When last we heard about the ongoing Jack Kirby Estate vs. Disney/Marvel lawsuit, the company had won summary judgements against the estate and appeals were being planned. Today, the estate filed an official notice of appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal.
“We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling and intend to appeal this matter to the Second Circuit,” the estate’s lawyer Marc Toberoff told The Hollywood Reporter. “Sometimes you have to lose in order to win.”
With the suit, the Kirby Estate is attempting to terminate early copyright grants of more than 45 characters including Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer and Thor . According to THR, the estate sent notices to Marvel not just Marvel but its licensees Sony (Spider-Man), Fox (X-Men), Universal and others.
“Marvel then sued in New York federal court claiming Kirby’s creations were ‘works for hire’ and thus not subject to termination,” wrote THR. “The two sides filed summary judgment motions, and last month the circuit court sided with Marvel, ruling that Kirby created the characters as works for hire.”
Deadline added, “Normally these kinds of lawsuits are run of the mill for Hollywood. But not when they’re litigated by Toberoff, who is the bane of Big Media studios because he has a winning track record.” Needless to say, a win for the Kirby Estate here could potentially impact the Marvel brand irreparably.