Twentieth Century Fox Sued Over Empire

Twentieth Century Fox Sued Over Empire

Twentieth Century Fox Television filed the lawsuit Monday seeking a judge's order that the network can continue to use the title "Empire" for its series starring Oscar nominee Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.

The lawsuit states the San Francisco-based record label Empire Distribution Inc., has sent letters demanding as much as $8 million from Fox. Empire Distribution claims the show's title is creating confusion with its artists and the network should either pay or change the show's title.

"It is not just a fictional show," Empire Distribution CEO Ghazi Shami wrote in a statement released Tuesday. "They are functioning as a record label in the real world."

The lawsuit states Empire Distribution has a pending trademark application for use of the word, but that an initial filing was rejected. The trademark application was filed after the showed premiered in January, the lawsuit states.

"Empire" has become a hit for Fox, with its ratings rising each week and nearly 17 million viewers tuning in for the show's recent Season One finale. Music from the show has also been turned into chart-topping album.


By Irene Mbacha