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Theft of Ideas

More and more, the launch of a successful television show or motion picture—or even a not-so-successful one—is soon followed by a lawsuit from someone claiming that the program was based on a script or treatment the plaintiff once submitted, or an idea that was once pitched to the defendant. When the claimed similarities reside at the level of overall concepts or formats, the plaintiff frequently will forego a claim for copyright infringement and instead sue on state-law theories for breach of implied contract or breach of confidence. Not surprisingly, such claims have become increasingly common with the proliferation of unscripted "reality" programs on television.

Our lawyers have broad experience defending these kinds of claims, in state and federal courts across the country. Defending against idea submission claims requires extensive knowledge of this specialized area of law, familiarity with entertainment industry custom and practice, and the experience to tell a strong claim from a weak one—assets our attorneys bring to bear in every such case. Our experience also allows us to respond to claims in a manner that often persuades a prospective plaintiff to abandon litigation.