Disney is Sued for Billions, But It's Not Them That Needs a Hero
Stan Lee Media Inc (SLMI) is definitely wishing that Lee had come up with some kind of jurisdictory-super-hero in their many times of need over many years of many law suits... alas, no such entity exists, either between the pages of a graphic novel, comic or indeed in real life. Stan Lee Media, a company that was shut down years ago and is no longer affiliated with Stan Lee, is suing Disney (again) for billions of dollars over a disagreement in regard to the rights to the Marvel characters created by Lee decades ago.
According to the LA Times, the complaints state “The true facts are that Stan Lee Media Inc. owns the copyrights to Stan Lee's creations... Accordingly, Stan Lee Media Inc. is entitled to the billions of dollars of profits that have been kept by Defendant Disney." The complaint goes on, saying “[I]n November, 1998, Stan Lee signed a written agreement with Marvel Enterprises, Inc. in which he purportedly assigned to Marvel the rights to the Characters. However, Lee no longer owned those rights since they had been assigned to SLEI previously. Accordingly, the Marvel agreement actually assigned nothing.”
Business inside reports that “The company is seeking damages of $5.5 billion for copyright infringement citing Disney's use characters "Iron Man 2," "Thor," "X-Men: First Class," "The Avengers," and "The Amazing Spider-Man" in films amounting to box office receipts of $3.5 billion.” All of this seems fairly legitimate from the outset, however, legally they have no leg to stand on, all due to a small loophole in the law called 'res judicata' which is basically the same as no man 'can be tried for the same crime twice' or indeed more than twice as SLMI have sued Disney and Lee himself numerous times. Given that the Avengers are purportedly owned by Disney, there'll be no-one to avenge the case for SLMI for now.