Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 8, 2011

Stan Lee Media Loses Bid For Marvel Profits

imageAccording to scattered wire reports hitting late yesterday, Judge Robert W. Sweet has denied Stan Lee Media's motion that they be deemed the owners of intellectual property used by Lee to negotiate a much-publicized settlement with Marvel over the writer's contributions to modern, movie-driven Marvel empire. Sweet made the ruling in the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The resuscitated Stan Lee Media, the failed Internet venture best known as one of the big crash-and-burns of the first major Internet publishing era and for its real and implied connections to some fund-raising for then wannabe New York Senator Hillary Clinton that enjoyed its own legal playing out in recent years, claimed that Lee's initial assignation of rights to the company upon its formation made them the owner of the rights that were granted by Marvel in the course of Lee and Marvel settling. Lee sued Marvel in late 2002 over a November 1998 contract. The assignation upon which Stan Lee Media hung their case was made in October 1998. Stan Lee Media filed for Chapter 11 in 2001.

Sweet was the judge on an early decision regarding Lee and Marvel, which looks like it became a minor point of contention in the case.

Sweet declared outright in his decision that there was nothing in the Stan Lee Media agreement that gave the company rights to Lee's various forms of compensation from Marvel -- Lee worked a certain amount of hours a week for Marvel at the time of the assignation -- and that the company had taken too long to file.
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink

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