Okay, so we're between lawyers at my company right now and we have an interesting problem that's cropped up. Was wondering if any of the lawyers here could explain something to me.
Several years ago we entered into an option with an entity for animation rights for one of our IPs. This option was purchased in 2007..... and is perpetual. I cannot for the life of me figure out who authorized a perpetual rights grant to a no-load entertainment company, but that's neither here nor there. Some months back a third part inquired about the availability of those rights, and in researching this I learned that the entity that we did the deal with in 2007 is listed on the CA Secretary of State website as a "Suspended" status. This means "The business entity's powers, rights and privileges were suspended or forfeited in California 1) by the Franchise Tax Board for failure to file a return and/or failure to pay taxes, penalties, or interest; and/or 2) by the Secretary of State for failure to file the required Statement of Information and, if applicable, the required Statement by Common Interest Development Association." Which means "The business cannot initiate lawsuits, defend itself against lawsuits, or enforce its legal contracts." (Both quotes are direct from the CA SOS website)
They can file to reinstate their entity by remedying the applicable cause(s) for suspension.
My question -- what is the legal status of that perpetual rights grant? Did those rights go into limbo? Was the contract nullified by the suspension? It'd be really cool if the agreement was killed.
Thanks in advance.
(And I understand that any comments are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice, no need to disclaim.)