In no small amount of irony, Silicon Valley’s “The Patent Troll” may itself have infringed on intellectual property. A filmmaker behind 2015 patent troll drama The Trolls has accused the HBO comedy of stealing his ideas for a recent episode.

The Verge, Austin-based filmmaker Lex Lybrand alleges that a recent
Silicon Valley Season 4 episode uses similar ideas, dialogue and even vehicles as his independent film, both of which explore the concept of “patent trolls” copyrighting broad claims to profit off settlements. Lybrand also put together a small side-by-side reel to highlight similarities between the episode and his film, oddly enough including use of a Chevy Volt:

Lybrand is seeking both residuals and a credit on the episode, though the infringement parallel isn’t lost on him:

This type of plagiarism is definitely illegal. Trademark or copyright infringement, for sure… and I’m still not sure if it counts as irony. But please, for the love of God, also tell me if this counts as irony.

For its part, HBO offered “We are confident that the episode is the original work of the writers of Silicon Valley,” and writer Andrew Law did not respond to allegations of personal connection to one of the film’s actors. The similarities in question seem like natural common ground in a patent troll story, though the cosmetic resemblance is at least worth considering.

Silicon Valley also made recent headlines for the departure of star T.J. Miller, so might Season 5 have a cloud hanging over it it next year? Watch the latest trailer below.

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