According to reports, Marvel filed an action in Manhattan court today to petition a judge to invalidate claims by the family of Spidey’s co-creator, Jack Kirby. Kirby’s family sent out several dozen notices last year to several companies including Marvel, claiming that they are entitled ownership to Kirby’s creations under copyright law. In addition to Spidey, other hot properties such as the Fantastic Four and the X-Men are in play.
Marvel claims that the characters were created under ‘work-for-hire’ and have complete ownership to the properties.
Marvel’s main competitor, DC Comics, has already lost a portion of its rights to one of its largest properties, Superman, and will lose control of him completely in 2013.