Stan Lee Media Inc. (SLMI) has reportedly filed a lawsuit over the rights to the character of Conan the Barbarian, as portrayed in the recent released film by Paradox Entertainment.
SLMI, the company set up by iconic comic book creator Stan Lee but now operating independently of him, is currently in the process of rebuilding itself after filing for bankruptcy in a rather messy case back in 2001.
The lawsuit was filed by SLMI on the same day as the film Conan the Barbarian was released in US cinemas, and alleges that Paradox does not properly own the rights to the character. It is claimed that the transfer of the character is invalid, because lawyers working on the company’s bankruptcy did not give SLMI a proper opportunity to protect its own interests by objecting to the transfer.
Paradox Entertainment, which is likely to have professional indemnity insurance in place for intellectual property cases of this kind, refutes the allegations.
Fred Fierst, general counsel for Paradox, said:
“Since acquiring the Conan intellectual property, Paradox has spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars perfecting its worldwide trademark and copyright registration program, and we stand firmly behind our chain of title.
“At this time we believe that the allegations against Paradox and its CEO are frivolous, and will most likely be dismissed on statute of limitations, and other grounds.”