Few New York fans of superhero comics do not recognize the name Stan Lee. Working with legendary artists, Lee created many of the comic book heroes now regaining popularity in blockbuster motion pictures, such as the Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, the X-Men and Thor. He also co-founded POW! Entertainment, a holding corporation for Lee’s creative works. That company is now facing intellectual property litigation since Stan Lee has filed suit against its co-founders.
The entertainment legend sold POW! to a company from China in 2017, and the new company placed one of Lee’s former partner’s in the president’s seat. The 95-year-old Stan Lee claims that his former partners had asked him for nonexclusive rights to his name. However, his lawsuit says the new company used fraudulent means to convince Lee he was signing another type of contract.
In reality, Lee says the men took advantage of his poor eyesight to obtain his signature on a document granting them rights to use Lee’s famous name at their discretion. Additionally, the contract allows the new company to control Stan Lee’s social media accounts. Lee wants the court to deny the company those rights. He is also seeking at least $1 billion in damages.
Intellectual property litigation allows artists to seek restitution when others wrongfully take advantage of their works. Because the laws related to intellectual property are complex and evolving, it can be risky to handle such situations without a skilled attorney. The assistance of a lawyer with experience in IP law can be invaluable.
Source: Fortune, “Marvel’s Stan Lee Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against POW“, Don Reisinger, May 16, 2018