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Sony Pictures Entertainment Snared in Marvel's Legal Web

Marvel Enterprises sued Sony Pictures Entertainment on February 25, 2003, in Los Angeles Superior Court over a licensing agreement regarding the SPIDER-MAN theatrical release. The suit was filed through Marvel's subsidiary Marvel Characters, Inc., against SPE and SPE Spider-Man GP Inc. Sony does not comment on pending litigation. Marvel said in a statement, "The complaint is not an attempt to stop production of the SPIDER-MAN sequel slated for May 2004 nor is it an attempt to change or upset any of the merchandising/licensing deals that are in place for the sequel. Additionally, while the litigation is not expected to have any material negative impact on Marvels financial results or on its guidance for 2003 and beyond, a successful resolution of the matter would be anticipated to have a positive financial effect upon Marvel's future operations. Given confidentiality requirements related to the agreement, Marvel is unable to comment further on the matter." With a library of more than 4,700 proprietary characters, New York City-based Marvel's operations are focused in entertainment (Marvel Studios), licensing, comic book publishing and toys (Toy Biz). Marvel facilitates the creation of feature films, television and DVD/home video, based on its characters and also licenses its characters for use in a wide range of consumer products and services including video and computer games, apparel, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. For additional information visit www.marvel.com.

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