Marvel is suing to prevent losing copyrights to many key Avengers characters, including Spider-Man, Iron Man and Black Widow.
The comic book powerhouse filed five lawsuits on Friday that challenge multiple copyright termination notices that have been filed by the heirs of Marvel comics writers, seeking to reclaim the rights to the likes of Iron Man, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Falcon.
Marvel is arguing that since the characters were created under “work for hire” arrangements, the heirs have no valid claim to those copyrights. The suits were filed against Lawrence D. Lieber, Patrick S. Ditko, Michelle Hart-Rico and Buz Donato Rico III, and Keith A. Dettweiler.
“Since these were works made for hire and thus owned by Marvel, we filed these lawsuits to confirm that the termination notices are invalid and of no legal effect,” said Dan Petrocelli, Counsel to Marvel.
Patrick Ditko is the brother of Steve Ditko, who co-created Spider-Man and Dr. Strange.