Disney joins Marvel's fight with Jack Kirby

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Disney joins Marvel's fight with Jack Kirby

Wed May 26, 2010 @ 10:47AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

6a00d83451d69069e20120a93ba415970b After spending $4 billion to acquire Marvel Entertainment last year, the Walt Disney Co. is now weighing in on a case that threatens some of the company's most lucrative intellectual property.

On Monday, Disney filed a memo in support of Marvel's attempts to dismiss copyright claims by the Jack Kirby estate.  Family members of the comic book icon are attempting to terminate a copyright grant to Marvel on such valuable works as Iron Man, X-Men, the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man.

How much money is at stake in this case? Disney doesn't say, asking a New York District Court to hold off on ordering an accounting of profits on these franchises because Kirby's underlying copyright ownership claim hasn't been validated yet. 

The court papers also take up such issues as whether Kirby's original artwork should be turned over, whether Kirby should have been credited in connection with "The Incredible Hulk" and "X-Men" films. Disney also believes the Kirby estate claims are barred by statute of limitations. 

Read the full memorandum after the jump.


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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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