DENVER – A Colorado company lost its latest fight against Disney over the rights to Marvel’s iconic comic book characters Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled it could not claim ownership to certain superheroes such as Spider-Man and Iron Man.
In its decision, a panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Stan Lee Media, which sought profits from the $5.5 billion the company says Disney made from movies and merchandise featuring Marvel’s superheros.
Disney bought Marvel in 2009.
Stan Lee Media no longer is affiliated with comic book writer Stan Lee. But the company argued it had the rights to at least some of the characters under a 1998 agreement. Lee later sent Stan Lee Media a letter terminating the agreement because the company had breached the deal. He gave the same rights to Marvel, spawning the series of courtroom battles.
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