The Voice UK format under threat in US lawsuit

The Voice UK 2014 Logo

A lawsuit filed in the US has claimed that the format of The Voice UK was 'stolen'.

Irishman Michael Roy Barry has filed for damages against the show's creators in America, claiming that he created the format.

In the suit, Mr Barry accuses show makers of stealing his idea for a singing talent show called the "Voice of America".

Originally pitched in 2008, the format would see a panel of judges basing their decisions purely on the voices of the contestants.

They would not be able to see the performers who auditioned, although the live audience and viewers at home could view the acts on the stage.

However, there are no spinning chairs in this format, instead a screen separates the judges from the contestants on stage.

In the lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this year, it's alleged that programme makers had accessed the original format in a pitch published on website TVWritersVault however never contacted the creator.

The idea was also apparently registered with Writers Guild of America West and the U.S. Copyright Office in the summer of 2008, two years before the first 'Voice of' show premiered in Holland.

Mr Barry is seeking damages plus interest for breach of contract.

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