The Trusted Leaders in Entertainment Law (310) 975-1080

Firm Updates

Deadline Covers Johnson & Johnson's Copyright Infringement Suit Over "Ted" (July 15, 2014)

Posted by Johnson & Johnson, LLP | Jul 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

Seth MacFarlane Sued Over Source Of ‘Ted' Idea


July 15, 2014

By David Robb

The creators of web series about a foul-mouthed teddy bear with a penchant for drinking, smoking and prostitutes has filed a copyright infringement suit against Seth MacFarlane, Universal Pictures and the producers of Ted, the 2012 film about a foul-mouthed teddy bear with a penchant for drinking, smoking and prostitutes. Bengal Mangle Productions claims that Ted “is an unlawful copy” of its own animated teddy, who was featured in two different web series, Charlie The Abusive Teddy and Acting School Academy. The suit ( read it here), filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, states that those web series aired in 2009 and 2010 on You Tube, and other streaming websites.“Both Charlie and Ted reside in a substantially similar environment, including that both Charlie and Ted spend a significant amount of time sitting on a living room couch with a beer and/or cigarette in hand,” the suit claims. “Charlie and Ted each have a substantially similar persona, verbal tone, verbal delivery, dialogue, and attitude.”The suit states that in the Charlie web series, the talking teddy is seen “describing what he wants to do to a prostitute; talking about not wanting to go to rehab; yelling at Amy for making him peas; telling his mother he has spread catnip on his testicles; suggesting he and his father go to the strip club together, and pistol whipping someone to get his point across,” while in Acting School Academy he is seen “telling Amy to get an abortion.” The suit claims that these scenes are “substantially similar to ones in Ted in which Ted is seen “showing a woman all the lewd acts he wants to perform with her; using violence to get his point across to John; talking to Nora Jones about their sexual history, and making fat jokes even when his life is in danger.”

According to the suit, “both Charlie and Ted maintain an active social media presence, including individual Twitter and Facebook accounts, with similar postings.” A chart contained in the suit illustrates the many alleged similarities between Charlie and Ted's online postings:

Charlie 2009 Twitter post: “What the f**k is Twitter?”

Ted 2012 Twitter post: “Hello, Twitter. Kindly go fuck yourself.”

Charlie 2009 Twitter post: “I like Fox News. They've made s**t talking an art form.”

Ted 2012 Twitter post: “I like Game of Thrones for tits and blood and Fox News for laughs.”

Charlie 2009 Twitter post: “I don't like cocaine. I just like the smell of it.”

Ted 2012 Twitter post: “Just acid, and coke, and Ex, and DMT. That's where I draw the lines.”

Charlie 2009 Twitter post: “Oh I know. I've punched Yogi right in the balls. That's what he gets for being so tall and an a**hole.”

Ted 2012 Twitter post: “Yogi better stop talkin' trash or I'm gonna release my pic of him goin' bam-bam in Boo-boo's butt butt.”

Charlie 2009 Twitter post: “My best ideas are like my best sh*ts, they flow out of me on the toilet after a cup of coffee.”

Ted 2012 Twitter post: “I take my music like my dumps: seated.”

Charlie 2009 Twitter post: “Winnie the Pooh is all image. That guy is a deadbeat and an addict. His love of honey wasn't acting.”

Ted 2012 Twitter post: “Winnie the Pooh is incontinent, and thus so called.”

The suit claims that the defendants, including Media Rights Capital II, “copied Charlie to create the Ted character without plaintiff's authorization, which constitutes infringement of plaintiff's copyright in the Charlie character.”

Universal declined comment. A call to MacFarlane's agent was not returned, nor was a call to Media Rights Capital II.

About the Author


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

The Fortitude You Need

At Johnson & Johnson LLP, we believe that your voice deserves to be heard. Call us at (310) 975-1080 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Beverly Hills office.