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Disney and Marvel Face New Lawsuit For Allegedly Stealing Iron Man, Ant-Man Designs

According to CTV News, Marvel Entertainment and Disney are being sued by Montreal-based Horizon Comics, alleging that they ripped off their designs.

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Founded in Montreal in 1995 by brothers Ben and Raymond Lai, Horizon Comics alleges that Marvel Entertainment and Disney ripped off its designs multiple times in its Iron Man, Ant-man, and Avengers film series.

The lawsuit claims that Marvel and Disney used Horizon’s designs without consent or compensation and are suing for damages and an injunction “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.”

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 was released in 2013 and the brothers noticed “similarities” between the armoured costume worn by Robert Downey Jr. and their design

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Iron Man’s suit in the third installment is, “strikingly similar to the suit worn by a Caliban, one of the characters portrayed in Horizon’s Works Radix 1” according to the suit.

Back in 2013, Horizon Comics filed a lawsuit in the U.S., which was partially dismissed, though it was allowed to proceed based on similarities in the movie’s poster design and the Caliban suit. However, the 2013 lawsuit reached a non-infringement conclusion. Horizon, who incurred hefty legal bills of more than $1.5 million, said it did not have the finances to continue its legal fight. Marvel ended up winning the suit in 2019 with U.S. District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken finding there was “virtually no evidence in the record” to indicate that those involved in the Iron Man 3 poster design would have seen the Caliban drawing, according to ComicBook.com.

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Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

This new lawsuit alleges that the continued Marvel releases that feature Iron Man, including the 2018 blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, “consistently appropriated Horizon’s works.” The claims continue that the new Iron Man suit in the Avengers films, “is now substantially similar to that of the Radix character Maxwell.”

“In sum, not only are the distinctive features raised by Justice Oetken in the American proceeding no longer present in the Infinity War suit, but several additional strikingly similar features to the Radix suit were added,” the suit continues.

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The lawsuit also alleges that Marvel’s Ant-man and Wasp characters also infringe on the design of one of Horizon’s characters in Radix 2.

“Neither Horizon or the Lai brothers have provided any form of consent, explicit or implied, for the reproduction of their Works,” the suit states. “To the contrary, Horizon previously instituted a full legal action in the United States to enforce its rights in part of the Works. After this first legal claim, Marvel infringed Horizon’s copyright in an even more egregious manner.”

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Iron Man and Ant-Man characters in the MCU are adapted from the characters of the same name from MARVEL comics, co-created by the late Stan Lee. Disney and Marvel Entertainment have not provided comments on this lawsuit. All allegations have yet to be proven in court but if history repeats itself, the ruling may be in the company’s favor.

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  1. I’m going to say Disney and Marvel should sue Horizon for ripping off Iron Man and Ant Man. Marvel and its characters have been around a lot longer than Horizon.

  2. Without seeing their work side by side who can really comment on any of this

  3. While I’m not a huge fan of Marvel and I have looked at both iron Man from 1998 to 2005 and the Radix mini series as well as the issues that Ray and Ben Lai did for Marvel, I don’t think that Ray and Ben Lai have a case. They said that they showed pages of Radix to editorial before getting hired. Did they leave copies with the editors? Even the pose that Robert Downey Jr. did for the Iron Man 3 poster is coincidental at best. The designs for Radix don’t even match the ones for Iron Man. Did they think Marvel and Paramount didn’t have costume and tech designers? Marvel has been known for not compensating creators for their stories like with Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck), Jim Starlin (THANOS) Ed Brubaker (Winter Soldier) Jack Kirby (half to 3/4 of the Marvel Universe) but I don’t see ANY similarities with Iron Man and the Radix armor. The Lai brothers also seem to forget that in the beginning back in the 1960s Iron Man started out with bulky armor using transistors using grey and then gold armor. I see this as nothing but a money grab. Even the stories are different.
    in 2005, Warren Ellis and Adi Granov did a new Iron Man series which showcased armor close to what he was wearing in the movie. The Iron Man movie didn’t come out until 2008. Was there any consultation between the editors, writers, artists, the people at Paramount, and the executives for Marvel studios? Probably but not by much. In my opinion, I think Ben and Ray Lai are grasping at straws. MIT is one thing. This is another.

  4. The problem with people is they make up shit just to try to get money from successful people. Anyone can sue even for breaking a nail. Eat a duck horizon.

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