Recently, a Los Angeles District Court Judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a writer claiming that NBC had stolen his idea when the television network created "My Name Is Earl."
Earl ran on NBC for four seasons beginning in 2005 before being cancelled in 2009. The lawsuit was filed by writer Mark Gable, who claims he developed a similar idea for a show in 1995 and circulated his script to the major TV stations.
Gable's show, Karma, allegedly features similar plot points to Earl's pilot episode, in which the main character attempts to correct previous wrongdoings after winning the lottery. Furthermore, Gable contests he had shown his script to the same agency that now represents Earl's co-producer Brad Copeland.
Despite Gable's claims, the presiding judge dismissed the case, stating the two shows were not "substantially similar," the Hollywood Reporter states.
The case highlights the importance of undertaking proper practices, however, as copyright lawsuits can become expensive, especially if a business is found guilty. Furthermore, having business insurance in place for unforeseen legal fees can also help companies in similar cases.