Marvel Awaits Word on Two Cases Before the Supreme Court

Marvel ComicsWhile much of the talk about the Supreme Court is around their decision in the Hobby Lobby case, there’s actually two cases impacting the comic book industry. Marvel Comics has two cases that might be heard before the Supreme Court, but the decision of whether or not it’ll be heard has yet to be decided.

Lisa R. Kirby, et al., Petitioners v. Marvel Characters, Incorporated, et al. is a case many creators are waiting to see what happens. Much of it is around the idea of work for hire and who has the rights during those creations. This one revolves around the work Jack Kirby did while working for Marvel Comics. At stake is the fate of some of the most beloved comic book characters out there.

Supreme CourtWhile numerous amicus curiae have been submitted by those interested in the case, there likely won’t be any movement in the case until after July 14, 2014. In late May, the Supreme Court issued an “order extending time to file response to petition to and including July 14, 2014.” After July 14, a conference will be held by the Supreme Court, and at some point we’ll hear the fate of this case, whether it’ll be further argued before the court, or not heard at all.

What’s flown under the radar is another case, Stephen Kimble, et al., Petitioners v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc. This case involves toys and whether the petitioner is getting the correct royalties for the design concerning a webshooter toy. Law360 has an excellent break down of the case so far.

The last update for this case was on June 2, when the “Solicitor General is invited to file a brief in this case expressing the views of the United States.” So, the court is awaiting some more information before it decides what to do.

While this past session of the Supreme Court had a lot for all Americans, it’s possible the next session might have not just two cases surrounding the comic book world, but two cases involving Marvel.

We’ll keep you updated as to where everything stands.

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