Robot 6

Briefcase company sues Marvel over The Avengers box set packaging

Marvel Studios' "Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One — Avengers Assembled" limited-edition box set

It turns out a planetary invasion by Loki and his Chitauri allies was only the beginning of Nick Fury’s problems.

Now a German manufacturer of luxury travel briefcases is suing Marvel and Disney’s Buena Vista Home Entertainment over the attaché case used by the S.H.I.E.L.D. director in the billion-dollar blockbuster The Avengers.

Hollywood, Esq. reports that Rimowa GmbH, which provided the studio with an aluminum Topas attaché case for Samuel L. Jackson to carry in the film, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in California claiming that Marvel damaged the company’s trademark by then manufacturing replicas for the “Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One — Avengers Assembled” limited-edition box set. Arriving Sept. 25, the collection comes “complete with glowing Tesseract” and an “exclusive replica of Nick Fury’s iconic briefcase.”

The complaint states that, “Images of the replica briefcase on Marvel’s advertising materials, and fan video from Marvel’s product display at this year’s Comic-Con convention, show the plastic ‘replica case’ to be a close copy of Rimowa’s Topas attaché case in every respect but quality — from the proportions and coloring, to the style of the handle and latches, and, of course, in the use of the trademarked parallel ridges around the body of the case.”

Rimowa, which alleges trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition, is seeking to stop Marvel from further infringement, all profits from sales of the product and three times its actual damages. The Topas cases sell for about $750.

Rimowa GmbH's Topas attache case

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Comments

10 Comments

Wow, that is friggin’ stupid.

Good! The better idea is to house the discs in an exact replica of the Cosmic Cube itself! Who wants to have a brief case as a movie collectable anyway?

@Cog: What’s stupid about it?

Trademark law is not like copyright law. Companies must AGGRESSIVELY enforce their trademarks or they risk losing them. You can ignore flagrant copyright infringement, but you can’t ignore potential trademark infringement.

Now, whether or not Rimowa will actually WIN is another question; clearly nobody is going to mistake a DVD case for an actual briefcase, but on the other hand there’s a case to be made that someone might look at that and mistakenly think that Rimowa endorsed it in some way.

But it doesn’t even matter if Rimowa wins or loses — next time someone tries to sell a knockoff briefcase that actually IS a clear trademark violation, Rimowa has evidence that it has done due diligence to enforce its trademarks in the past.

Good. At last, a little german kitten is shouting to the big mouse. It’s not because you have a D in your name, as well as a M in a company you own, that you are free of all the laws that you are calling when a tiny mouse do something, a very little something which can be interpreted as a “copy”.

Well done, Rimowa kitten. I cross my fingers for your case!! It’s time to the bigs to pay their faults and insolence against the little ones.

I can’t see that the German company has a case (ha!). The whole point of trademark is to help companies avoid confusion in the market place and there’s just no way that you’ll mistake a DVD set for a high-performance aluminum briefcase. Outside packaging, marketing, etc. being what it is.

They’re just trolling for money because they feel they’ve been left out of a lucrative merchandising campaign.

Simon DelMonte

August 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Nick Fury’s iconic briefcase? There is much iconic about Nicky Fury, old and new. I don’t recall his briefcase being part of that.

I would rather have his iconic eyepatch myself.

@Judge MANSON
remember now,the item in question isn’t out yet,theres probably adjusment for it later on

How incredibly stupid. wtf does that matter!! Should of known something so stupid would come from germany.

@Danny: Well, at least your FIRST sentence about how stupid you think everybody else is has fewer than two grammatical errors.

Ramone is it? How does the company not have a case against Marvel comics, when it gave Marvel the rights to only use their briefcase in the film.I see nothing here of Marvel themselves claiming that they were also given rights to mass produce the briefcase to promote their billion dollar Avengers movie.

There is no way Marvel comics is going to win here, unless there was something in the contract deal that they had with this company that allows them to create more replica’s of the briefcase for profit from the film.Why did they even feel the need to create a replica in the first place, when the creators of the briefcase mentions that they only gave Marvel comics the rights to use it in the film.

What Marvel comics is doing here is the total opposite of the agreement they made with this company.They essentially are selling the exact briefcase that is currently on sell for $750.This is trademark infringement.You guys can make fun at how this is a German company but at the end of the day, when the final ruling comes down, they will have the last laugh.

Most likely outcome, if Marvel comics realize that they are going to lose this case big time, they’ll try to settle this out of court and stop selling the replica briefcases.

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