CBS Broadcasting, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al.

May 10, 2012
Federal Court
9th Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

CBS Broadcasting, Inc. (“CBS”) filed suit against ABC, Inc. and the Walt Disney Co. on May 10, 2012 in the Central District of California, alleging trade secrets misappropriation amongst nine other claims. CBS claims that defendants, in developing a new series “Life in a Glass House,” misappropriated CBS’ trade secrets about several production processes for the “Big Brother” reality television show. CBS argues that these processes are unique in the industry and make the show successful by enabling the “Big Brother” staff to “prep, produce, edit and deliver each episode in two and a half days.” It adds that the defendants (and anyone else) could not have independently discovered the processes by merely watching the show. Rather, CBS believes that ABC improperly acquired knowledge about these processes from former “Big Brother” producers and staff who have signed non-disclosure agreements with CBS but are now working for ABC on “Life in a Glass House.”

CBS requested a preliminary injunction in order to stop ABC from premiering the show, however U.S. District Judge Gary Allen Feess said he is unlikely to grant it.

CBS Broadcasting, INC.
ABC, Inc., d/b/a Disney/ABC Television Group, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., Corie Henson, Disney Enterprises, Inc., DOES 1 to 10, Keep Calm and Carry On Productions, Inc., Kenny Rosen, Michael O’ Sullivan, the Walt Disney Company
Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Filings from this case

Complaint | 2012-05-10
ABC Opposition | 2012-05-15
CBS TRO Motion | 2012-06-07