360b /
31 October 2014Copyright

$5bn copyright claim against Disney reignited

A $5 billion copyright claim made against Disney and its subsidiary Marvel Entertainment has been reignited, sparking a revival in a long running legal battle.

Colorado-based media company Stan Lee Media filed an appeal at the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit after a previous lawsuit was dismissed at the US District Court for the District of Colorado in September last year.

The dispute concerns characters used in films including Iron Man 2, Thor and The Avengers.

The media company claims Marvel and Disney generated profits in excess of $3.5 billion from the films and a further $2 billion from the exploitation of characters in branding and merchandising.

Lee, the creator behind well-known comic books such as Spiderman, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four,had given the rights to his creations to a company founded by him called Stan Lee Entertainment in 1998.

Stan Lee Entertainment later merged with Stan Lee Media, but Lee terminated the agreement with Stan Lee Media after he claimed the company breached terms of the contract. He later signed a contract with Marvel Entertainment passing on the rights to his creations.

Marvel was purchased by Disney for just under $5 billion in 2009.

“This is their seventh bite of a rotten apple,” said Jim Quinn, an attorney representing Disney.

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