Stan Lee, Co-Creator of Spider-Man, Triumphs in Claim Against Marvel Enterprises, Inc. and Marvel Characters, Inc.
NEW YORK, NY -- Jan. 27, 2005 -- U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of Mr. Stan Lee, the co-creator and artistic force behind Spider-Man and other famous comic book superheroes, in his action to recover damages from Marvel Enterprises, Inc. and Marvel Characters, Inc.(Marvel)(NYSE:MVL) due to Marvel’s refusal to honor its profit-sharing contractual commitment to him. The law firm of Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky LLP represented Mr. Lee.
“I am very gratified by the Judge’s decision although, since I am deeply fond of Marvel and the people there, I sincerely regret that the situation had to come to this,” said Mr. Lee.
Mr. Lee was initially employed by Marvel in 1939, and a 60-plus year association between the two parties followed. During those years, much of Marvel’s business was built on products Mr. Lee co-created, which include The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Daredevil, and Spider-Man. Mr. Lee entered into a profit-sharing venture with Marvel for the utilization of his characters and his name, in return for a 10% participation in the profits derived from productions using Marvel characters in television or movies, including the Spider-Man films and television shows. Mr. Lee’s claim alleged that Marvel failed and refused to honor its commitments to him, despite reaping enormous benefits from his creations. Even with the success of the Spider-Man movies, Marvel did not make any payment to Mr. Lee in accordance with this provision; the company said that it did not receive any profits from these productions. Accordingly, Mr. Lee sought damages for a breach of the agreement.
According to Judge Sweet’s decision, issued on January 17, 2005, Marvel must share with Mr. Lee 10% of any profit participation or benefit it receives from movies, television, or other ancillary uses of Mr. Lee’s characters, including certain merchandising.
“We are very grateful that the Court decided to recognize the contributions of this creative genius and that his rights have been vindicated,” said Howard Graff, Partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group of Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky LLP.
Mr. Lee now is Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment, LLC (Pink Sheets:POWN), where he continues to invent and create new and exciting characters.
Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky LLP
Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky LLP, founded in 1953, is a multiservice law firm with more than 325 attorneys in Washington, DC and New York City. The firm prides itself on learning and understanding client objectives and partnering with clients to generate genuine business value. Clients include more than 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, start-up ventures and entrepreneurs, multinational corporations and leading financial institutions, charitable organizations, and government officials in high-profile investigations. The firm’s five core practice groups - Corporate & Finance, Energy, Intellectual Property, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution - involve the firm in virtually every major form of counseling, litigation, and advocacy. For additional information, please visit www.DicksteinShapiro.com.
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