A new property reality show destined for ITV1 has been caught up in a format dispute over claims that it is a copy of another show.

A new property reality show destined for ITV1 has been caught up in a format dispute over claims that it is a copy of another show.

The Block , which features couples renovating houses then seeing who can sell them for the most profit, has been picked up from Australian broadcaster Nine Films and Television by RDF Media and is due to hit British screens within the next few months.

However, New Zealand-based company Ninox Films claims Nine has copied its format Dream Homeand has served notice on it for rights and entitlements to The Block.

Ninox also recently settled an action against Turner Broadcasting in the US and advertising agency McCann-Erickson over format theft of Dream Homeover a TBS Network show called House Rules.

Distraction Formats, which distributes Dream Homeinternationally, said it was supporting Ninox's legal activities in order to try and clamp down on format piracy.

Distraction chief executive Michel Rodrigue said: 'There are legal precedents to protect format rights and its imperative for rights owners to be proactive when ever infringement issues arrive.'