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Superman legal battle won by Warner Bros.

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Superman (CNN Photo)

Superman belongs to Warner Bros., according to the latest legal victory granting the film and television studio complete commercial control of the lucrative Superman franchise, the Associated Press is reporting.

A three-judge panel unanimously ruled on Thursday the heirs of Superman’s co-creator Jerome Siegel must abide by a letter written in 2001 that was written by the family’s attorney that stated an acceptance of Warner Bros.’ offer for their 50 percent share of Superman.

While the five-page letter was never an official contract, the appeals court found the letter was “binding.”

“Statements from the attorneys for both parties establish that the parties had undertaken years of negotiations, that they had resolved the last outstanding point in the deal during a conversation on Oct. 15, 2001, and that the letter accurately reflected the material terms they had orally agreed to on that day,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the panel.

The ruling on Thursday undoes a 2008 trial court decision ordering Warner Bros. to share an undetermined amount of money earned since 1999 with the heirs.

According to, the court cited a lawsuit involving the Winklevoss brothers and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, where the twins claimed Zuckerberg and Facebook stole their idea.

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