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Judge shuts down lawsuit over ‘Iron Man’ armor design

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A judge has ruled that a lawsuit over the design for the “Iron Man” armor — which prosecutors Ben Lai and Ray Lai say is based on designs from their independent comic, “Radix” — has no place in the Massachusetts courts.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney and Marvel are protected from the lawsuit because state-level judge Denise Casper has decided the matter doesn’t belong in the Massachusetts courts. Casper said, “…the claims lack relatedness to his state with no specific allegations tying transactions, creations or marketing to Massachusetts.”

The Lai brothers issued the lawsuit in 2015 under their company, Horizon Comics Productions. They claimed the armor designs from the “Iron Man” movies were based off similar, “highly detailed, mechanized suits of body armor” from their 2001 comic, “Radix.” The Lais say Marvel changed the Iron Man design after they showed their work on “Radix” to the publisher.

Prior to the 2015 lawsuit, the Lais issued Disney and Marvel a cease-and-desist letter, just ahead of the premiere of “Iron Man 3.” Backing up their claims, the brothers pointed to similarities between the “Iron Man 3″ poster and one of their “Radix” designs (shown above).

Horizon is likely to continue to pursue legal action against Disney and Marvel — they’ll just have to do it outside of Massachusetts.

Comments

24 Comments

This lawsuit has been hysterical. It’s literally based on that one image, as though Marvel produced three Iron Man films for the express purpose of ripping off that one image for a poster. And that’s only if you ignore the fact that there are next to no similarities between the images in question, beyond the figure being in a crouched pose, and the presence of the color red.

Oh, and the hair is the same. I guess I’ll give them that.

Jason M. Bryant

February 9, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Their character has armor with red on it.

Marvel has a better case against them than they have against Marvel.

agreed with Jason. Marvel would counter sue if it wasn’t a complete waste of their time. What a joke.

Don’t forget the blue glowing lights. It’s a crouched brown-haired guy with some red in his chest plate AND some blue glowing bits.

Law suit over the fact they used highly detailed armor? So, a lot of show, heck, there’s a lot of ANIME you could also sue while you are at it!

Douglass Abramson

February 9, 2016 at 7:32 pm

They’re going to push this thing too far and Disney will release their legal hounds on these two idiots, claiming that they ripped off Iron Man. Personally, I still find their claim that the Iron Man suit was never depicted in a highly detailed manner until Marvel ‘ripped off” their designs. Excuse me while I make some popcorn…

@Douglass
“Personally, I still find their claim that the Iron Man suit was never depicted in a highly detailed manner until Marvel ‘ripped off” their designs.”

I assume you meant you find their claims ridiculous. All one needs are the covers to Iron Man (vol.1) #290, #300 or Iron Man (vol.2) #1 to show that isn’t true. If anything, it’s evident the Lai brothers ripped off elements of all 3 of those versions of Iron Man’s armor for their design.

“They claimed the armor designs from the “Iron Man” movies were based off similar, “highly detailed, mechanized suits of body armor” from their 2001 comic, “Radix.” ”

BWAHAHAHAHAH!!! :D

Hell, I added the glowing lights to Iron Man’s armor in 1997, based on armor designs done by Allen Bujak in the fan-apa ADVANCED IRON. We combined a design Alex Ross had done with the glow-strips Allen liked to use in his designs (with permission from both of them and credit in the book), and that was what Sean Chen used as the basis for the armor he drew in our run.

Considering how many other elements of our run turned up in the IRON MAN and AVENGERS movies, I think the likelihood that they got that stuff from Iron Man comics is pretty substantial.

What happens when you’re a washed up creator hack has been? No I’m not talking about Rob Liefeld. You sue Marvel over a poster and conjure a story that paints you and your brother out to look like lunatics and complete buffoons. How sad these idiots have fallen so far from logic they’d think their lunacy has basis in a court of law. Prepare to reap the whirlwind.

total joke. their work looks like a rip off of whilce portacio and jim lee’s iron man series in the late 90’s, when a bunch of the image guys came back to marvel to help the struggling core books. if your gonna try to claim a rip off, make sure you didnt rip it off yourself.

kurt busiek is still alive? thought he died of cancer? hope you are doing well.

ps…..i want my 2.50 back for that steampunk/magic/world war 1 book you came out with for image.

Holy Crap! Was that really THE KURT BUSIEK?

This lawsuit is stupid. It’s based off a damaged version of ONE of Stark’s MANY armours and a common action pose. I want Disney to take everything these 2 idiots have so much.

This is just another example of frivolous lawsuits jamming up our courts.

These two idiots have no case and any lawyer who can use reason would know this.

Lolwut. Their suit has more in common with Samus’ suit from Metroid than Tony’s. Seriously, their one doesn’t even look like proper armour, but like cyborg body tissue. Highly detailed armour is just a freaking normal design choice. Seriously, this is lame.

they’d better get checking with 2000AD with regard to the mechanisation of the legs in “their” armour design. Check out ABC warriors in ’86 and ’94 because there are some striking similarities in regard to their much later design.

The judge is referring to the “Long Arm” statute. Plaintiff failed to make a connection between Marvel and Radix. They likely have no direct or indirect business relationship.

But to be honest, this is just Disney lawyers making a compelling argument at a motion for dismissal hearing. Jurisdiction issues are the first thing lawyers try at a law suit.

Looks more like IM’s original Ultimate armor.

I’d like to sue the Lai’s for stealing my crouching pose when dropped a quarter in 1990.

This is just absurd to think they marvel would use such an image. They employ many concept artist and designer. The pose itself is a very common pose used in art and comics. Also the armor design is probably a derivative of some other persons concept and not their own. Armor design is very infinite and finite depending on the inspiration and design of the artist that create it. The brother should of made a solid case before making claims of out right rip-off of their work. It can see why they would think there are similarities but if you press hard enough you could find similar concept around the web.

I’m sure all the designers like Adi Granov and Ryan Meinerding and others at Marvel Studios would certainly disagree with this lawsuit.

They better just let this one go. Otherwise it could turn out bad for them. Iron Man has had that style of armor since the 90s. There is more evidence that these two guys tried to rip off Marvel’s Iron Man than the other way around.

Well Disney and Marvel are known to rip off ideas from others so no surprise ha

I’m sure it’s Paid Freelancers who work hundreds of hours on these comics Richie not faceless corporations ripping people off ideas willy nilly. Real people rafting and refining stories and concepts not copy and pasting like you seem to be inferring.

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