AUSTIN – "American Idol" wants an Austin strip club to take it off.
The company that owns the popular television show sued in federal court to stop the weekly "Stripper Idol" contest at Palazio Men's Club. FremantleMedia North America also wants to seize Palazio's profits from the amateur stripping contest.
In its lawsuit against Palazio, FremantleMedia calls "Stripper Idol" a trademark violation that could mislead the public to think the TV show sponsors the event, The Dallas Morning News reported in Tuesday editions.
Advertisements for the stripping contest use a logo with a "color scheme, design and font" similar to the TV show's. Waitresses at the club also wear T-shirts emblazoned with the logo, according to the lawsuit.
"Defendants are infringing upon FremantleMedia's trademark rights," the suit alleges. "There is a substantial likelihood that consumers will be confused, misled or deceived as to the sponsorship ... of the defendants' stripper talent contest."
Palazio managers initially thought the lawsuit was a joke. But they don't plan to end the Thursday night strip-off.
The club's managers say their contest doesn't resemblance the TV show. In "Stripper Idol" the women have 60 seconds to dance topless, then are ranked by audience applause to win $500.
Fremantle can't lay claim to the word "idol," said "Kinky" Kelly Jones, a club manager and the show's emcee.
"It's shocking. We're just a local company it's not like we're some big threat," said club operations manager Scott Stevenson.
In fact, the lawsuit has brought the club national attention. Its contest is in its 12th week and has a growing popularity, club managers say.