Courts Rule That Sompote Saengduenchai Did Not Co-Create Ultraman

Source: The Associated Press

Thailand's Supreme Court has ruled that TV superhero Ultraman is not Thai, rejecting a complaint by a local businessman who claimed he helped invent the iconic Japanese character, an official said Wednesday.

The ruling ended a 10-year legal battle by Sompote Saengduenchai, who had claimed he co-invented the Ultraman character and was entitled to a portion of the huge profits generated by the series and its licensed products outside of Japan.

The judges found Sompote did not contribute any creativity to the Ultraman character when it was first created more than four decades ago, the official said.

It ruled Sompote must pay 10 million baht (300,000 dollars) in damages to Tsuburaya Productions, the Tokyo-based company that produces the Ultraman TV show.

First aired in 1966 in Japan, the Ultraman series and its spinoffs have an enormous following across Asia, where the show is a rite of passage for many young children.

Clad in a red and silver skin-tight suit, and with opaque insect-like eyes set in a silver full-face helmet, the 40-metre (130-foot) tall Ultraman hails from the M-78 nebula, and uses his spacium beam weapon and martial arts skills to help humans battle evil aliens.

See Also: Bandai Aquires A Large Portion Of Tsuburaya Productions / Ultra Galaxy: Dai Kaiju Batoru (2007-2008) / Ultraman Exhibit At The Roppongi Hills Mori Arts Center / Ultraman Turns 41 /Eight Versions Of Ultraman Hit The Big Screen In 2008


  1. Criminal Court of Thailand pronounced a Judgement on 1 February 2011 to sentence Mr Sompote Saengduenchai 5 years in Ultraman License Granting Agreement forgery offence.


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