Stan Lee, co-creator of such characters as "Spider-Man" and "The Hulk," could be about to lay a mighty blow on Marvel Enterprises Inc.'s (MVL) pocket book.
A judge in Manhattan federal court has ruled that Lee, chairman emeritus at the comic-book publisher, is entitled to 10 percent of the profits from movie and television productions involving Marvel characters, as well as movie-related toys manufactured and sold by the company itself.
It also determined that a claim to share profits from Marvel's ventures with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Universal Studios to produce Spider-Man (search) and Incredible Hulk (search) merchandise will have to be resolved by jury verdict.
"This is pretty much a sweeping victory for us," said Lee's attorney Howard Graff of the firm Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky of New York.
Responding Wednesday, Marvel noted the court rejected Lee's claim to share in money from third-party manufacturers of movie-based merchandise.
"We intend to appeal those matters on which we did not prevail and to continue to contest vigorously the claims on which the court did not rule," Marvel General Counsel John Turitzin said in a statement Wednesday. He said the ruling would not affect the company's financial forecasts.
Shares of New York-based Marvel fell 47 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $17.76 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.