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.’