Marvel wins NYC dispute over Ghost Rider rights

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by Laura Matovina

NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York City judge has ruled comic book publisher Marvel Entertainment owns the rights to the Ghost Rider character in the fiery form that originated in the early 1970s.

Federal Judge Katherine Forrest made the finding Wednesday, tossing out the claims of a man who says he created the motorcycle-driving Ghost Rider with the skeletal head that sometimes had fire blazing from it. A Ghost Rider of the 1950s and '60s was a Western character who rode a horse.

The judge says a writer who brought a 2007 lawsuit to claim ownership rights gave up those rights repeatedly when he signed checks containing language relinquishing all rights to Marvel Entertainment LLC.

Telephone messages left with lawyers on both sides of the dispute haven't been returned.

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