Jeff Trexler has the decision and report on the latest ruling in the Superboy case in which Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson are suing Time Warner for the rights to Superboy, The latest ruling seems to have gone against the Siegels, according to Trexler: The entire decision is posted here.
In a nutshell, the court ruled in favor of Time Warner’s motion to reconsider the prior ruling in favor of the Siegels and vacated the relevant portions of the earlier ruling, including part of the statement of facts.
The judge’s opinion is worth reading on several counts, especially for crisp review of the history of the Superman/Superboy cases. William Patry has a brief run-down on the estoppel issues, which will seem a bit esoteric to non-lawyers, but you should not let the law-geek bait get in the way of the judge’s analysis of whether Superboy is a derivative work. (pp. 66-71). The judge calls for further briefing on that issue but, as reviewing judges often do, lays out a roadmap for concluding that Superboy was nothing “more than a trivial variation from the pre-existing material in Superman, other comic book characters in general, or even more broadly with other comic book characters.” (p. 69)
Of course, this case is far from over, so there may be still more surprises to come.