3:56pm PT by Alex Ben Block
Seth MacFarlane Beats 'Ted' Lawsuit With "Independently Created" Bear
A production company that sued Seth MacFarlane, Media Rights Capital, Universal Studios and others, charging the cursing teddy bear in Ted infringed on its copyright, withdrew its claims Monday.
Bengal Mangle Productions had charged in a suit filed in U.S. District Court last July that Ted was “strikingly similar” to their character, Charlie the abusive teddy bear, who like Ted has a penchant for drinking, smoking and prostitutes.
Charlie had been featured in videos on YouTube and Funny or Die in 2009, three years before Universal released Ted.
Since it came out in June 2012, Ted has grossed more than $556 million worldwide. The sequel, Ted 2, is due out in June.
MacFarlane is the writer, producer, director and one of the voice cast stars of Ted as he will be on Ted 2.
In the stipulation for dismissal of the suit (which cannot be refiled), Bengal Mangle is said to now be “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 [the] Charlie character.”
“This lawsuit was without merit and has been dismissed,” MRC said in a statement, adding: “For the past ten years, MRC has had a front row seat to one of the most brilliant artists working today. Seth’s unfiltered and genius imagination brings life to everything he touches.”
A spokesperson for MacFarlane said he will not file a countersuit.
Bengal Mangle did not respond to a request for comment.