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)





[12/10/18 - 02:01 PM]
When in the World Is "Carmen Sandiego" Coming to Netflix? January 18!
Finn Wolfhard and Gina Rodriguez lead the voice cast of the Netflix animated series.

[12/10/18 - 01:33 PM]
Discovery Jumpstarts New Year's Day with an All-New Jaw-Dropping Winner Take All "Street Outlaws: Bristol Race to $200K"
32 of the fastest male and female racers in the country rev up their engines to compete at the iconic Bristol Motor Speedway.

[12/10/18 - 12:47 PM]
EPIX(R) Greenlights "Punk" Docuseries
The series is currently in production, and will premiere on March 11 at 10:00/9:00c.

[12/10/18 - 11:08 AM]
Starz Releases Worldwide Premiere Date and Official Teaser Art for New Original Series & Official Sundance Selection "Now Apocalypse," Set to Debut March 10th at 9:00 PM ET/PT
This sexy, vibrant and fast-moving comedy series is created and executive-produced by veteran indie filmmaker Gregg Araki.

[12/10/18 - 11:06 AM]
Netflix Acquires "Fyre", Chris Smith's Highly Anticipated Documentary Film About the Greatest Party That Never Happened
The film is an exclusive behind the scenes look at the infamous unraveling of the Fyre music festival.

[12/10/18 - 10:03 AM]
"Ready to Love" Reunion Special to Air December 29 on OWN
Host Thomas "Nephew Tommy" Miles returns with cast members to reflect on a tumultuous season in which the sexy singles navigated a challenging Atlanta dating scene to find real relationship and find out if they are truly ready to love.

[12/10/18 - 10:00 AM]
"Won't You Be My Neighbor?," The Acclaimed Story of Fred Rogers and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," Debuts Feb. 9 on HBO
In addition, HBO will honor Fred Rogers' contribution and commitment to public television with a special presentation of the film on PBS' "Independent Lens," coinciding with the HBO debut.

[12/10/18 - 09:35 AM]
Travel Channel Rings in the New Year with a "Ghost Adventures" Marathon Beginning December 31 - Leading Up to the Television Premiere of Zak Bagans' Documentary Film, "Demon House," on New Year's Day
Plus: look for the two-part special "Curse of the River Bend" on Saturday, January 5 and January 12.

[12/10/18 - 09:33 AM]
VH1's Wednesday Night Hit "Black Ink Crew: Chicago" Returns January 2nd at 9PM ET/PT
Last season, "Black Ink Crew: Chicago" dominated Wednesday nights as the #1 cable program in its time period with P18-49.

[12/10/18 - 09:31 AM]
Discovery Looks Back on Favorite Moments of "Expedition Unknown" in Special Premiere of "Amazing Adventures"
The one-hour special airs this Wednesday, December 12 at 8:00/7:00c.

[12/10/18 - 09:08 AM]
Video: Trailer Debut - "A Series of Unfortunate Events" Returns for Its Final (Most Dreadful) Season
Based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler), the third and final season premieres January 1, 2019.

[12/10/18 - 09:01 AM]
New CNN Original Series, "American Style," Premieres Sunday, Jan. 13
The four-part docuseries produced by Vox Entertainment in collaboration with Doc Shop Productions, examines how America's changing style through the decades has mirrored the political, social, and economic climate of the time.

[12/10/18 - 08:56 AM]
WE tv's "Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition" Premieres Thursday, January 10 - Featuring Soulja Boy, Waka Flocka, Lil' Mo, Plus More!
The popular franchise series, produced by Thinkfactory Media, will air on a new night following the premiere of "Growing Up Hip Hop."

[12/10/18 - 08:56 AM]
VH1's New Docuseries "Cartel Crew" to Premiere Monday, January 7 at 9PM ET/PT
Set in Miami, "Cartel Crew" takes a deep look into the lives of eight descendants of the Cartel life as they navigate adulthood and the effects the legacy has had on their upbringing.

[12/10/18 - 08:15 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC, "Sunday Night Football" Stay on Top
The Peacock takes home top honors in total viewers and adults 18-49.