Stan Lee Media are to enter litigation against Disney over the rights to some Marvel characters, including Spider Man and Iron Man. The lawsuit is seeking seeking "billions of dollars of profits,” reports Reuters.

Disney bought Marvel Enterprises, which had been renamed Marvel Entertainment, for $4.3 billion 2009, but Stan Lee, a man no longer involved in the company, had created many of Marvel’s most loved characters. The company claims Lee assigned it his rights to those characters in 1998 but then agreed a month later to assign the same rights to Marvel Enterprises. "The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee," the suit alleges. "Those representations made to the public by the Walt Disney Company are false." The suit asserts that Stan Lee Media owns the rights "to the billions of dollars that Disney has generated, or allowed others to generate."

Here’s what Disney have had to say on the matter: "This lawsuit is without merit," they said in a statement. "It arises out of the same core facts and legal claims that have been rejected by three federal district court judges." The Avengers will be heavily implicated, as not only does the film contain most of the characters in question, but it also grossed $1.5 billion in worldwide sales. This could get messy.