U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson ruled in Los Angeles that the copyright for the renowned superhero should be shared with the heirs of "Superman" co-creator Jerome Siegel, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Siegel initially created "Superman" with Joseph Schuster and the pair sold the rights to their fictional creation to Detective Comics 70 years ago for $130.
Last Wednesday's ruling also opened the door for similar legal action from Schuster's heirs, which could potentially mean the "Superman" trademark could be under shared control until at least 2033, a lawyer representing both estates said.
Such shared copyright ownership could significantly complicate planned cinematic endeavors involving the bulletproof character, the Times said.
Currently, Time Warner is working toward a sequel to the 2006 film "Superman Returns" and the superman character is expected to take part in the film "Justice League of America," based on a DC Comics creation of the same name.