Ganfer & Shore, LLP Wins Dismissal of Another Suit Against Famed Comic Book Creator Stan Lee

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Effort’s to reclaim intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks against Stan Lee denied once again.

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We are proud to have again defended the reputation and intellectual property of an American icon like Stan Lee

Ganfer & Shore, LLP, a New York City law firm, has defeated another attempt by Stan Lee Media, Inc. (“SLMI”) to pursue claims against famed comic-book writer and editor Stan Lee, in an August 23, 2012 decision by Judge Stephen M. Wilson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

In his 16-page decision, Judge Wilson dismissed a Consolidated Complaint filed by SLMI against Stan Lee, POW! Entertainment, LLC, and QED Productions, LLC. SLMI’s complaint asserted that SLMI owns the intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks, to dozens of iconic characters created or co-created by Stan Lee during his more than 50-year career in the comic book industry, including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the Hulk, and the X-Men, among others.

Judge Wilson, in his decision, dismissed all of SLMI’s claims based on the doctrine of “res judicata,” which prohibits a party from bringing a lawsuit based on claims that have already been resolved in another suit. Here, Judge Wilson found that substantially identical claims were asserted on SLMI’s behalf in a prior action brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. That action was dismissed on March 31, 2010 by Judge Paul A. Crotty, based on the applicable statutes of limitations and other grounds. Agreeing with Judge Crotty’s observation in 2010 that “it [was] time to call a halt” to SLMI’s multiple litigations, Judge Wilson “concludes that there is a compelling public interest in bringing this matter to a close.”

SLMI’s purported claims arose from Stan Lee’s short-lived business association with that company. Mr. Lee terminated his relationship with SLMI more than eleven years ago, after learning that the company’s co-founder, Peter F. Paul, was a convicted felon and was using SLMI to commit fraud. Paul later pleaded guilty to a felony charge of federal securities fraud based on his manipulating the trading in SLMI stock and is currently incarcerated. Nonetheless, Paul and others presently or formerly associated with him have orchestrated a series of lawsuits against Mr. Lee and others. Judge Wilson’s decision rejects another in a series of attempts by SLMI to assert these contentions.

“We are proud to have again defended the reputation and intellectual property of an American icon like Stan Lee,” says Steven J. Shore, managing partner of Ganfer & Shore, LLP who led the firm’s representation of Mr. Lee. Also involved in the case were partner Ira Brad Matetsky and associate William A. Jaskola, working together with attorneys in California and Colorado.

About Ganfer & Shore, LLP
Ganfer & Shore, LLP, offers the skill and sophistication of a large law firm with the service and responsiveness of a small firm. Because it is a small firm, Ganfer & Shore, LLP is able to deliver legal services at a significantly lower cost than a large law firm.

Ganfer & Shore's predecessor firm was founded in 1979. The firm consists of eight partners, ten associates and one of counsel, with offices located in New York City. With its legal support staff and other personnel, the firm has approximately 35 employees.

Ganfer & Shore, LLP is a member of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms.

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Derek N. Hoeft

Steven J. Shore, Esq.
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