Disney doesn’t own Marvel Superheroes, says Stan Lee’s former companyPosted 8:53 am on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 by Steve Ahmad
It looks like Stan Lee’s superheroes are going to war with each other, again. Stan Lee Media, Inc. allegedly is reporting that it still owns the rights to all of Stan Lee’s comic book characters. SLMI claims that back in October of 1998 Stan Lee signed off all the rights to his superhero characters for shares in the company. The company, 14 years later, has filed an infringement complaint which would be the first step in taking an aggressive action to a long litigation that will have to be done by jury trial because statutes of limitation limit such trials between Disney or Lee himself.
SLMI claims that during the dot com crash it had filed an alternative agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March of 2000 with a strong indication it still owned the rights to the characters.
Here is where it gets strange. Stan Lee in November of 1998, just a month after originally signing the rights off to SLMI, signed a written agreement with Marvel Enterprises Inc. which we all know now that the Walt Disney Company now owns, allegedly.
Sticky situation here. SLMI is asking for $5.5 BILLION it says the Walt Disney Company owes from superhero movies and merchandise.
It will be hard to prove something that happened 14 years ago but proof of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could be all it takes for this to go to trial.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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