Writer’s suit asks $ 11 mil for ‘Bet’ title

A man claiming he owns the copyright to the title “You Bet Your Life” has filed an $ 11 million infringement suit against CBS, the Carsey-Werner Co. and Bill Cosby.

The suit, filed in Burbank Superior Court, states that in 1948, journalist Leo Guild named his newspaper column and a book “You Bet Your Life” and copyrighted that title.

The columns were written about odds, averages, probabilities and statistics.

Guild’s attorney, William Greene, said the suit is the second one the journalist has filed. He reportedly filed one years ago against NBC when the Groucho Marx version of “You Bet Your Life” was running.

“NBC did settle with him,” Greene said, although no record of that settlement has been located.

NBC officials, in response, said they own the rights to “You Bet Your Life” for television.

John Guedel, the original producer of Marx’s version, said he had never heard of Guild’s claim, although he knew of the writer’s newspaper column.

“I thought up the show myself while in Hawaii in 1947,” Guedel said. “I went to Groucho with it and we sold it to NBC in 1950.”

Guedel said his understanding at that time was that NBC was the owner of the title and the rights. Prior to the show’s 1950 television debut, it ran as a radio program for ABC for three years.

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