The Evolving Law of Ideas in Girl Friends Productions, Inc. v. ABC, Inc.

June 16, 2012

This Note discusses recent developments in the law of protection of ideas. The present law of protection of ideas differs from state to state. The range in protection theories results from the conflicting goal of protecting one’s “property” from theft and the belief that ideas should be in the public domain. Courts have vied with these competing interests, and have used different methods to expand and to limit the protection of ideas.
The recent case of Girl Friends Productions, Inc. v. ABC, Inc. shows the trend in seeking to protect ideas under federal unfair competition laws, and represents a challenge to the popular talk show, “The View.” In Girl Friends Productions, Inc. the court relied on Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, which provides a civil action for false designation of origin in connection with goods and services. This Note also reviews the other prevailing theories for legal protection of ideas and examines the possible future of the law in light of this decision.