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Mattel Wins “He-Man” Ownership Lawsuit Against Donald Glut

by on March 11, 2014

The Hollywood Reporter notes that toymaker Mattel has won a lawsuit against writer Donald F. Glut over the ownership of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The lawsuit was filed by Mattel last June in response to Glut’s assertions that he created the Masters of the Universe cast and was entitled to copyright ownership of them. Glut was hired by Mattel in 1981 to develop backstory material for the new toyline, and he is credited with four mini-comics that established the basics of the franchise. Glut emerged with his ownership claim during development of a new feature film version of Masters of the Universe underway at Sony, claiming that he had licensed the work to Mattel and the license would expire in 2016. Mattel counter-claimed that Glut’s creations were work-for-hire, and that he had waited too long to assert his ownership rights.

U.S. District Judge Manuel Real declared Mattel the victor in the dispute after both sides brought summary judgment motions and an oral hearing was held last week, with Judge Real supporting claims that Glut’s comics were work-for-hire.

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