LONDON — Glum news for “Glee” — Britain’s High Court ruled Friday that the musical TV show must change its name because it breaches the trademark of a chain of comedy clubs.
A judge told Twentieth Century Fox that it had to re-name the series in Britain, though the order won’t take effect until an appeal has been heard.
The studio was sued by Comic Enterprises, which operates a string of venues called The Glee Club.
Judge Roger Wyand ruled in favor of Comic Enterprises in February, saying there was a “likelihood of confusion” between the two brands.
Fox said it would appeal, and argued that ordering a name change would be unnecessary, unfair and disproportionate.
But the judge concluded Friday that “Glee” had to go.
“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,” he said. “I was told many times during the course of the trial how this series is a ‘blockbuster.”’
The judge said it was possible the Court of Appeal would take a different view, so he put the re-naming order on hold until appeal judges have analyzed the case.
Comic Enterprises is also seeking damages. The judge said the final amount would be determined later, but ordered Twentieth Century Fox to make an interim payment of $170,000.