G.I. Joe inventor Stan Weston is going to court in an attempt to reclaim ownership rights to the multi-million dollar franchise from long-time owners Hasbro, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Weston sold the idea for a military-based toy line to Hasbro (then Hasbro Toys) back in 1963 for the one-time sum of $100,000. Over time, Hasbro elaborated on the concept and came up with the "G.I. Joe" name, but Weston reportedly maintains that the core concept he sold is still the basis for the modern G.I. Joe franchise.
Weston and his attorney, Bart Fields, are reportedly looking to claim the G.I. Joe ownership rights through a change in copyright law in the 1970s which allows authors (or their heirs) to re-obtain any rights sold after 35 years. This has been used in several instances in the music industry for songwriters to win back ownership of songs they wrote, and several comic book creators have looked to use it in the past for works created for publishing companies.