Today, Marvel Comics and Sony Pictures have announced a settlement to their ongoing litigation regarding the character merchandising rights to Spider-Man. This began in February of 2003. The nature of the complaint was filed under seal, so no specific details were released, other than a brief statement from Marvel. Today the two companies announced a settlement of the litigation and offered the following release.
MARVEL AND SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT SETTLE LITIGATION
NEW YORK - June 1, 2004 -Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) announced that the Company and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (SPE) have amicably resolved their pending court disputes. Pursuant to the settlement, Marvel will undertake additional responsibilities with respect to Spider-Man Merchandising L.P., the joint venture through which Marvel and SPE license merchandising rights with respect to Spider-Man motion pictures. As a result, Marvel will be required to consolidate into its own financial statements the financial results of the joint venture's operations. While the consolidation will increase Marvel's licensing revenues and operating expenses starting in the second quarter of 2004, Marvel is maintaining its current 2004 operating income guidance at this time.
The two companies will continue their successful relationship on future chapters of Spider-Man, including Spider-Man 3, currently slated for release on May 4, 2007, as well as other previously announced development projects based on Marvel characters, such as Luke Cage and Ghost Rider, slated for release in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Additional details will not be provided at this time.