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Movie producer seeks to block Mortal Kombat IP sale

By Matt Martin

Fri 26 Jun 2009 7:53am GMT / 3:53am EDT / 12:53am PDT

Majority of rights to franchise should not be sold to Warner Bros, claims Threshold Entertainment

Movie company Threshold Entertainment could slow down or block the sale of Midway Games to Warner Bros as it takes legal action against the Mortal Kombat publisher.

Threshold claims it owns exclusive rights to Mortal Kombat IP, including movies and TV spin-offs and the rights to some of the characters used in the game, and Midway should not be allowed to sell them as part of its package to Warner Bros.

"Threshold does not object to Midway's proposed sale of intellectual property that Midway owns," emphasised the company in court documents, reprinted by GamePolitics.

"However, the sale of Midway's assets should not have the effect of divesting Threshold of intellectual property licenses and/or ownership in Mortal Kombat-related intellectual property."

Threshold is seeking a judgement declaring the scope of its licenses, interests and IP rights in the franchise, and a declaration that Midway has no right to sell these properties.

Warner Bros was revealed last month as the company behind a USD 33 million bid for Midway, which includes the majority of its assets the most valuable of which is the long-running Mortal Kombat franchise.

The sale of the company is already under way, with a final auction set for June 29.

CEO of Threshold, Lawrence Kasanoff, has produced over 25 movies including Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and the company owns the IP rights to multiple movie, TV stage, animation and videogame properties.

Kasanoff signed an agreement in 1993 for the movie and television rights to Mortal Kombat, and following multiple works, "The Mortal Kombat franchise, as it stands today, is far more a creation of Threshold and Kasanoff than of Midway," according to the court documents.

The production company has both a live and animated movie in production based on the series.

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