ABC has just filed its opposition to CBS’ request for a temporary restraining order that would halt production on the reality show Glass House and prevent its June 18 premiere, for which ABC says it has already spent over $16 million in marketing. (You can read the filing here.) On May 10, CBS sued ABC and several former Big Brother employees who now work on Glass House over the ABC reality series. The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement, with the new series called a blatant rip-off of Big Brother, trade-secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of contract and conspiracy among other claims. With the discovery stage of the proceeding dragging on, CBS last week filed a petition for a temporary restraining order.
In its opposition today, ABC asks the court to deny CBS’ application. The network argues that “CBS’s copyright claim will not succeed” as “none of the alleged similarities shared by Big Brother and The Glass House involve copyright protectable elements — they are all generic staples of the reality show genre: people living in a house, competing with each other to avoid elimination, and winning a prize. Nor is the sequence and arrangement of these unprotectable elements the same in Big Brother and The Glass House, foreclosing the possibility of infringement.” Addressing the rest of the CBS claims, ABC says that “there was no conspiracy to hire away Big Brother employees” and “that here is no ‘secret sauce’ in Big Brother’s production process” that could’ve been misappropriated. (more…)