A New York judge has thrown an ongoing $1 billion copyright lawsuit against comic book legend Stan Lee and Marvel Entertainment bosses out of court for a second time.
Lee was taken to court in 2009 by Jose Abadin and Christopher Belland, the shareholders of Stan Lee Media Inc. (SLMI), which was declared bankrupt in 2001.
They claimed Lee had harmed their interests by signing away all his rights in the Marvel Entertainment brand and the copyright to characters including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four and X-Men to the company in 1998 - a year before they became shareholders in SLMI.
U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty dismissed the lawsuit last March (10) after ruling their claim had no legal standing as they did not have shares in the company at the time of the Marvel deal, and slammed the pair for bringing their issues to court almost a decade after acquiring shareholder status.
He also affirmed his decision in August (10), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
However, the suit was filed again, and on Friday (04Feb11), New York Judge Robert Sweet decided to keep Judge Crotty's ruling in place, telling the court, "SLMI's present motion must be regarded as an improper attempt to circumvent Judge Crotty's August 10, 2010 decision and should on that ground be denied."