U.K. court rules in favor of Comic Enterprises, reasoning there's a 'likelihood of confusion' between the FOX show and a string of comedy venues called called The Glee Club.
"Glee" may be renamed in the U.K. Britain's High Court ruled on Friday, July 18 that the musical drama comedy must change its name because it breaches the trademark of a chain of comedy clubs, The Glee Club.
Judge Roger Wyland ruled in favor of Comic Enterprises, which runs the comedy venues, in February, saying that there was a "likelihood of confusion" between the two brands. Twentieth Century Fox said it would appeal, claiming that renaming would be unnecessary, unfair and disproportionate.
"I find it hard to believe that the cost of the re-titling and publicizing of the new name would be so prohibitive compared to the value of the series," Wyland said. "I was told many times during the course of the trial how this series is a 'blockbuster.' "
The judge, however, added that it's possible the Court of Appeal would take a different view in the case so he put the order on hold until an appeal has been heard.
The studio responded to the judge's decision, "We are pleased that the trial judge agreed to let the Appeal Court rule before ordering any relief that would adversely affect fans' enjoyment of 'Glee' in the U.K. We look forward to the next stage of this case and remain confident in the merits of our argument."
According to The Associated Press, Comic Enterprises is also seeking damages with the final amount to be determined later. The judge ordered Fox to make an interim payment of £100,000 ($170,000).
"Glee" will return for its shortened sixth and final season in spring 2015 in the U.S.