You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tsuburaya wins ‘Ultraman’ battle

Court rules in favor of company

TOKYO — Thailand’s Supreme Court has ruled for Japan’s Tsuburaya Prods. in its 10-year suit against a local businessman who claimed to have rights to its iconic and highly lucrative “Ultraman” sci-fi franchise.

On Tuesday Sompote Saengduenchai was ordered to pay a 10.7 million baht ($350,000) fine plus 7.5% interest per year starting from Dec. 16, 1997, when the original lawsuit was filed. He was also ordered to quit the “Ultraman” biz within 30 days.

Saengduenchai, who claimed he co-created the character, said he signed a deal with Tsuburaya in 1976 giving him rights to “Ultraman” outside Japan. As chairman of Tsuburaya Chaiyo, he has been profiting from merchandising and royalties.

Tsuburaya Prods. filed a suit in Thai copyright court against Saengduenchai in 1997 and challenged a 2000 court ruling that backed Saengduenchai’s claim while conceding Tsuburaya Prods.’ ownership of the franchise.

The case went to the Supreme Court, which found Saengduenchai’s contract to be invalid and ruled that he did not co-create the character.  

“Ultraman” began life as a 1966 live-action show in which Ultraman and his family from the M-78 nebula battled aliens intent on harming humanity. The original show has since spawned TV follow-ups, toon series and theatrical features.

More Biz

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Some Weinstein Accusers Balk at $30 Million Settlement

    Updated: Some of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are balking at a proposed $30 million settlement of their harassment claims, which could scuttle the deal, Variety has learned. Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case told Judge Mary Walrath on Thursday that they are close to a global resolution of the civil litigation. The accusers, their lawyers [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Accusers Near Settlement in Bankruptcy Case

    Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case say they are getting close to reaching a settlement that would compensate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers. The company went bankrupt last year, as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and numerous civil suits on behalf of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The company sold to Lantern [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content