Ricky Gervais ‘set for court battle’ after he ‘stole’ author’s kids’ book idea

An author has launched a crowdfunding campaign to settle a long-running legal dispute with Ricky Gervais.

John Savage claims the comedian “stole” his idea when he published children’s book Flanimals in 2004.

Mr Savage claims Gervais ripped off creations from his own book, Captain Pottie’s Wildlife Encyclopedia, which was printed four years before the celebrity released his work. He first went down the legal route in 2010.

Mr Savage said he has resumed his legal battle to “stick up for the little man” after learning The Office creator had applied for a trademark for Flanimals with the Intellectual Property Office.

He said: “I’m trying to get on with my life but it keeps following me around.

“I didn’t instigate it this time. Someone tracked me down and told me about the trademark.

“All I want is justice for my work.”

Gervais applied for the trademark earlier this year.

Mr Savage claims that Flanimals, which features cartoons of fictional characters from the animal kingdom, is “broadly the same in content and character” as the creatures depicted in his book.

Now Mr Savage is hoping he can raise the necessary funds to take the comedian to court “as a last resort”.

Mr Savage, from Norwich, said: “If it goes all the way to court it could cost up to £100,000.

“It’s a massively expensive course of action.

Gervais refutes the claim, saying his idea for Flanimals predates Mr Savage’s book.

Legal representatives from both sides met up earlier this year to try to reach a settlement but talks broke down.

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