Stan Lee Media seeks return of rights
Just as the latest “Conan the Barbarian” movie was premiering at the multiplex, the character’s former owner was making a move to get the rights back.Stan Lee Media Inc., the successor to the company that went bust nearly a decade ago (and no longer includes its namesake), filed suit on Friday against Paradox Entertainment and others involved in the latest “Conan” movie, seeking rights to the character and proceeds from the movie and other exploitation of the character since 2002. It claims that the transfer of the character back then was void as the company was going through bankruptcy proceedings. Fredrik Malmberg, CEO of Paradox, said he had not yet received the complaint but that the litigation was “completely baseless” and a “frivolous lawsuit.” “We, of course, will vigorously defend ourselves,” he said. Malmberg is among those named in the suit along with Arthur Lieberman, who was the attorney for Stan Lee Media before and during the bankruptcy case. Stan Lee Media Inc., however, now contends that because Lieberman also was a shareholder of Conan Sales Co., which reacquired the rights to the character in 2002, he stood to benefit from a settlement of bankruptcy claims, including what happened to the popular character. The suit also contends that Stan Lee Media Inc.’s shareholders received no notice of the settlement over the rights to the character.