Atresmedia she can breathe easy after, at last, they have put an end to one of the trials that most brought the famous producer upside down. A final ruling has proved the audiovisual company right and will allow them to continue broadcasting the most important test of one of Antena 3's most successful programs, Pass word.
Antenna 3 will be able to continue broadcasting the veteran television contest 'Pasapalabra' in its current format after the judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by a Dutch company that claimed intellectual property over its star test 'El Rosco'.
The judgment of the commercial court number 8 of Barcelona, which can be appealed, thus ends the litigation over the intellectual property rights of the popular television contest, which already in 2019 gave rise to the Supreme Court forcing Telecinco to cancel the program.
For more than a decade, production companies and television media have been vying for the broadcast of 'Pasapalabra' in Spainwhich ends with its flagship test, 'El Rosco', in which the contestants must guess a word beginning with each letter of the alphabet, based on their definitions.
End to a desperate litigation
In his ruling, the judge dismissed the claims raised in its lawsuit by the Dutch company MC&F Broadcasting Production and Distribution CV against the companies ATRESMEDIA and ITV, in which it demanded that the intellectual property of the 'El Rosco' format be recognized, its emission was prohibited and it was indemnified for damages and prejudices.
The plaintiff argued that 'El Rosco' should be considered an original space that could be protected as a television format by intellectual property, but the commercial judge argued in his ruling that no means of evidence had been used, and especially expert opinions, to prove so be it.
In this sense, the judge reasons that not every television format can be protected by intellectual property, but that there must be a "qualitative leap between what are mere general conceptions" and the expression of an original idea that reflects the author's creativity.
The ruling also dismisses the claims raised by the Dutch production company under the unfair competition law.
The program in dispute, modeled on the Italian space "Passaparola", landed on Spanish television in 2000: Antena 3 broadcast it until 2006, but a year later it moved to Telecinco.
'Pasapalabra' was already the subject of a first legal dispute that was settled in October 2019, when the Supreme Court forced Telecinco to stop broadcasting the program after losing the lawsuit that the chain -Mediaset España Comunicación, SA- had filed in 2010 against the British company ITV, as a result of a conflict with this production company.
After its victory in court, ITV transferred the rights to the program to Atresmedia and Antena 3 re-broadcast the program on May 13 last year, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Supreme Court ruling that settled the 'Pasapalabra' litigation in 2019 did not determine whether the 'El Rosco' test is capable of being protected by intellectual property as an autonomous format, a loophole that gave rise to the new lawsuit filed by MC&F to recover the rights to the program.