Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

A dispute between pop impresarios Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller over the X Factor TV series has settled, according to reports. Fuller had sued Cowell last year, alleging that the X Factor was a rip-off of his Pop Idol series.

According to the suit, which targeted Cowell, his firms Simco and Syco, and production company FremantleMedia, X Factor copied the Pop Idol format, which takes a reducing number of young hopefuls through a nail-biting contest to find a pop star.

The case went to court last week, but was adjourned to allow the parties to try to reach a settlement.

Cowell, who starred in Pop Idol as the mean judge who insulted would-be celebrities, took the same role in a US version of the show, American Idol. That version has been extremely successful, and US broadcaster Fox was keen to sign up for several new series. Negotiations with Fuller and his production company were therefore ongoing when the lawsuit came to court – as were negotiations over Cowell’s contract to act as judge in the show.

According to reports, the new deal makes Simon Fuller a joint partner in the X Factor. Full details of the settlement remain confidential.

Fox has also announced that it has now signed up for a further five series of American Idol, with Cowell continuing his bad guy role.

"I am happy that we have been able to sort out our differences and find an amicable solution to our problems,” said Cowell, in a statement.

Simon Fuller added, "Simon Cowell has been a key component in the incredible success of American Idol and I am delighted to have reached an agreement that will see this relationship continue and grow over future years.”