Forest Park Pictures v. USA Network, Inc., No. 11-2011 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 2005, Forest Park formulated a concept for a television show called "Housecall," in which a doctor, after being expelled from the medical community for treating patients who could not pay, moved to Malibu, California, and became a concierge doctor to the rich and famous. Forest Park created character biographies, themes, and storylines, which it mailed to Sepiol, who worked for USA Network. Initial discussions failed. A little less than four years later, USA Network produced and aired a television show called "Royal Pains," in which a doctor, after being expelled from the medical community for treating patients who could not pay, became a concierge doctor to the rich and famous in the Hamptons. Forest Park sued USA Network for breach of contract. The district court held that the claim was preempted by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C.101, and dismissed. The Second Circuit reversed. Forest Park adequately alleged the breach of a contract that included an implied promise to pay; the claim is based on rights that are not the equivalent of those protected by the Copyright Act and is not preempted.