Stan Lee’s daughter sanctioned for wearing frivolous costume to reclaim superhero rights – The Hollywood Reporter
“Stan Lee, a full-fledged superhero, inspired the everyday hero. The Court urges parties to treat his heritage with respect and to stop engaging in baseless litigation. “
The quote comes from the conclusion of the scathing order of United States District Court Judge Otis Wright on Thursday dismissing a lawsuit brought by JC Lee.
Last September, nearly a year after the comic book genius died at the age of 95, his daughter brought a costume attempting to reclaim much of his father’s intellectual property. The complaint concerned the period of Stan Lee’s life beginning in the mid-90s when he split from Marvel and, during the height of the dot com boom, started a production and marketing company and he assigned intellectual property. A few years later, this entity – Stan Lee Media Inc. – filed for bankruptcy and Lee switched to POW! Entertainment and, possibly, reunion with Marvel.
JC Lee alleged that some of the deals made around the turn of the century were shady and that some of the assets were wrongly misappropriated from SLMI. She also alleged that POW! took advantage of his father during the last years of his life.
Justice Wright has seen enough. He says that the validity of Stan Lee’s 1998 agreement granting rights to SLMI has already been challenged on several occasions, and that the courts have already come to a conclusion on invalidity and the proper termination of such a contract. Like the board of directors and shareholders of SLMI, JC Lee is on the losing side.
But it doesn’t end there as the judge points out how JC Lee concedes that she “joined forces” with SLMI before agreeing with the defendants that her complaint was frivolous. “The Court finds it totally unreasonable to bring an action on the basis of an issue debated and analyzed in more than five federal district courts over the past decade,” said the opinion.
Lee is punished to the tune of a million dollars, which will also cost his lawyers led by senior lawyer Jonathan Freund. The judge found them jointly and severally liable for $ 250,000 of the amount after fundamentally rejecting the idea that they believed this case had great merit.
Responding to the development, POW! President Gill Champion said, “We feel justified by the court ruling today,” adding, “We are happy to finally put this ugly litigation behind us and move on to preserving the legacy of this great man. and by developing the vast inventory of intellectual property that it has left behind. POW’s commitment! to honor and preserve the legacy of Stan Lee has not wavered and will not falter.