The founder of a Birmingham comedy club has accused hit TV show Glee of stealing his venue’s name.
Mark Tughan, who launched the city’s Glee Club, is suing Rupert Murdoch’s 20th Century Fox.
The 43-year-old claimed the hugely-successful series was damaging his brand and had contributed to two new branches in Oxford and Nottingham under-performing since they opened last September.
“People associate us with the show and I can’t be in that position as we couldn’t be more different,” he said.
“Glee’s performers sing covers and the programme is aimed at a young demographic while mine starts at 18. It’s manifested itself in the under-performance of newer outlets in Oxford and Nottingham.
“Members of staff said people were walking along the street and pointing to the entrance, asking if it was something to do with the TV show.”
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 the Oxford and Nottingham branches.
Mr Tughan also claimed the typeface used by Fox was similar to one used by his clubs and said he wanted the matter sorted in the courts.
The father-of-two said he hoped Glee would be a “one hit wonder” when it first aired in the UK on E4.
But the musical comedy drama has grown into a hugely popular global phenomenon with Hollywood stars such as Gywneth Paltrow taking part.
Mr Tughan’s company, Comic Enterprises, instructed Colmore Row-based legal firm Cobbetts earlier this month and issued proceedings in the Patent County Court in London.
Fox said it would not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.