files/pictures/picture-35.jpgStan Lee Media Inc.'s $1 billion lawsuit against Marvel Ent. in regards to the copyrights of characters created by its namesake has been tossed out of court, writes The Hollywood Reporter
. This is just one more lawsuit to be dismissed in Stan Lee Media owners' fight for control of the lucrative characters such as the X-Men, Spider-Man and Fantastic Four.
In 1998, Marvel went through bankruptcy where it voided its lifetime $1 million yearly salary contract with Stan Lee. Subsequently, Lee formed Stan Lee Media in order to manage the rights to his characters and serve as a base in launching new properties on the Web. By 2002, Stan Lee Media was filing for bankruptcy itself. Meanwhile, Lee sued Marvel for breaking his employment contract, which resulted in an out-of-court settlement that gave Marvel control over the characters.
With Lee washing his hands of Stan Lee Media and forming POW! Ent., investors in Stan Lee Media felt his deal with Marvel robbed SLM of its core assets. They filed suit first in 2007 against Lee and Marvel, which was dismissed. In the following years, lawsuits would be filed in California, Colorado and again in New York. In March 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Crotty tossed the suit for lack of standing and expiration of statute of limitations. He then reaffirmed his decision in August. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet dismissed the latest suit citing that it was simply an attempt to go around Crotty's ruling.