Lawsuit targeting Ted director Seth MacFarlane dropped

24-03-2015

A company that took aim at director Seth MacFarlane by accusing his 2012 comedy film Ted of copyright infringement has dropped its claim.

In a notice of dismissal filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California, Bengal Mangle Productions said it was satisfied that Ted was independently created using MacFarlane’s “own efforts and creativity”.

Bengal had claimed the film, which centres on beer-swilling foul-mouthed teddy bear Ted and his owner (actor Mark Wahlberg), ripped off a series of short films it produced called Acting School Academy between 2009 and 2012.

In its lawsuit, filed in July last year, Bengal claimed that the Ted character was strikingly similar to Charlie, a character from Acting School Academy and also a bear.

The company said that Charlie, like Ted, lives in a “human, adult world with all human friends”.

“Charlie has a penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes, and is a generally vulgar yet humorous character,” it added.

But, in its notice of dismissal, Bengal has now said: “Plaintiff and its counsel are now satisfied that, based on discovery produced in the action, the character Ted was independently created by Seth MacFarlane using his own efforts and creativity and was not copied from plaintiff’s Charlie character.

“Therefore, plaintiff and its counsel have determined that plaintiff cannot proceed with their complaint and must dismiss the action.”

Bengal’s initial complaint also targeted movie studio Universal, as well as MacFarlane’s company Fuzzy Door Productions and Ted producer Media Rights Capital.

Acting School Academy was shown on websites including YouTube and Facebook and received at least 1.2 million views, according to Bengal’s complaint.

Due to success of the Charlie character, Bengal created a spin-off show called Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear.

Seth MacFarlane, most famous as the creator of US cartoon Family Guy, directed, co-wrote and starred in Ted, which was released in the summer of 2012. A sequel is due to be released in 2015.

Bengal Mangle Productions, Ted, Seth MacFarlane, copyright, Family Guy

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