Stan Lee Subpoenaed in Lawsuit Against Disney Over Marvel Properties
A subpoena was issued earlier this week by the United States District Court in California against Stan Lee in the lawsuit by Stan Lee Media, Inc. (SLMI) against The Walt Disney Company (USDC Colorado, case 12-cv-02663). The multi-billion dollar lawsuit claims that it is SLMI, not Disney/Marvel, that owns the rights to characters that Lee owned, but then transferred to Marvel in the late ’90s. It was prior to this that Lee founded SLMI (which would later fail), the shareholders of which are claiming Lee signed the rights over to them and therefore never had the rights to transfer to Marvel, which would then go own to be owned by Disney, including iconic properties such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, X-Men, Thor and the Incredible Hulk, amongst others.
According to the subpoena, Lee is ordered to offer a deposition in the case on February 19. In addition, Lee is being asked to produce documents including all communication between himself and Disney, Marvel or Stan Lee Media pertaining to the issue as well as communication between SLMI and Disney or Marvel along with financial and corporate information for SLMI, all dating back to 1998.