On Friday, Marvel Entertainment ended the long feud with the estate of comic book legend Jack Kirby. They announced a settlement just days before a conference was scheduled in the United States Supreme Court. A joint statement from Marvel and Kirby's family stated "Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby's significant role in Marvel's history." The case involved the legal rights to several characters including Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, and many others and termination notices were sent to licensees Sony, Fox, and Universal studios. The case never actually went to any trial. Judges, including the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, determined that Kirby's work in the 1950s and '60s were "work made for hire" and dubbed the "Marvel Method" and that Marvel Comics were considered the statutory author. Various unions and intellectual property observers, who hoped for some legal clarity, will have to wait till the next similar case to see what the Supreme Court will decide. The terms of the agreement will be revealed at a later date.


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