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CBS, ABC settle "Glass House" lawsuit

On Monday, CBS announced that it had reached a settlement with rival television network ABC over ABC's short-lived show "The Glass House."

As some of our Los Angeles readers might remember, this litigation began 15 moths ago, when CBS accused ABC of violating its copyright and trade secrets with the show, which closely resembles CBS' "Big Brother."

Although many art forms resemble one another (How much does Katy Perry's "Roar" sound like Sara Bareilles' "Brave"?), CBS claimed that, in this case, the resemblance was too much.

The problem here was that a trio of former CBS employees who had worked on "Big Brother" defected to ABC, where they created "Glass House." CBS alleged that their "new" work was simply a slight variation on "Big Brother"

In announcing the settlement, CBS said that one of the producers had acknowledged "using confidential material." This is somewhat unusual, since in many cases of settlement, the parties do not admit wrongdoing.

CBS will also receive financial compensation, although it did not say how much.

Some industry analysts have described CBS' public statement about the settlement as "tart" or "strongly worded." One noted that it seems to leave no doubt as to whether CBS will tolerate imitators.

We noticed this story because we often work on entertainment litigation matters. Whether it is representing creative individuals in negotiations are standing up for the interests of businesses in intellectual property matters, we always do our best to provide thorough and comprehensive attention to our work and professional matters.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "CBS Prevails In 'The Glass House' legal dispute," Meg James, Aug. 19, 2013