Published On: Thu, Oct 30th, 2014

Stan Lee Wins Stan Lee Media Vs Stan Lee

Stan Lee

What’s in a name? Just ask Stan Lee who just won a lawsuit brought by his namesake company, Stan Lee Media Inc., over the rights to iconic comic book heroes like Spiderman and The X Men.

So instead of Spiderman Vs Iron Man or The Hulk Vs Captain America, it was Stan Lee Media Vs Stan Lee.

The octogenarian Lee, born Stanley Martin Lieber, founded SLMI in 1998 and later left it to rejoin Marvel which is now owned by Disney. After his departure the company declared bankruptcy in 2001. Ever since its former shareholders have filed with one Federal Court after another asking it to give them the right to review what was done with the copyrights held on a myriad of comic book characters.

Many dismissals did not deter them, however, as the shareholders believe that when SLMI folded the copyrights were improperly transferred, thus denying them what they feel is their rightful share of continued proceeds from said materials.

The whole case should have been laid to rest when in 2012 a Federal judge formally dismissed the lawsuit which was filed against Lee.

But the shareholders persevered and filed the suit once again. Now the U.S 9th Circuit Federal Court has dismissed the case yet again, agreeing that the 2012 ruling that the shareholders failed to defend their claim to the copyrights in a timely fashion was correct.

“The record demonstrates that, between the date the [1998] agreement was signed and the filing of related litigation in 2007, SLMI never announced that it owned rights to these characters (even when publicly disclosing company information pursuant to a securities offering), licensed the characters, produced content related to the characters, or asserted or attempted to enforce its ownership rights, ” the 9th Circuit judges wrote in their ruling.

Now Stan Lee can get back to concentrating on making his obligatory cameo appearances in all of the Marvel Studios’ movies without any distractions and Disney can get back to making piles of money every year.

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