Wilberforce to fight Pop Idol dispute today

Wilberforce Chambers’ Michael Bloch QC is set to fight Simon Fuller’s corner in one of the most hotly-anticipated IP disputes of the year.

Pop music tycoons Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller are head-to-head in the High Court this morning in a dispute over the format of rival TV programmes Pop Idol and the X Factor.

Harbottle & Lewis is acting for Fuller’s production company 19 TV Ltd, the creator of Pop Idol, instructing Bloch, who took over from 8 New Square’s David Kitchin QC when Kitchin was appointed to the Bench in September.

On the other side, West End entertainment boutique Russells represents Pop Idol and X Factor judge Cowell, with 8 New Square silk John Baldwin as counsel. Lovells is acting for X Factor production company Freemantle Media, instructing Three New Square’s Simon Thorley QC.

Fuller claims that Cowell copied Pop Idol’s format in creating the X Factor. Both shows whittle down thousands of hopefuls to find the next potential pop star.

The trial begins in the High Court today before Mr Justice Blackburne.