The company Stan Lee founded is now battling the late Marvel legend's daughter and sole heir for the rights to his extremely valuable name, likeness, and ideas, according to TMZ on Friday.
Stan Lee Entertainment (SLE) claims that it is suing Joan Celia Lee for trying to capitalise on her father's legacy without the legal right to do so, despite being the only heir to his fortune, claiming she has failed to protect SLE's legal hold on its right to Stan's intellectual property.
The company also accused POW! Entertainment, another media production company partly set up by Lee, for "interloping" or attempting to "loot SLE's intellectual property."
The company claims that as a trustee for the Lee Family Survivor's Trust, Joan has a "duty to vindicate the rights" of SLE against organisations like POW! trying to steal her father's ideas.
SLE are asking the court to force Joan to uphold her signatory to the trust and defend SLE against POW! and other entities as well as a declaration that SLE is the rightful owner of Stan's creations.
The company Stan Lee founded in 1998, which is an animation publishing and entertainment company, was given full legal rights to his name, likeness, ideas, characters, stories, logos, and more, effectively rendering the entirety of Lee's legacy, even his ideas, to SLE.
After her father's death, Joan began a lawsuit against POW! Entertainment in September of this year following reports of elder abuse by Lee's former manager, Keya Morgan, who has since been arrested on the charge.
The complaint states "By this lawsuit, Stan Lee's heir and Estate seek to perform the covenant Stan Lee made with his namesake company and remedy the wrongs inflicted by trusted business associates over the last two decades."
"It is intended to restore the rights he assigned to the namesake company he founded when he was liberated from a 60-year career with Marvel Comics, the comic book company he founded and creatively directed to become the preeminent Superhero entertainment company in the world."
The suit continues to accuse Gill Champion and Arthur Lieberman for allegedly "misleading" Lee into reassigning rights "on no less than 6 occasions."
"When Stan Lee died in November 2017, his daughter, as his only heir and Trustee of his Estate, gathered a forensic team of lawyers and accountants to investigate the facts surrounding the actions of Stan Lee's supposed partners with whom Lee had stopped communicating during the last year of his life."
"In so doing, it was learned the extent to which the rights to Stan Lee's intellectual property had been looted, muddied and entangled by POW! and a range of bad actors enabled by POW!"
The Marvel comics creator had himself dropped a $1 billion lawsuit against POW! for using his name and likeness before he passed away in November 2018 at the age of 95.
Lee also entered into a legal battle with Stan Lee Entertainment for the rights to iconic superheroes such as Iron Man and Thor in 2011, after numerous bi-coastal lawsuits throughout which the company claimed it had been assigned Stan Lee's intellectual property in 1998, months before his deal with Marvel Entertainment.