1. ITV Report

Midlands comedy venue settles battle with Hollywood studio

The Glee Club has venues in Birmingham and Nottingham Credit: ITV News Central

A six-year court battle between a Midlands comedy venue and a major Hollywood TV studio is finally over.

When The Glee Club opened in Birmingham in 1994 its owner Mark Tughan registered the name as a trademark. In 2010 he opened another Glee Club in Nottingham, just as the hit TV show ‘Glee’ was becoming popular. The series, about a US high-school song and dance troupe, gained millions of fans around the world.

Tughan claimed he saw an immediate drop in business, which he blamed on customer confusion between his clubs and the TV series. He sued 20th Century Fox for infringement of his ‘Glee’ trademark.

Mark Tughan told ITV News:

The public were completely and utterly confused and rightly saying ‘if your clubs are anything to do with that TV show we won’t be coming.' Our sales fell precipitously in the existing venues that we had and we found it was next to impossible to launch any new venues.

– Mark Tughan, Glee club owner
The TV show 'Glee' is about about a US high-school song and dance troupe Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

The legal battle raged on for six years, through the High Court and the Appeal Court. The Glee Club won several victories including one which would compel the TV show to change its title. 20th Century Fox appealed every court decision but just days before the case was due before the Supreme Court, the two sides came to an out-of-court agreement.

A legal saga that had run for longer than the TV show had lasted, was finally over.

Mark Tughan told ITV News:

All I’m entitled to say is case settled, terms undisclosed – but it’s a massive relief that six years of near hell are pretty much over. I think Davids can defeat Goliaths if they have a good case and our business has bounced back massively since the TV show came to an end. Read into that what you will.

– Mark Tughan, Glee club owner

20th Century Fox declined to comment on the settlement.