Sony Patches It Up with Spidey's Parent

06/02/2004 at 03:00 PM EDT



Those Jerry Seinfeld TV ads featuring Superman's feud with the Green Lantern may be a big joke, but the very unfunny legal dispute between Marvel Comics and Sony Pictures over Spider-Man merchandise has finally been settled, reports Variety.

Both sides released a joint statement saying they had "amicably resolved their pending court disputes."

The timing of the settlement could not be better: The new Spider-Man 2 movie, with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, opens across North America on June 30.

The battle between the giants began in February 2003, when Marvel sued Sony for $50 million amid claims that the movie company violated an agreement by using the web-slinging super-hero to promote other Sony products. Sony followed with a countersuit that claimed Marvel was the one that breached their deal.

The suing didn't stop there. Last June, Marvel sued Sony Electronics for more than $10 million, claiming the company had refused to license Spider-Man for use on its consumer electronics products and that it had instructed its movie division not to license Spider-Man to any rival electronics companies.

Then in January Marvel sued again, this time claiming Sony's "Hollywood accounting" allegedly cheated the comic company out of $6 million in merchandising royalties it was due on Men in Black.

A Sony spokeswoman told Variety that all the pending litigation was resolved.

In the companies' statement – financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, by mutual consent – Marvel and Sony stressed their collaboration on such upcoming projects as future chapters of Spider-Man and the other Marvel-inspired movies, Ghost Rider and Luke Cage.

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