Thursday, February 7, 2008

This just in: Ultraman is not Thai

A 10-year legal battle by Thai producer Sompote Saengduenchai, who says he helped create the iconic Japanese masked superhero Ultraman, has been ended by a ruling by the Thailand Supreme Court, according to news reports.

Sompote had held that he and his Chaiyo Productions were entitled to a percentage of the profits from the Ultra empire, but judges found Sompote did not contribute any creativity to the Ultraman character.

The court ruled Sompote must pay 10 million baht (about US$333,000) in damages to Tsuburaya Productions, the Tokyo-based company.

In addition to vast merchandising of licensed products, Chaiyo had actually sold the rights to Ultraman to other countries, including BCI Eclipse, which produced a DVD box-set for release in the U.S.

Chaiyo had also made its own Ultraman TV shows, including a planned Project Ultraman series, with Ekin Cheng and Ray McDonald attached.

But as a result of the court's ruling, Sompote must stop profiteering from Ultraman.

(Via 2bangkok, AFP/Yahoo News, The Nation, Wikipedia)

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