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Tribune’s ‘X’ stays for now

Fox continues its court battle with Tribune Ent.

Tribune Entertainment can hang on to the “Mutant X” title on its upcoming syndie action hour — for the time being, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.

In ruling on a two-part motion filed by 20th Century Fox last month, Judges Jon O. Newman, Guido Calabresi and Robert D. Sack of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York denied Fox’s request to remove the title from the project until an appeal on the studio’s previously denied injunction is heard.

The court did, however, grant Fox an expedited appeal, ordering the parties to file briefs later this month.

Move is the latest in an ongoing squabble between the producers of “Mutant X” — Tribune, Marvel Entertainment and Fireworks Entertainment — and 20th Century Fox, which maintains that “Mutant X” contains too many similarities to its “X-Men” movie franchise.

Last month, a New York District Court judge turned down an injunction filed by Fox to halt production of the series, although the court did say that Tribune’s use of the title violated Fox’s rights (Daily Variety, Aug. 9).

Fox then filed the new motions (Daily Variety, Aug. 21) ruled upon Tuesday.

“Once again, we are gratified, but not surprised, with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling … that denies Fox’s motion to bar our use of the title ‘Mutant X’ and shut down this exciting new program,” Tribune Entertainment prexy-CEO Dick Askin said in a statement.

Fox, for its part, noted in a statement that the court is expected to complete its review of the matter before the series debuts during the week of Oct. 1.

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