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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX WED APRIL 16, 2003 18:04:38 ET XXXXX
SEALED PAPERS: MARVEL ASKS COURT TO REVOKE SONY'S 'SPIDERMAN' LICENSE
**Must Credit Drudge Report**
SONY may be on the verge of losing its SPIDERMAN blockbuster franchise, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal, after MARVEL CHARACTERS INC. accuses the Japanese media giant of fraudulent inducement to make a contract and engaging in unfair competition.
Sealed court papers show MARVEL wants to revoke SONY's SPIDERMAN license, it has been learned.
Both sides are set to square off on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court before Judge Alexander Williams III.
The first SPIDERMAN grossed $403,706,375. With a lucrative sequel pending, and a planned SPIDERMAN 3, the case has quickly become top draw on Litigate's Row.
MARVEL wants to revoke the SPIDERMAN license; MARVEL wants injunctive relief, and is asking the court to enjoin SONY from going forward with the SPIDERMAN license, insiders tell DRUDGE.
The loss of SPIDERMAN could affect all of SONY's future financial plans for its U.S. entertainment company.
MARVEL accuses SONY of literally kidnapping Spidey.
MARVEL is not upset about the way SONY made the movies; it's about the way SONY is handling the merchandising.
MARVEL retained merchandising rights but agreed to a joint venture for some of the SPIDERMAN merchandising, insiders say.
In sealed papers, MARVEL says SONY should not continue advertising SPIDERMAN as a SONY character and marketing him as such through a constellation of SONY consumer products.
SONY had courted MARVEL very aggressively to get the licensing rights and promised the merchandising joint venture would not interfere with the comic co's own merchandising.
MARVEL is accusing SONY of doing everything it can to disassociate SPIDERMAN and MARVEL in the minds of retailers.
MARVEL also feels SONY has wrongfully withheld several millions of dollars it is owed.
Filed By Matt Drudge
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