Trademark Properties Lawsuit vs. AE Proceeds

There are many valuable lessons to be learned in life and that includes business as well. Sometimes, business people, especially those holding high-ranking positions, tend to ignore minor issues involving their relationship with reputable partners. They feel they can get away with everything just by making verbal agreements. 

Take the case of A&E which was sued by Trademark Properties in July 2006 for failing to pay the latter of what should have been due them. Trademark Properties was the original producer of the popular TV show "Flip This House" aired over A&E. Flip This House is a real estate show focusing on property flipping projects. After the first successful season of the show, A&E failed to pay Trademark Properties its share of revenues prompting Trademark president Richard Davis to sue the TV network.

The trial of the controversial lawsuit filed by Trademark Properties against A&E in 2006 has already started. U.S. District Court Judge C. Weston Houck, during the July 11, 2007 trial, ruled that there is reasonable evidence suggesting that a verbal agreement was made between Trademark and A&E officials to equally share profits from the Flip This House television show. 

The judge, in his ruling, also denied a request by A&E to dismiss the case filed by Davis. The TV network stressed it never made any verbal agreement with Davis to share the show’s profits. A&E’s lawyer Jeremy Feigelson argued that if no evidence exists that the two parties made an oral agreement for revenue sharing, then Richard Davis has no case at all. "The contract is not enforceable because of too many missing pieces," he said.

Meanwhile, the attorney of Richard Davis, Frank Cisa of Mount Pleasant, revealed the emails and other communications between Davis and A&E that referred several times to the supposed arrangement on the sharing of profits. 

Judge Houck, however, ruled that there’s sufficient proof about the oral agreement. He pointed out that an agreement does not need to be in writing to be enforceable. 

Richard Davis attended the hearing Wednesday but refused to comment on the case. A&E’s lawyers also avoided making a comment after the trial. 

It’s been a year since Davis filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against cable network A&E and production firm Departure Films in the Court of Common Please in Charleston, South Carolina where his company Trademark Properties is based. Davis cited breach of contract, fraud and seven other counts in filing the case. 

Davis claims that Flip This House is rightfully his, being the executive producer of the show, and that A&E has no right to continue the show over its network with a different cast. Davis, in his complaint, stressed that he created Flip This House in April 2004 and owns the rights equally with A&E based on a verbal agreement with a network executive. In his earlier statement, Davis said assured their devoted fans and viewers that they will not change for the sake of a network. "We are who we are, flaws and all, and don’t care to show you anything but who we really are, what we really do and how we really do it, successful or not."

Davis and his Trademark team returned on air in April 2007 via
"The Real Deal" over Discovery’s TLC. The show, still on property flipping, has changed its name to
"The Real Pros" which aptly describes the team members composed of real professionals in the real estate business. UPDATE: November 12, 2008 – A jury awarded Richard C. Davis 4 Million Dollars in damages.  "I’m very pleased with the verdict," said Mount Pleasant attorney Frank M. Cisa, who represented Davis. "These cases are very tough to prove."

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