glad that Mr McVey doesn't let his poor grasp of the facts get in the way of a good argument. For the record, Anheuser Busch didn't 'win' their trademark (not copyright) battle with Budweiser Budvar. Disputes in various territorities are still ongoing. In UK both companies use the name Budweiser. And while we're on the subject, US Budweiser was first sold in 1876. Budweiser Budvar began brewing in 1895. Security word: poor-lazy Remind you of anyone?[/p][/quote]The original Budweiser Bier or Budweiser Bürgerbräu, was founded in 1785 in České Budějovice, which to my mind is long before the Yanks copied it not after, but your calendar may work differently to the rest of ours. Lord Peter Macvey
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Mon 26 Sep 11

King Joke says...

Ooh, get McVey, he can do punctuation marks and everything!
Ooh, get McVey, he can do punctuation marks and everything! King Joke
  • Score: 0

7:05pm Mon 26 Sep 11

Lord Peter Macvey says...

King Joke wrote:
Ooh, get McVey, he can do punctuation marks and everything!
If I knew what punctuering marks were I would agree with you, but can you just confirm for me that 1785 is before 1876, Kingy
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Ooh, get McVey, he can do punctuation marks and everything![/p][/quote]If I knew what punctuering marks were I would agree with you, but can you just confirm for me that 1785 is before 1876, Kingy Lord Peter Macvey
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Mon 26 Sep 11

King Joke says...

It wasn't me talking about dates.
It wasn't me talking about dates. King Joke
  • Score: 0

9:16am Tue 27 Sep 11

RobOxford says...

Lord Peter Macvey wrote:
King Joke wrote:
Ooh, get McVey, he can do punctuation marks and everything!
If I knew what punctuering marks were I would agree with you, but can you just confirm for me that 1785 is before 1876, Kingy
Oh Peter, ever the pedant. Perhaps you should read more carefully what I wrote.
Yes, I wouldn't dispute what you said about Budweiser Burgerbrau, and indeed on this point your calender reads the same as mine. But the trademark dispute that you originally referred to was and still is between Budweiser Budvar and Anheuser Busch. And that's what I was referring to in my post.
Copying and pasting from wikipedia (or wherever) is all very well, but it's sometimes best to be in possession of the facts before getting on your high horse.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Peter Macvey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Ooh, get McVey, he can do punctuation marks and everything![/p][/quote]If I knew what punctuering marks were I would agree with you, but can you just confirm for me that 1785 is before 1876, Kingy[/p][/quote]Oh Peter, ever the pedant. Perhaps you should read more carefully what I wrote. Yes, I wouldn't dispute what you said about Budweiser Burgerbrau, and indeed on this point your calender reads the same as mine. But the trademark dispute that you originally referred to was and still is between Budweiser Budvar and Anheuser Busch. And that's what I was referring to in my post. Copying and pasting from wikipedia (or wherever) is all very well, but it's sometimes best to be in possession of the facts before getting on your high horse. RobOxford
  • Score: 0

9:16am Tue 27 Sep 11

RobOxford says...

Oh Peter, ever the pedant. Perhaps you should read more carefully what I wrote.
Yes, I wouldn't dispute what you said about Budweiser Burgerbrau, and indeed on this point your calender reads the same as mine. But the trademark dispute that you originally referred to was and still is between Budweiser Budvar and Anheuser Busch. And that's what I was referring to in my post.
Copying and pasting from wikipedia (or wherever) is all very well, but it's sometimes best to be in possession of the facts before getting on your high horse.
Oh Peter, ever the pedant. Perhaps you should read more carefully what I wrote. Yes, I wouldn't dispute what you said about Budweiser Burgerbrau, and indeed on this point your calender reads the same as mine. But the trademark dispute that you originally referred to was and still is between Budweiser Budvar and Anheuser Busch. And that's what I was referring to in my post. Copying and pasting from wikipedia (or wherever) is all very well, but it's sometimes best to be in possession of the facts before getting on your high horse. RobOxford
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Tue 27 Sep 11

Lord Peter Macvey says...

RobOxford wrote:
Oh Peter, ever the pedant. Perhaps you should read more carefully what I wrote.
Yes, I wouldn't dispute what you said about Budweiser Burgerbrau, and indeed on this point your calender reads the same as mine. But the trademark dispute that you originally referred to was and still is between Budweiser Budvar and Anheuser Busch. And that's what I was referring to in my post.
Copying and pasting from wikipedia (or wherever) is all very well, but it's sometimes best to be in possession of the facts before getting on your high horse.
How can I be a pendant, that it what the missus wears round her neck, I am far too heavy for that.
[quote][p][bold]RobOxford[/bold] wrote: Oh Peter, ever the pedant. Perhaps you should read more carefully what I wrote. Yes, I wouldn't dispute what you said about Budweiser Burgerbrau, and indeed on this point your calender reads the same as mine. But the trademark dispute that you originally referred to was and still is between Budweiser Budvar and Anheuser Busch. And that's what I was referring to in my post. Copying and pasting from wikipedia (or wherever) is all very well, but it's sometimes best to be in possession of the facts before getting on your high horse.[/p][/quote]How can I be a pendant, that it what the missus wears round her neck, I am far too heavy for that. Lord Peter Macvey
  • Score: 0

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