Stan Lee's interests in characters, including Spider-Man, are the subject of a lawsuit between defunct Internet company Stan Lee Media and Walt Disney Co.

Stan Lee's interests in characters, including Spider-Man, are the subject of a lawsuit between defunct Internet company Stan Lee Media and Walt Disney Co. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / October 10, 2012)

Stan Lee Media, an Internet company that shut down more than a decade ago and has been mired in litigation ever since, has filed a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Walt Disney Co.

The complaint was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Colorado, where Stan Lee Media -- co-founded by the famous Marvel Comics writer, who is no longer an officer of the company -- is headquartered. It claims that a contract signed by Lee in 1998 assigned his rights to all of his comic book creations, including Spider-Man, the X-Men and most members of super-team Avengers, to Stan Lee Media.

"The true facts are that Stan Lee Media Inc. owns the copyrights to Stan Lee's creations," the complaint states. "Accordingly, Stan Lee Media Inc. is entitled to the billions of dollars of profits that have been kept by Defendant Disney."

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-- Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times