Bristol Palin's reality show being sued by former Disney star Kyle Massey

"Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp" has a hard time with the critics, but its harshest detractor might just be Palin's old "Dancing with the Stars" buddy, Kyle Massey.

Massey, his brother and mother have filed a lawsuit against the reality show's production company, Associated Television International (ATI), claiming copyright infringement, breach of contract and unfair competition.

"We created the show, registered the show and did all the leg work to bring this idea to TV and to [ATI], who stole our concept," Massey's mom, Angela, said, according to industry gossip site Deadline.

BIO canceled a reality show starring Palin and the Massey brothers, which was then picked up by Lifetime -- minus the Masseys -- and turned into "Life's a Tripp."

"These kinds of disputes surface all the time in television," Michael Elkin, managing partner of Winston & Strawn in New York, who specializes in intellectual-property law, said.

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Among the things the Masseys need to prove to win the case, he said, is that they provided "sufficient detail" to the producers and that there is "substantial similarity" between the proposed series and the aired show.

"If it's merely the [series] concept or some ideas, it's not enough ... It has to be sufficiently fleshed out," Elkin said.

According to Nielsen, the premiere of "Life's a Tripp" drew 726,000 viewers.