Bay Ridge

American Idol makes Brooklyn Senior Idol sponsor drop name

TV show’s lawyers warn local title violates trademark

June 30, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Judges Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban (left to right) appeared at the “American Idol” XIV finale, which took place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on May 13. Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
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The folks behind “American Idol” don’t like anyone co-opting the show’s name, even if it’s done in tribute.

A high-powered law firm representing FremantleMedia North America, the producers of “American Idol,” sent a letter to state Sen. Marty Golden, who sponsors an annual talent contest for older adults called “Brooklyn Senior Idol” to cease and desist using the term “Idol” in association with the borough-level competition.

The letter from the firm, Holmes Weinberg, PC, reads in part: “While our client appreciates your enthusiasm for the American Idol and Idol brands, as a federal trademark owner, FremantleMedia cannot allow the unauthorized use of the Brooklyn Senior Idol mark in connection with talent competition services. Cease using the Brooklyn Senior Idol mark in connection with your talent competitions and remove…any advertisements, promotions, signs, or other material containing the Brooklyn Senior Idol mark.”

Next season will be the 15th and last for “American Idol.” The show, which has produced music superstars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, has seen its rating slip in recent years.

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Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn), who is busy making preparations for this year’s talent contest to be held in the fall, said in a statement that he will adhere to the demands presented in the letter. He will change the name of the contest, he said.

But Golden also made it clear that he intends to bounce back. He is inviting Brooklyn residents to offer suggestions on what to call the talent show.

“You could imagine the surprise in receiving this letter but this won’t stop us,” Golden said. “The show must go on and I thought it would be great fun to ask Brooklynites to help me rename the contest.”

Last year’s contest, which took place at Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, drew a large crowd of hundreds of fans.

“We have been awed by the talent of our seniors in the past, and this year’s event, despite a new name, will be just the same. Brooklyn’s talented seniors will make you laugh, cry and celebrate at the show regardless of what we call it,” he said.

Auditions for this year’s show will take place in September and the contest is set for early October.

Residents can send their suggestions to [email protected].  The deadline for nominations is July 31. All of the suggestions will be reviewed and the winning name announced in August.

Anyone interested in auditioning this year’s talent show can call Golden’s office at 718-238-6044 for information.


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