Skip to main content

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.

Related Videos

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Marvel has 20 more movies planned, with many story arcs ending in ‘Avengers 4’
marvel cinematic universe avengers 4

Marvel's cinematic universe just keeps getting bigger and brighter, and the recent success of Thor: Ragnarok just hammers (pun totally intended) that point home.

In a feature honoring the franchise's upcoming 10th anniversary, various Marvel and Disney executives indicate that there is no end in sight for Marvel Studios' blockbuster series of interconnected superhero movies, even if some of the most popular characters call it quits in the years to come.

Read more
Avengers: Age of Ultron may get extended cut, alternate ending for home release
Avengers Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron hasn’t even been released in the U.S. yet but true fans should be prepared to watch the superhero bonanza at least twice. Even before it touches down in the stateside, there are already rumors that the film will have an extended cut and an alternate ending when it makes its way to your home theater on Blu-ray.

Screencrush spotted the announcement from a pre-order email from Amazon. The window for theatrical and home releases is getting smaller every day, but hoping people pre-order a movie that hasn’t even seen a wide release yet is asking a lot.

Read more
Major theaters to host 27-hour Marvel movie marathon ahead of Avengers: Age Of Ultron
avengers age of ultron may get extended release on blu ray

Just when the numbness was starting to fade from the 2012 Marvel movie marathon that ushered in The Avengers, theaters are revving up for another one -- and this time, you'll definitely need to take a bathroom break. You might even want to bring a pillow and some pajamas, too.

"The Ultimate Marvel Marathon" will kick off April 29 at various major theater chains and feature 27 hours of Marvel Studios movies -- everything the studio has released in theaters so far -- culminating with the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron on April 30. Theater chains AMC Theaters, Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark, Megaplex, Harkins, and National Amusements have all announced their participation in the marathon, with tickets expected to be available at each company's website soon (as well as various promotional merchandise to accompany your purchase and make you feel a little better about the prospect of spending 27 hours in a theater). Ticket prices haven't been announced yet.

Read more