Cartoon Network lawsuit: Ad agency sues 'Annoying Orange' creators

A lawsuit has been filed against the creators of an animated series on Cartoon Network. North Dakota advertising agency H2M sued Dane Boedigheimer and Spencer Grove who created “Annoying Orange.”

The complainant alleges that Boedigheimer and Grove violated copyright for ripping off The Talking Orange, a character used in a state advertising campaign of the North Dakota Department of Transportation aired from 2005 to 2010.

“Defendants Dane Boedigheimer and Spencer Grove were raised, resided, educated, attended film school, were employed and first obtained access to ‘The Talking Orange’ in North Dakota and western Minnesota — the same area where Plaintiff H2M’s ‘The Talking Orange’ and its derivatives, were widely disseminated on cable television,” the lawsuit states, according to the Associated Press via Yahoo! News.

The Talking Orange, the lawsuit reportedly says, is an orange that has a superimposed mouth with lips, tongue and teeth.

“Like ‘The Talking Orange,’ ‘Annoying Orange’ appears to be speaking with a ‘voice’ that is perfectly in sync with the movement of the actor's mouth, lips, teeth and tongue,” it said.

The “Annoying Orange” is a highly rated web series on YouTube prior to and even after its official Cartoon Network premiere in June 2012. The show features the surreal misadventures of Orange and friends as they face evil zombie vegetables, alien broccoli and other weird characters.

H2M, the AP report said, is seeking damages, an injunction prohibiting the defendants from making profits off their product, and attorneys’ fees.

No executives nor representatives of the cable channel has spoken about the Cartoon Network lawsuit.