[08/10/05 - 12:00 AM]
Simon Cowell, ABC Television Network, Freemantlemedia, North America Sued in Federal Court for Stealing 'Million Dollar Idea(R)' Brand

[via press release from Roaring Entertainment]

Simon Cowell, ABC Television Network, Freemantlemedia, North America Sued in Federal Court For Stealing �Million Dollar Idea�� Brand

Federal Lawsuit Charges Defendants with Stealing Trademarked Brand, Copying Entire Premise for New Show, Marketing As Their Own

LOS ANGELES, CA, August 10, 2005 � A lawsuit filed in Federal Court here today states that Simon Cowell, and ABC Television Network (NYSE: DIS), conspired to steal the trademarked brand �Million Dollar Idea�, copy the entire premise of a show already airing in national syndication on over 125 television stations, and market that idea as their own.

The federal case is being brought by original �Million Dollar Idea� creators/hosts Jean Golden and Todd Walker. It is a direct response to ABC�s July 13, 2005 announcement of a new show of the same name, �created� by Cowell and �packaged� by CAA.

�From stem to stern, each and every detail of Simon Cowell and ABC�s mock �Million Dollar Idea� is a patent rip-off of Todd and Jean�s four-year labor of love,� said attorney Pierce O'Donnell. �Cowell, and ABC, conspired to destroy the very essence that the show �Million Dollar Idea� is here to promote � the ability of the little guy with a big dream to take an idea and bring it to fruition.� O�Donnell added that the damages from the lawsuit are estimated to be well into the tens of millions of dollars, in an exact amount to be determined at trial.

In 2001, Golden and Walker � childhood friends who eventually became business partners in their own public relations/marketing firm in Minneapolis, MN � teamed up and spent the next two years developing what became the �Million Dollar Idea�.� By 2002, they pitched and shot a pilot of �Million Dollar Idea� for KSTC TV (the sister station to ABC affiliate KSTP) in Minneapolis/St. Paul. By 2003, the show was airing on KSTC, in the nation�s 14th largest market (Minneapolis, MN).

Three seasons and over 30 episodes later, the show was recently nationally syndicated to over 125 television stations. In the process, it has drawn the attention of national media including The New York Times, Time Magazine, NBC�s The Today Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Golden and Walker registered for both copyright and trademark for the name and premise of �Million Dollar Idea�.

In early 2004, Walker pitched Andrea Wong, executive vice president for Alternative Programming, Specials and Late Night at ABC Network. Wong was enthused by the idea and Walker/Golden followed up by sending Wong a pitch package which included selected media coverage of Million Dollar Idea, taped episodes of the show, a business plan and treatment for a national show. Also included was a confidentiality agreement. Golden and Walker also provided copies of their pitch materials to CAA, the same agency named in a recent ABC press release as having �packaged� the imitation �Million Dollar Idea�.

In mid-July 2005, ABC and Cowell, with the help of CAA, announced a new show, titled �Million Dollar Idea,� that is an exact replica of the already-airing and trademarked/copyrighted show of the same name. The ABC release quotes both Cowell and Wong, who makes decisions for the network on reality show content.

�At what point does our society say �enough is enough� to the big corporate giants who take advantage of the little guy? Business 101 classes teach that before you create or launch a new product or business, you must research the name and premise of the business to be sure that you are not infringing on trademark, patent or copyright of another individual,� stated attorney Ann Marie Mortimer.

In addition to the direct theft of the show title, each and every major concept relating to the show idea was also stolen.

The lawsuit calls for immediate injunctive relief and unspecified damages.

�It is incredibly ironic that our show, the premise of which is to promote, protect and reward small-town American ingenuity, was itself the victim of corporate theft and greed,� said Jean Golden, co-creator of Million Dollar Idea. �What has happened to us is every inventor/entrepreneur�s worst nightmare: having your idea stolen. The arrogance of Simon Cowell and ABC is beyond comprehension. Can you imagine stealing an idea and not even bothering to change the name of it?�

�We are outraged that Simon Cowell, and ABC Network think that they are above the law,� said Todd Walker. �We were taken aback to see our brand so brazenly stolen by corporate giants.�

Golden and Walker are represented by Pierce O'Donnell and Ann Marie Mortimer of O'Donnell Shaeffer Mortimer, LLP, in Los Angeles.

For more information about Million Dollar Idea, visit www.milliondollaridea.tv.

  [august 2005]  


[10/24/16 - 02:45 PM]
"Frozen," Walt Disney Animation Studios' Blockbuster Film, Makes Its Network Broadcast Premiere on ABC This Holiday Season
Look for "The Making of Frozen: A Return to Arendelle" that same night, Sunday, December 11 on the Alphabet.

[10/24/16 - 02:19 PM]
Video: MTV's "Sweet/Vicious" First Look Promos!
MTV's new series starring Eliza Bennett and Taylor Dearden and created by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson premieres November 15.

[10/24/16 - 01:21 PM]
TLC & Discovery Family to Premiere "Unichef: Uniting Through Food" on Thursday, November 17
The special will premiere at 7/6c on TLC followed by an encore presentation at 9/8c on Discovery Family Channel.

[10/24/16 - 01:20 PM]
Louis C.K., Ryan Reynolds, Tracy Morgan and More Join the Guest List as TBS's "Conan" Heads to New York for a Week of Shows
It will also continue O'Brien's string of innovative road show broadcasts from cities across the United States and around the globe.

[10/24/16 - 12:38 PM]
Food Network Gets Festive for the Holidays with the Return of "Cake Wars: Christmas"
Jonathan Bennett hosts the six hour-long episodes filled with the most over-the-top Christmas cake confections ever seen.

[10/24/16 - 11:21 AM]
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' "Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas" 2016 Original Movie Premieres
"Love Always, Santa" will kick things off Sunday, November 6 on the cable channel.

[10/24/16 - 11:15 AM]
National Geographic Channel Announces Unprecedented and Historic Global Release of "Before the Flood"
"In our minds, there is no more important story to tell, no more important issue facing our planet than that of climate change," said Courteney Monroe.

[10/24/16 - 10:26 AM]
"Underfire: The Untold Story of PFC. Tony Vaccaro," Recounting the Life of a WWII Combat Infantryman and War Photographer, Debuts Nov. 14 on HBO
The film chronicles the life and vision of this remarkable man, exploring how photography defines the way the public perceives armed conflict, and revealing the sheer difficulty of survival while taking photos in a war zone.

[10/24/16 - 10:26 AM]
The CW Orders New Seasons of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," and "Masters of Illusion" for Summer 2017
The new seasons of these series will return as part of The CW's 2017 Summer schedule, with dates and times to be announced later.

[10/24/16 - 10:23 AM]
Video: Four New Promos for FX's New Drama Series "Taboo" Starring Tom Hardy
The new original series from Tom Hardy and Ridley Scott premieres early 2017.

[10/24/16 - 10:09 AM]
Video: Amazon Releases Retro 80s Commercial for "Red Oaks" Season 2
Look for the new season to premiere on Amazon Prime Video November 11.

[10/24/16 - 09:13 AM]
Amazon Original Series "The Grand Tour" Announces Studio Recording in Nashville, TN
"The Grand Tour" will launch in 4K on Friday, November 18 exclusively for Amazon Prime members.

[10/24/16 - 08:54 AM]
Seahawks-Cardinals "SNF" Leads Preliminary Results for the Night Among the Big 4 in Every Key Measure
NBC spins the numbers for Sunday, October 23.

[10/24/16 - 08:43 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: "Sunday Night Football" Keeps NBC on Top
The Peacock once again leads the evening among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[10/24/16 - 07:55 AM]
Mike Tirico to Make Horse Racing Debut as Host of NBC's Primetime Coverage of the 2016 Breeders' Cup
"What a great event and venue for my maiden voyage with our incredibly talented horse racing team," Tirico said.