The global outdoor media company Clear Channel is reportedly being sued by a man from New York who claims it stole the idea for an interactive electronic billboard from him.
Jet Thomason is claiming that he had discussed his idea of an interactive electronic billboard, in which tourists post 15 second messages, with Clear Channel. He had set up his own company, called ’15 seconds of fame’ in order to realise his idea, and took it the outdoor media specialists in July 2009 in order to make it a reality.
However, just after this meeting allegedly took place, Clear Channel announced it had made a deal with the US clothing and accessories retailer American Eagle Outfitters to launch a similar kind of interactive billboards featuring short messages. The retailer is also named in a separate lawsuit filed by Thomason, so it too may have to rely on its professional indemnity insurance cover if it should lose the case.
Both defendants, however, are claiming that it was just a coincidence that Thomason’s meeting with Clear Channel executives came just before the deal with American Eagle Outfitters was announced.