The owner of Birmingham comedy club Glee said he will expose the “hypocrisy” of Rupert Murdoch when a multi-million pound trademark battle gets to court.
Mark Tughan, who launched the city’s Glee Club almost 20 years ago, is suing the media mogul’s 20th Century Fox after accusing it of infringing his trademark with the hit TV show Glee.
Mr Tughan initially launched legal proceedings through his Comic Enterprises company, at the Patent County Court last year but the judge has now passed the case up to the High Court and the 43-year-old said that if it came to a courtroom battle then Mr Murdoch was very much in his sights.
He said: “Ultimately this is a case that will be decided on in law but we have a situation where Rupert Murdoch tweets about people stealing his content and what he is talking about is his intellectual property.
"I will say that it is hypocritical as this is exactly what he has been doing in this case.”
Barnt Green-born Mr Tughan opened his first Glee venue in Birmingham’s Hurst Street in 1994.
He said he formally registered “The Glee Club” trademark in 2001, renewing it in 2009, prior to the pilot episode of Glee coming out.
He opened another club in Cardiff in 2001, followed by Oxford and Nottingham branches.
Musical drama Glee was launched in 2009 and has gone on to become a global phenomenon with Hollywood stars such as Gywneth Paltrow taking part and spawning a successful spin-off film.
Mr Tughan said last year that he had hoped the show would be a “one hit wonder” but was forced to act when his business was affected because potential comedy club customers were put off because they thought the club had something to do with the show.
The case was initially heard in the Patent County Court but was moved up to the High Court and while this was an initial victory for 20th Century Fox, Mr Tughan said it was a hollow one.
He said: “The initial reason for going to the Patent County Court was cost but it was a pyrrhic victory for 20th Century Fox as the judge made a security of costs order of just £50,000 when I could have had to pay into the court hundreds of thousands of pounds and there is also no cap on damages in the High Court.”
According to papers that have now been filed at the High Court, 20th Century Fox intend to fight the claim and will continue to air Glee on Sky 1, claiming the case to be without merit.