Shareholders of a failed Stan Lee venture are seeking more than $750 million from the creator of characters such as Spiderman, X-men and Iron man, Stan Lee and others.
The lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan court, claims profits from Lee's creations belong to Stan Lee Media Inc shareholders.
The suit claims Lee and others violated Stan Lee Media's copyright interests and seeks profits from all properties, including films based on Lee's creations made after 1998.
Stan Lee had helped found Stan Lee Media, an online comic site in the late 1990s. The company later went into bankruptcy with several of its officers arrested on charges of manipulation of stock price.
Lee was never implicated; however suits were filed in New York, Colorado and Los Angeles against the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2006.
In 2007, Stan Lee Media was sued by Lee for copyright infringement and other claims. Last year, Lee's lawyers denied, in a document, that he gave the company copyright interests in characters he created during his Marvel career.
The lawsuit names Lee, his wife, New York based Marvel Entertainment Inc, and former Marvel chief executive Avi Arad as defendents. Filed by lawyer Martin Garbus representing four shareholders living in Florida, California and Canada aims, the suit aims at reclaiming money for all shareholders of SLMI.
The allegations were immediately dismissed as being full of "ridiculous claims" by Marvel. It also said several of the claims had been been pursued in previous cases.
However, Garbus said the suit's claims are different from the ones previously pursued with different money being involved.
He said he suspected Lee deprived Stan Lee Media of the bumper profits generated by movies such as "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" trilogies. He added that Lee who once sued Marvel over profits from his creations, entered into a deal with it depriving SLMI of its rightful share of the profits from the movies.
Meanwhile Lee's attorney, Mark W Willians said they look forward to a positive resolution of the case for Stan Lee and his family.