Marvel co-founder and comic book legend Stan Lee dismissed his $1 billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment for fraud and conversion, less than two months after filing the suit in the first place.
“The whole thing has been confusing to everyone, including myself and the fans, but I am now happy to be surrounded by those who want the best for me,” Lee said in a statement. “I am thrilled to put the lawsuit behind me, get back to business with my friends and colleagues at POW! and launch the next wave of amazing characters and stories!”
Lee claimed the company and a handful of its employees had conspired to steal his identity, name and likeness in a scheme involving a “sham” sale to a Chinese company. He filed the complaint in May in Los Angeles County Superior Court, In that complaint, Lee claimed that Duffy and Champion, along with his former business manager Jerardo Olivarez, asked him to sign a non-exclusive license with POW! in order for them to be able to use Lee’s name and brand in connection with numerous works owned by the company. Instead, what he signed was a “fraudulent” intellectual property assignment agreement that granted POW! “the exclusive right to use Lee’s name, identity, image and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity.”
According to the original complaint, Lee has been selective about licensing his name and likeness and will only authorize the use on a non-exclusive basis. In addition, he claimed POW! took control of his social media accounts and had been impersonating him.
POW! CEO Shane Duffy stated that the company is “ecstatic that this ill-founded lawsuit has been dismissed and we look forward to working with Stan again to develop and produce the great projects that were put on hold when the lawsuit was filed. We recently got together with Stan to discuss our path forward and we and Camsing are pleased with his overwhelmingly enthusiastic reaction.”
Back in April, the company released a letter with their intention to stand by and protect Lee. It stated they were concerned about “the upheaval within Lee’s personal management and life” following allegations of elder abuse to those close to Lee. POW! additionally stated on Monday said it would deal with anyone who attempts to interfere with Lee’s well-being and relationship with POW! with necessary legal action to prevent anything like this from happening again.