Oct 10, 2012 10:42 AM EST

Who Owns Marvel Superheroes?

Who Owns Marvel Superheroes?
Stan Lee Media, Inc. is suing the Walt Disney Company for the $5.5 billion it says that the company has made from films and merchandise based on characters that Stan Lee created.  
 
While the Walt Disney Company bought Marvel for $4 billion back in 2009, Stan Lee Media is claiming that the  "Defendant The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee. Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false," and that they are seeking "the maximum statutory damages allowable" plus full control over Iron Man, Spider-Man and other characters. The company is also seeking a jury trial.
 
Some of the characters included in the alleged infringement are  Iron Man, Spider-Man, most of The Avengers and The X-Men.

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