Warner Bros wins Superman lawsuit with Jerry Siegel heirs, ‘Man of Steel’ moving forward
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal today ruled in Warner Bros.‘ favor in the long standing copyright battle with the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel that there was a binding agreement in 2001 giving the studio full rights to the superhero character.
The ruling Thursday is basically a green light for Warner Bros. to now move forward with its Superman big screen reboot Man of Steel and other related properties without the specter of further legal action from the creator’s heirs hanging over their heads.
“The district judge erred in granting summary judgment to Larson as to DC’s third and fourth counterclaims. The central issue in these counterclaims is whether the parties reached a binding settlement agreement during their negotiations over the rights to Superman in 2001 and 2002. The district judge, however, failed to address whether the October 19, 2001, letter from Larson’s then-attorney constituted an acceptance of terms negotiated between the parties, and thus was sufficient to create a contract. We hold, as a matter of law, that the October 19, 2001, letter did constitute such an acceptance,” said the trio of judges on the appeal panel today.
The panel then threw the issue back to the district judge to reconsider DC’s other claims.
“Because a judgment on those claims in DC’s favor would appear to render moot all of the other questions in this lawsuit, we decline to address these other issues at this time,” the six-page ruling added.