Zap 2 It 3/3/03
Fox, Marvel Settle 'Mutant X' Lawsuit
Monday, March 03, 2003 10:00 PM PT
Marvel Enterprises and 20th Century Fox have settled a lawsuit over the syndicated TV series "Mutant X." The suit, which Fox filed in early 2001, claimed that the show bore too close a resemblance to Fox's "X-Men" movie to be a coincidence. The studio also filed claims against producers Tribune Entertainment (a division of Zap2it's parent company) and Fireworks Entertainment.
Fox and Marvel say they have now "amicably settled their differences," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The suits against Tribune and Fireworks, however, will continue.
In the suit, 20th Century Fox claimed that "Mutant X" violated the studio's exclusive rights to the "X-Men" characters, featured in a hit 2000 movie and a sequel due in May.
In August 2001, a New York judge ruled that the show's producers had violated Fox's rights to "X-Men" by using the title "Mutant X," but didn't force the title to be changed. The judge also turned down Fox's request for an injunction that would have stopped production of the series.
"Mutant X" was recently picked up for a third season. It reaches about three-fourths of the country's TV homes in syndication.
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Mutant X Suit Settled Between Fox and Marvel
March 04, 2003
Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Enterprises announced that they've settled the lawsuit filed by Fox over the Mutant X television show (see "Fox Sues Marvel Over Mutant X") almost two years ago. Terms of the deal are confidential, but are "designed to put the lawsuit behind and expand the relationship between Fox and Marvel." Fox filed the suit because it had the exclusive TV rights to X-Men projects, and it alleged that Mutant X was too close to X-Men. In August of 2001, a court ruling allowed the show to go forward, but also determined that the title infringed on Fox's rights. Because of the lawsuit, there had been no licensing of the property, although ADV recently acquired the DVD rights (see "ADV Snags Video Rights for Mutant X").
Excerpt from Marvel 4/8/03
Marvel Enterprises Inc. 2002 Annual Report
The Company licenses Marvel characters for use in television programs. In 2000, Marvel Licensing began production of X-Men Evolution, a half-hour animated show. This is distributed by Warner Brothers and currently appears on the WB Kids! network and foreign television stations. In 2001, a live action show entitled Mutant X began airing on syndicated television.
X-Men Litigation. In April 2001, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (“Fox”) sued Marvel, Tribune Entertainment Co., Fireworks Communications, Inc. and Fireworks Television (US), Inc. in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, seeking an injunction and damages for alleged breach of the 1993 XMen movie license, unfair competition, copyright infringement and tortious interference with a contract arising from the Mutant X television show being produced by Tribune and Fireworks under license from Marvel which was released in the fall of 2001. On the same day Fox filed the foregoing suit, Marvel commenced an action against Fox in the same court seeking a declaratory judgment that the license of the Mutant X title and certain Marvel characters did not breach the 1993 X-Men movie license with Fox. Both suits were consolidated. The case was settled in February 2003. The settlement included an extension of time during which Fox may exploit its rights in the “XMen”, “Daredevil”, and “Fantastic Four” properties. Additionally, the settlement expanded the relationship between Fox and Marvel whereby the parties will negotiate up to three new film and television deals for additional Marvel properties during the next two years.