Marvel wins lawsuit over ownership of superheroes
July 28, 2011 1 Comment
X-Men, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man are some of the most well-known superheroes and Marvel Worldwide Inc. can now claim full ownership.
Heirs to artist Jack Kirby claim that they are entitled to the copyrights and sued Marvel. Kirby played a key role in creating the characters for Marvel between 1958 and 1963.
Comics and characters at issue were, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men, The Avengers, Ant-Man, Nick Fury and The Rawhide Kid.
The Judge ruled that they and other Marvel Worldwide Inc. superheroes will remain the property of the company.
The judge also cited statements made by the artist before his death in 1994 that his creations must remain Marvel’s property.
A 1986 affidavit that he did his work at a time when it was common practice that vested ownership of his creations belonged to the company that paid him to draw.
She said he Kirby signed an agreement in 1972, long after the creation of the characters, admitting he was not entitled to ownership of the work.
Marvel claimed the work was done “for hire,” a legal term that would render the heirs’ claims invalid.