Marvel & Sony untie legal knots

Companies say court disputes amicably resolved

A year after Marvel Enterprises filed a $50 million suit against Sony Pictures, claiming Sony had hijacked Spider-Man by doing everything in its power to dissociate Marvel from the webbed hero in the minds of retailers, the two companies have made up.

On Thursday a joint statement was issued by the companies, saying they had “amicably resolved their pending court disputes.”

Statement also stressed their collaboration on upcoming film projects such as future chapters of “Spider-Man” and pics “Ghost Rider” and “Luke Cage,” all of which are based on Marvel Comics characters.

Details of the resolution were not disclosed, pursuant to the terms of the agreement.

Marvel’s Spidey suit was followed by Sony’s countersuit, alleging Marvel was using the litigation to force an unjustified renegotiation of its agreement with Sony. The case then was sent before a private judge.

That was not the only spat, however.

Last June, Marvel sued Sony Electronics, claiming the company had refused to license Spider-Man for use on its consumer electronics products and that it instructed sister company Sony Pictures not to license Spider-Man to any of Sony Electronics’ competitors. The tortious interference suit sought in excess of $10 million in damages.

Then in January Marvel sued again, this time claiming Sony employed “Hollywood accounting” to deprive it of merchandising royalties on “Men in Black” to the tune of $6 million.

A Sony spokeswoman said all cases were included in the resolution.

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