or


[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]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
 


· AMERICAN INVENTOR (ABC)





[04/29/17 - 08:25 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Viewers, Splits Demos with NBC
The Eye's "Hawaii Five-0" wins the night among adults 18-49.

[04/28/17 - 02:00 PM]
Video: Watch a Behind-the-Scenes First Look at FOX's New Dating Show, "Love Connection," Hosted by Andy Cohen
The unscripted series will now premiere at 9:00/8:00c on Thursday, May 25 following "Beat Shazam."

[04/28/17 - 12:39 PM]
"The President Show" Inaugural Episode Draws Huge Crowd Topping Trump's Actual Inauguration
Comedy Central spins the numbers for Thursday, April 27.

[04/28/17 - 11:25 AM]
WE tv's New Series "Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta" Premieres Thursday, May 25 at 10pm ET/CT
"Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta" features a tight-knit crew of friends who reveal the perks and perils of being born into Hip Hop royalty.

[04/28/17 - 10:43 AM]
Netflix Unveils "FYSee" - A Month-Long Celebration Highlighting the Best of Netflix Series
For the first time, Netflix's FYSee will feature a full month of programming designed to connect industry with the shows, creators and talent they love in wholly new and unusual ways.

[04/28/17 - 10:02 AM]
Paramount Television and Anonymous Content Option Rights to Anne Rice's Best-Selling Series, "The Vampire Chronicles"
Christopher Rice, four-time New York Times Bestselling(R) author and recipient of the Lambda Literary Award, will pen the series and serve as executive producer alongside Anne Rice, and Anonymous Content's David Kanter and Steve Golin.

[04/28/17 - 10:02 AM]
"Star Trek: Discovery" Adds to Its Ranks
Shazad Latif, Rekha Sharma, Kenneth Mitchell, Clare McConnell and Damon Runyan are among the latest additions.

[04/28/17 - 09:55 AM]
British Comedic Legend Tommy Maitland Has Been Announced to Host ABC's Irreverent Talent Competition Show "The Gong Show"
A revolving panel of judges featuring Hollywood's hottest stars praise, critique and gong contestants in one of TV's all-time great variety shows.

[04/28/17 - 09:47 AM]
Showtime(R) Sets Summer Premiere Dates for Hit Series "Ray Donovan" and "Episodes"
Look for the new seasons on August 6 and August 20, respectively, with "Twin Peaks" moving to the 8:00/7:00c slot on August 6.

[04/28/17 - 09:40 AM]
Her Story Continues - "Z: The Beginning of Everything" Is Returning for a Second Season
The streaming service formally announced said renewal this morning.

[04/28/17 - 08:30 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Inches Past CBS Among Adults 18-49
The Alphabet wins the night in demos while the Eye is the most-watched broadcaster.

[04/28/17 - 07:56 AM]
ESPN's Round 1 NFL Draft Telecast Delivers 4.8 Overnight Rating
ESPN spins the numbers for Thursday, April 27.

[04/28/17 - 07:32 AM]
Universal Pictures' "Fast & Furious" Franchise to Receive Generation Award at the "2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards"
"We are thrilled to celebrate the 'Fast & Furious' franchise and its global contribution to pop culture," said Amy Doyle, General Manager, MTV, VH1 and Logo.

[04/28/17 - 06:00 AM]
"Ellen"'s Coming-Out Episode, "The Puppy Episode: Parts 1 and 2," Streaming Now on the ABC App
This Sunday, April 30, is the 20th anniversary of the historic coming-out episode of the "Ellen" sitcom on ABC.

[04/27/17 - 03:01 PM]
BET Networks Says YES to Comedy Superstars and Music Legends with Original New Scripted, Late Night and Mini-Series
VH1 imports "Hit the Floor" and "The Breaks" will join fellow returning drama "The Quad."