Simon Fuller has launched a legal battle against the American television network Fox seeking credits and fees for the forthcoming US version of The X Factor.
The showbiz mogul claims the News Corp broadcasting company and producers FremantleMedia North America breached a 2005 contract which allegedly granted him executive producer status on the talent show.
But the companies behind America's X Factor insist Fuller was never hired and did not perform "any duties" on the programme.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles after the various parties were unable to come to a settlement out of court, said a spokesman for Mr Fuller.
It follows a bitter dispute between Fuller and Simon Cowell in 2004. Fuller, the man behind the Spice Girls and S Club 7, claimed Cowell's ITV show copied his Pop Idol format.
"Today Simon Fuller filed a legal complaint against Fox Broadcasting Company and Fremantle in the State of California over their refusal to honour a 2005 contract that granted Mr Fuller an executive producer credit and fees on the X Factor television programme in the US," said his spokesman.
"Mr Fuller has prudently attempted to settle this matter privately but the other parties have refused to honour the original contract leaving him no other choice but to pursue legal action."
A spokesman for FremantleMedia North America and Fox said: "Mr Fuller has not been hired, nor performed any duties, on the US version of The X Factor. His suit seeks payment and credit as an executive producer despite his neither having been approved by the required parties, nor hired as such. We believe this lawsuit is without merit and we expect to prevail."