Marvel looks to one-up DC in Alan Moore rage department, now sole owner of Miracle Man/Marvelman rights.
Source: Oh Danny Boy
Danny Best over at Oh Danny Boy! blog has posted the documents from the final round of trademark filings in this long running case. On-going from the 80's, this case has been one of the longest running copyright court battles in history. Marvel had laid claim to owning the Marvelman copyright years ago, but the character had also been named as Miracleman to differentiate American and English publishing rights. The creators of the seires eventually regained the rights after the publisher went out of business and one of them sold his share to Todd McFarlane. Todd proceeded to use the character without permission of the other owner - Neil Gaiman. This kicked off a decade of legal battles between the two, with Gaiman eventually coming out on top and then turning over his rights to Marvel, which may be the best way for Gaiman and Miracleman partner Mark Buckingham, to finish their story.
Clearly part of the settlement between Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane included McFarlane giving up his rights to the Miracleman name, and a deal between Gaiman and Marvel would have been sealed as far back as the lodging of the original case in 2002, when Marvel advanced Gaiman money against the 1602 mini-series. The actual machinations of the deal will surely see the light of day eventually, but, for now, with Marvel now owning both the Marvelman and Miracleman names and trademarks, the way is now clearer for both a reprinting of the Miracleman/Marvelman series by Alan Moore, Alan Davis, Garry Leach, Rick Vietch, John Totleben and co, along with the Neil Gaiman/Mark Buckingham Miracleman series. It also means that, finally, Gaiman and Buckingham might well take the opportunity to finally finish their storyline, over two decades after they started.