Marvel and NCSoft hug and make friends

Long-running City of Heroes lawsuit finally ends in forgiving cuddles as the case is amicably settled

A legal battle between Marvel and City of Heroes developer Cryptic Studios and publisher NCSoft that erupted last year over trademark infringement has been amicably sorted.

In November 2004, Marvel filed a lawsuit claiming City of Heroes allowed players to create superheroes that infringed upon its trademarks and additionally alleged that, by allowing these characters to exist within the City of Heroes game world, NCSoft and Cryptic had damaged Marvel's prospects for licensing its own characters in videogames.

Then in March 2005, a US district court judge ruled against several of Marvel's key claims in its trademark infringement battle with NCSoft and Cryptic Studios, but the legal wrangling continued.

Now, however, everyone involved has had a big group hug and made up. A statement from NCSoft on the issue reads: "Marvel Entertainment, Inc., NCsoft Corporation, NC Interactive, Inc. and Cryptic Studios, Inc. are pleased to announce today that they have amicably settled all claims brought by Marvel and all claims brought by NCsoft, NC Interactive, Inc. and Cryptic Studios, Inc."

It continues: "The parties' settlement allows them all to continue to develop and sell exciting and innovative products, but does not reduce the players' ability to express their creativity in making and playing original and exciting characters. Therefore, no changes to City of Heroes or City of Villains' character creation engine are part of the settlement. The parties have agreed that protecting intellectual property rights is critically important and each will continue aggressively to protect such rights in accordance with all applicable laws.

"While the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, all parties agree that this case was never about monetary issues and that the fans of their respective products and characters are the winners in this settlement."

So there you go.