Detroit man sues LeBron James for taking barbershop web show idea

- It is said no idea is original -- and that could be the case with LeBron James' "The Shop."

Barbershop owner Sebastian Jackson had been in talks with LeBron James' company about a partnership. It never happened but soon after, that company ran a web show that looked an awful lot like Jackson's. It is a web show featured on his media platform Uninterrupted where the hoops star, his basketball buds and famous friends dish on life, music and sports in a barbershop.

"We do have intellectual property theft," said attorney Michael Griffie. "We do have a trademark infringement case under the Lanham Act and Common Law rights as well."

Griffie, a Butzel Long attorney, is representing Jackson in a lawsuit against LeBron and Uninterrupted.

Jackson owns the barbershop Social Club Grooming Company and created "Shop Talk" in 2013. It is a program in which local and national celebrities share their success stories while getting a haircut.

"Sebastian has had Grammy Award-winning artists, Jay-Z's DJ has been on "Shop Talk" and a number of other individuals."

Griffie says Jackson had been in talks with Uninterrupted employee Cree Nix for two years about expanding "Shop Talk." LeBraon and Uninterrupted launched the first episode of its web show "The Shop" in December of 2016. Griffie and Jackson demanded they pull the plug on it.

"It was our understanding they had not produced any more episodes of "The Shop" since our cease and desist letter," Griffie said. 

But Uninterrupted ran another episode during last season's NBA Finals and just a few weeks ago, this happened - LeBron and Uninterrupted accused University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban of copyright infringement by creating its version "Shop Talk."

"I respect him as a coach but I'll be damned if I allow someone to use our platform and try to do the same thing we're doing," LeBron said. 

LeBron says that was his idea. Griffie says that's odd.

"When we sent over the cease and desist letter to Uninterrupted, their main argument was 'Our concept is called "The Shop"; yours is "Shop Talk" - and because of that there's a difference and there's no likelihood of confusion,'" Griffie said. "But in April, he actually argued the opposite. To Nick Saban he said, 'You have "Shop Talk", we have "The Shop" and it does create a likelihood of confusion.'"

Griffie says at that point he and Jackson had no choice but to sue and take LeBron to court.

FOX 2 reached out to Uninterrupted and its lawyer for a statement but has gotten no response from either. As of now there's no hearing date set on this matter.

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