Luggage lawsuit blocks Avengers box set release

The Avengers briefcase blu-ray collection

We’ve known for quite a while that Marvel Studios, had planned to release The Avengers on Blu-ray later this month. Specifically, September 25, for those of you saving every penny in anticipation of finally being able to fire up the blockbuster film on whatever conglomeration of technologies you refer to as your “home theater.”

Alongside the relatively standard two- and four-disc Blu-ray releases, the company had also planned to release a special, limited edition 10-disc collection (see above) that includes The Avengers, all of the extra content found in the aforementioned two- and four-disc releases, as well as all of the Marvel superhero movies released prior to The Avengers that help set up that film’s background story. This means that prospective buyers would own Captain America, both Iron Man films, Thor and 2008’s The Incredible Hulk (which is not to be confused with Ang Lee’s 2003 cinematic exploration of Marvel’s giant green rage monster). That’s quite an impressive set, even at its proposed $220 price point, but thanks to a new lawsuit it seems that Marvel Studios may have to go back to the drawing board on this collection.

Rimowa GmbH, a German luggage firm, claims that Marvel’s use of a faux briefcase in the 10-disc collection directly damages one of the firm’s key trademarks. The Marvel briefcase, Rimowa believes, is based wholly on the design of its “Topas Attache” briefcase, a sharp-looking aluminum number that suggests both excellent, subtle taste and the idea that its holder is someone of great importance. It also features a $750 price tag, so as long as you’re among the set that prizes conspicuous consumption above all things the case also suggests that you’ve got tons of cash — a crucial feature when one is shopping for the adult world’s answer to the Trapper Keeper.

Those of you who clicked through that last link may recognize the Topas as the briefcase used by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury character throughout the past decade of Marvel Studios films. Rimowa has no problem with the Topas being used in the films, and even provided each movie with a set of cases to use. The problem, according to the German firm, is that Marvel Studios never received permission to recreate the suitcase for its big 10-disc collection. The idea was that the whole bundle would come packed inside a case that looks identical to the one Fury uses in the collection’s films, though obviously Marvel didn’t see the wisdom in massively jacking up the price of its collection purely so it could include a genuine Topas therein. Rimowa, in turn, believes that by creating an aesthetic replica of the Topas, Marvel Studios has directly violated the company’s trademark on the design.

Rimowa’s lawsuit alleges “trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition,” and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, seeks “all profits from allegedly unlawful conduct and an award of three times plaintiff’s actual damages to be proved.” Given how massively successful Marvel’s superhero films have been, particularly The Avengers, the actual figure Rimowa is hoping to be granted could be quite large.

As much as we usually despise the overly litigious nature of modern America, one can’t help but notice that the Topas Attache does look very, very similar to the knock-off case in Marvel’s collection. Anyone with eyes can see that. However, the design is exceedingly simple, and we could certainly see a judge going along with the idea that Rimowa can’t really have a trademark on what is effectively a matte aluminum hexahedron. On the other hand, we could just as easily imagine a judge slapping down Marvel’s design and forcing the company to pay whatever figure Rimowa eventually comes up with. We’ll keep you updated as new information is available.

Movies & TV

After Avengers: Endgame, what’s next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Here's what we know so far about the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Avengers: Endgame, from rumors and speculation about Phase 4 of the MCU to confirmed facts, films, and television shows.
Movies & TV

Marvel releases more footage from Avengers: Endgame in latest TV ad

The events of Avengers: Infinity War changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some big ways and left fans wondering how its heroes can possibly recover. Here's everything we know about Avengers: Endgame, the sequel to Infinity War.

Weekend box office: Shazam! stays on top while Hellboy flops

Warner Bros. Pictures superhero film Shazam! managed to stay on top of the box office its second week in theaters, beating new releases Little and Hellboy - the latter of which is looking like a major flop.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Here's how to turn off subtitles on Netflix, no matter the device

Subtitles are great if you want or need them, but they can be a major headache if you’ve somehow turned them on by accident and can’t figure out how to get rid of them. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it seems.
Movies & TV

The Game of Thrones season premiere was pirated 54 million times in 24 hours

Winter is here, and so are the pirates. The debut episode of Game of Thrones' final season was pirated 54 million times in the 24 hours after it aired, almost tripling the show's official viewership totals.
Movies & TV

New trailer for Hobbs & Shaw introduces Idris Elba’s Black Superman

A new trailer for Fast & Furious franchise spinoff Hobbs & Shaw has arrived and it ups the ante with even more crazy action featuring stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, as well as new addition Idris Elba.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

Avengers aftermath: From The Eternals to The Boys, things are about to get weird

On this week's show, we'll take a deep dive into what's coming after Avengers: Endgame. Sure, it's probably going to be the biggest movie ever, but what about Marvel/Disney's Phase 4? We'll tell you why The Eternals may be a big part of it.
Movies & TV

Clip from John Wick: Chapter 3 confirms the dog is totally fine

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Netflix vs. Hulu: Which streaming service is right for you?

Netflix and Hulu are two of the biggest names in streaming entertainment. Our guide will help you decide which streaming service has the content you want and the best value for your limited budget.

Stream UFC Fight Night St. Petersburg: Overeem vs. Oleynik with ESPN Plus

This Saturday, veteran UFC heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Alexey Oleynik are going toe to toe in the octagon for UFC Fight Night 149. If you’re looking for a way to watch it online, then ESPN Plus is where you’ll find it.