Bagdasarian Productions
FormerlyBagdasarian Film corporation
TypePrivately held company
IndustryEntertainment
FoundedFebruary 20, 1961; 61 years ago (1961-02-20)
FounderRoss Bagdasarian Sr.
Headquarters,
U.S.
ProductsFilm production, television production
Brands
Owner

Bagdasarian Productions (also credited as Bagdasarian Company) is an American production company founded by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. (also known as David Seville) on February 20, 1961.[1] The company holds the rights to Alvin and the Chipmunks and related intellectual property assets. The company is currently owned and operated in by Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman. The company has co-produced many television series, specials, and films and initiated multiple lawsuits to protect the characters.

On November 2, 2021, it was announced that the company and the Chipmunks franchise was being put up for sale for $300 million. Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) was reported to be an interested buyer.[2]

Filmography

Television shows

Series number Title Broadcast run Original channel Total # episodes Total # seasons
1 The Alvin Show 1961–62 CBS 26 episodes 1
2 Alvin and the Chipmunks 1983–90 NBC 102 episodes 8
3 ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks 2015–present M6Nickelodeon France (France)

Nickelodeon (U.S.)

127 episodes 5

Feature films

Main article: Alvin and the Chipmunks in film

Specials & Home media

Main article: List of Alvin and the Chipmunks specials & home video releases

Lawsuits

Main

Universal Studios, Inc. (2000)

Bagdasarian Productions sued for a payment of $100 million for a breach of contract. Universal allegedly failed to additionally, Bagdasarian Productions claimed that the entertainment company never intended to honor the agreement to promote the characters within family entertainment and animation arms. Bagdasarian Productions won their suit and regained control of the Alvin and the Chipmunks characters in 2002.[3][4]

Capitol Records, Inc. (2008–2011)

Part One: (2008, 2010)
Bagdasarian Productions sued Capitol Records for using Alvin and the Chipmunks' music without the permission of the production company. The licensing agreement, which gave the record company the right to manufacture and distribute songs, was signed in 1968 (about four years before Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.'s death) and was not seen again until 2007. Bagdasarian Productions claimed that the recording company had been making money on pre-1972 songs sung by The Chipmunks' outside of the music industry in films, television, and other ventures in violation of specific contractual language. Though Capitol Records initially won the case, the decision was reversed in 2010 when Bagdasarian appealed. The appellate court held that the productions company has the exclusive right to perform the recordings.[5][6]
Part Two: (2011)
Bagdasarian Productions sued for payment from (2005–09) of royalties because of a breach of contract. According to the suit, Capitol Records sent royalties to The Harry Fox Agency Inc., Bagdasarian Productions' former agent, who sent them back since the agency wasn't representing them anymore. The record company allegedly pocketed this portion of royalties for Bagdasarian Productions. The productions company claimed approximately $0.09 per song reproduced or distributed during the four years was due.[7][8]

20th Century Fox (2010–2012)

Bagdasarian Productions sued for payment associated with Janice Karman's contributions to the script of the second CGI/live-action film Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. Fox asked Karman to re-write the screenplay after the company was dissatisfied with their writer's initial draft. She sought 50 percent of the movie's profits. Additionally, Bagdasarian Productions claimed a breach of contract due to Fox licensing the film to HBO, decreasing possible revenue, and underpaid royalties on the film's soundtrack, the Alvin and the Chipmunks' soundtrack, and other merchandise. All claims ruled in favor of Fox.[9]

Minor

St. Clair Entertainment Group, Inc. (2009)

Bagdasarian Productions sued St. Clair Entertainment Group for allegedly advertising and selling an infringing music album entitled A Tribute to Alvin and the Chipmunks online and in retail stores under the false notion that the album was authorized, endorsed by, associated, or affiliated with the productions company. Not only did the album use artwork that closely resembled The Chipmunks (credited as The Chipper Three) and the Alvin and the Chipmunks trademark logo, it also contained the same ten songs available on the release. The District Court issued an injunction against further production, distribution, marketing, and exploitation of products with the Alvin and the Chipmunks logos.[10][11]

Big Eye Records (2009)

Bagdasarian Productions sued Big Eye Records, a Los Angeles production company, and (among others) Orchard Enterprises, a New York distributor, for allegedly producing and selling an infringing music album entitled Renditions of Alvin & the Chipmunks by Calvin & the Chipmunk Rock Stars online as a cheap knockoff of the Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. This album not only used the Alvin and the Chipmunks trademark but also contained twelve identical songs from the original release. Bagdasarian Productions also sought damages of no less than $1 million. The District Court issued an injunction against any further production, distribution, marketing, and exploitation of products containing the Alvin and the Chipmunks logos.[12]

Jerry Naylor Company, LLC (2011)

Bagdasarian Productions sued the Jerry Naylor Company, based in Oregon, Megabop Records, based in London, and San Juan Music Group, based in New Jersey, for allegedly selling an infringing music album entitled A Tribute to Alvin and the Chipmunks online as a cheap knockoff of the Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Bagdasarian Productions also sought damages of no less than $1 million. The parties in question settled before giving a ruling.[13]

References

  1. ^ "Broadcasting Magazine" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com. February 2, 1961. p. 127.
  2. ^ Sherman, Alex (November 2, 2021). "Alvin and the Chipmunks owner seeks sale for $300 million, sources say". CNBC. NBCUniversal. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  3. ^ "'Chipmunks' Creators Sue Universal". The New York Times. Associated Press. 2000-09-14. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  4. ^ Shprintz, Janet (2000-09-12). "Chipmunks sue U, charge brand neglect". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  5. ^ "Appeals Court Revives Suit Over Recordings of Alvin and the Chipmunks". www.metnews.com. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  6. ^ "Judge May Consolidate 'Chipmunks' Capitol Licensing Suits - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  7. ^ "Judge May Consolidate 'Chipmunks' Capitol Licensing Suits - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  8. ^ "Capitol Records Sued For 'Alvin And The Chipmunks' Cash - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  9. ^ Gardner, Eriq (2013-09-12). "Lawsuit Over Fox's 'Chipmunks' Films Expands". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  10. ^ "Bagdasarian Productions, LLC v. St. Clair Entertainment Group, Inc. et al, No. 2:2008cv07525 - Document 12 (C.D. Cal. 2009)". Justia Law. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  11. ^ "St. Clair's Alvin & The Chipmunks CD Triggers Trademark and Copyright Infringement and Unfair Competition Lawsuit". Los Angeles Intellectual Property Trademark Attorney Blog. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  12. ^ "JUDGMENT for stipulated permanent injunction 16 by Judge Percy Anderson, in favor of plaintiffs Bagdasarian Productions, LLC against defendants Cleopatra Records, Inc for Bagdasarian Productions, LLC v. Big Eye Records et al :". Justia Dockets & Filings. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  13. ^ "Bagdasarian Productions LLC v. Jerry Naylor Company LLC et al Federal Civil Lawsuit California Central District Court, Case No. 2:11-cv-05270 District Judge Christina A. Snyder, presiding". PlainSite. 2016-12-23.