New York, NY (August 3, 2011) - Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that the firm advised Marvel Entertainment, Inc. in its federal district court victory against the heirs to legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby, co-creator of comics and characters such as the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men.
The ruling by Judge Colleen McMahon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York declared that comics and characters co-created by Mr. Kirby were works for hire under the Copyright Act of 1909, and that the copyrights in these works were owned by Marvel and could not be reclaimed by the Kirby family.
Following The Walt Disney Companys purchase of Marvel in 2009, Mr. Kirby's heirs sent Marvel and Disney notices which purported to terminate alleged grants of copyrights in several series of Marvel comics that were published from 1958 to 1963. After extensive discovery, both sides moved for summary judgment with respect to whether Kirby's heirs could claim any interest in the copyrights in and to the various publications and characters. In Judge McMahons ruling on Thursday, she held that the notices did not operate to convey any federally protected copyrights and granted the motion by Marvel and Disney for summary judgment and declared the termination notices invalid.
The Paul Hastings team was led by Litigation partner Jodi Kleinick
, and included associates Jean Vrola
, Eddie Roman
and Brendan Goodhouse
. Law firms Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Haynes & Boone LLP served as co-counsel.
Paul Hastings LLP is a leading global law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States. We provide innovative legal solutions to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. Please visit www.paulhastings.com for more information.