DC Comics has filed suit against Marc Toberoff, the lawyer who successfully regained the copyright to SUPERMAN for the heirs of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, reports VARIETY . The suit states that as a financial participant in the settlement Toberoff is violating the company's rights to exploit the property.
Toberoff claims that his financial participation is simply his legal fee and that the lawsuit is "desperate, ludicrous and frivolous."
DC Comics alleges that Toberoff's 47.5% share in the SUPERMAN copyright prevents DC from negotiating freely with the Siegel and Shuster heirs, who hold 27.5% and 25%, respectively, to continue to use the Man of Steel character. The lawsuit also names Pacific Pictures Corp., Shuster estate rep Mark Warren Peary and Joanne Siegel.
In 2008, the heirs recaptured the rights to Superman, Clark Kent, Lois Lane and the Daily Planet, which were all part of Superman's first appearance in Action Comics #1. DC Comics, however, claims that the "vast majority" of the Superman character developed after Action Comics #1 remains its copyright. But Toberoff alleges the heirs should gain control of the full SUPERMAN copyright in 2013 and if DC Comics' parent Warner Bros. doesn't have a new SUPERMAN film into production by 2011 that his clients can sue for damages.