SETH MacFARLANE has been accused of stealing the idea for his hit comedy TED from a California production company.
Bengal Mangle Productions bosses claim they created a vulgar teddy bear character, called Charlie, and MacFarlane ripped off their creation for his film.
In their new lawsuit, which also names producers and distributor Universal Studios as defendants, the company executives claim that, like Ted, their creation lives in "a human, adult world with all human friends", adding, "Charlie has a penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes, and is a generally vulgar yet humorous character."
Bengal Mangle Production bosses reveal their Charlie character featured in an Acting School Academy video that became a hit online between July, 2009 and June, 2012, when Ted hit cinemas.
The film, directed, co-written, produced and featuring MacFarlane as the voice of the titular character, was an instant hit and grossed $550 million (GBP324,000) globally. A sequel is in development.
The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.