United States actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently won the lawsuit claiming that the concept for his TV show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, was stolen.
Seinfeld’s former associate Christian Charles alleged that he told Seinfeld about the idea back in 2002. Manhattan District judge Alison Nathan explained that the statute of limitations was three years, and Charles took too much time to go through with the lawsuit. Seinfeld turned down Charles’ copyright claim in 2012 when the show first launched, but Charles took six years before filing his lawsuit.
“Today’s victory is a complete vindication,” stated Orin Snyder, Seinfeld’s lawyer. “Jerry created Comedians in Cars and this lawsuit was nothing but a money-grab seeking to capitalize on the success of the show. We are pleased that the court saw through the noise.”
The first episode of the show was direct by Charles in late 2011, but after Charles pushed for more money and more recognition, he had a falling out with Seinfeld.
“Charles believed that ‘Seinfeld would eventually acknowledge Charles’ authorship and ownership and bring him in,'” said Judge Nathan. “Because Charles was on notice that his ownership claim had been repudiated since at least 2012, his infringement claim is time-barred.”
Charles’ lawyer, Peter Skolnik, said, “We are, of course, disappointed”.
About the show
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has various guests (typically comedians) riding with Seinfeld in a vintage vehicle every episode. They drive around documenting their conversations while making their way to a restaurant or cafe chosen beforehand. Some of the guests that have featured are Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Kevin Hart, Eddie Murphy, Seth Rogen, Jamie Foxx, and Ellen DeGeneres. Even former United States President Barack Obama made an appearance. The show is now in its 11th season.