Graphic designer sues BBC over cartoon

Graphic designer Mike Mitchell is pursuing a civil action against the BBC to seek recognition of copyright, for cartoon character designs which he claims are his intellectual property.

Mitchell asserts that his illustrations for The Bounce Bunch bear a resemblance to characters in the BBC cartoon Kerwhizz.

He says he showed images of The Bounce Bunch on freelance websites, where he enlisted the help of an animator and scriptwriter.

Mitchell also claims he sent the designs to the BBC’s children’s animation department in October 2007, and that the BBC ‘said they had lost’ these in May last year.

The cartoon Kerwhizz aired in April this year.

In support of his action, Mitchell has also sought advice from Hertfordshire Trading Standards, which confirms it is investigating the case.

In a statement, the BBC says, ‘We deny any allegation of copyright infringement and have found no evidence to support the allegation. We conducted a thorough investigation in May and are satisfied that Kerwhizz and the characters that appear in that programme are a completely independent creation.

‘We’ve provided this information to Mr Mitchell and Hertfordshire Trading Standards. No use at all was made of Mr Mitchell’s proposal for the Bounce Bunch which he submitted to CBBC and not CBeebies. We have not received notice of any legal proceedings from Mr Mitchell.’

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  • martin November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    how does it look anything like anything he’s done?
    + he uses other peoples characters all the time and likeness’ why is that ok?

  • Mike Mitchell November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hi this is mike the graphic designer and just to add a little extra info, i received a receipt which i still have from the BBC Childrens Animation dept. in 2007 for my illustrations. This is the same dept which produced Kerwhizz.

  • Yvonne Dineen November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hi there. I came across Mr Mitchells case whilst trying to find out if the BBC have any allegations of copyright theft against them. I too feel that they stole my character drawings. I sent the BBC my illustrations and they replied stating that they have resident developers and would not be able to accept my idea. However a few years later it was my mother that called me in to see a programme and she said, they look like your pankys. That is what they were called. Ironically BBC called them the zing zillas and even called one of them panky…i would really like to get in touch with Mr Mitchell, so if you have a contact for him could you please pass on my email address. thank you.

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