‘American Idol’ Owners Sue Strip Club for Infringement

Nikki Tang
AUSTIN, Texas — Producers of “American Idol” are suing the owners of a men’s club in Austin, alleging that the name of the club’s amateur stripping contest, “Stripper Idol,” constitutes trademark infringement.

“American Idol” parent company FremantleMedia filed suit against the Palazio Men’s Club at U.S. District Court in Dallas, demanding compensation from the club, as well as an end to the contest, which it says “is diluting the value of FremantleMedia's mark American Idol and damaging the goodwill and high quality reputation of FremantleMedia's American Idol branded services and products.”

FremantleMedia also alleges that the use of the word, “idol” in the contest’s name is a direct reference to “American Idol,” and that the logo designed for “Stripper Idol” is similar to that of “American Idol” in “color scheme, design and font.”

Palazio Men’s Club management said “Stripper Idol,” a weekly contest in which women dance topless onstage for 60 seconds and receive their placements according to audience applause with the potential to win $500, bears no resemblance to the TV show.

The management, which originally took the lawsuit as a joke, has no intention of ending the contest, according to the Dallas News.

“It’s shocking,” said Scott Stevenson, club operations manager. “We’re just a local company. It’s not like we’re some big threat.”

Representatives from FremantleMedia could not be reached for comment.