Marvel being sued for allegedly stealing Iron Man costume design
Marvel Entertainment and Disney are being sued for allegedly ripping off costumes and infringing on various other design elements in their hit superhero films, CTV News reported. The characters in contention are Iron Man, Ant-Man, and a few others from the Avengers universe. The lawsuit has been filed by a Canada-based comic book company called Horizon Comics, which was founded in Montreal in 1995.
Marvel didn't take consent for using designs, says Horizon Comics
Founders of Horizon Comics, Ben Lai and Raymond Lai, have said that Marvel did not take consent for using their designs or pay any form of damages. "(They want) to put an end to this deliberate and persistent infringement, and to order the defendants to pay compensatory and punitive damages to the plaintiff, in addition to Horizon's costs, including solicitor-client costs," their suit reads.
The lawsuit mentions Iron Man and Ant-Man characters
According to the lawsuit, the Iron Man costume is similar to "the suit worn by a Caliban, one of the characters portrayed in Horizon's Works Radix 1 (a three-volume comic book series)." The character was first seen in 2001. The lawsuit also mentions Ant-Man characters infringing on characters from the Radix comic book series. The motion was filed in Quebec Civil Court, Canada.
A similar complaint was filed in the US in 2013
Horizon Comics had filed a similar lawsuit in the United States back in 2013. They alleged that the Iron Man suit featured in Iron Man 3 bore striking resemblance to the Caliban suit. However, Justice Paul Oetken had concluded the case as non-infringement. Horizon Comics also bowed down from further pursuing the motion after their legal fees were astronomically high at over $1.5 million.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also named in the lawsuit
Not just Marvel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also copied their illustrations to win a $50 million research grant in 2002. The university apologized and acknowledged their mistake and no further action was taken. The Lai brothers have stated that with Marvel, it is "repeated infringement." "It's causing us significant damage and impacting our ability to make a living as artists (sic)," they said.