Marvel Studios has emerged the victor from a four-year court battle between Marvel Studios and Horizon Comics Productions. The suit in question had to do with the poster from Iron Man 3, where Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr) can be seen kneeling with one hand on the ground and the other with a clenched fist. The suit was filed by brothers Ben and Ray Lai, who run Horizon Comics Productions and said that the poster was a rip off of their cover for Radix, starring a character named Caliban, and said that the two had been hired by Marvel back in 2002 for other projects, strengthening the link. A New York federal judge decided that was not the case though and awarded victor to Disney (via THR).
Horizon got around a motion to dismiss in New York because the judge cited that the works at least shared a similarity in their "total concept or feel" in their conclusion, but U.S. District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken found that despite half a dozen Marvel employees were aware of Radix there was no real evidence that anyone working on Iron Man 3 would've known about the cover.
"There is virtually no evidence in the record that shows any one of these individuals either would have seen the Caliban Drawing or would have been involved in the Iron Man 3 Poster design, let alone both. Horizon’s arguments that these individuals could provide an access nexus is founded on nothing more than speculation."
Oetken also added that while Radix might have been popular, it doesn't mean the drawing of Caliban was widely viewed.
When an expert analyzed the two pieces Oetken said the report was "equivocating" on some of those similarities, and also added that "there remain enough differences between the two works."
Oetken added in closing "In contrast to Horizon’s virtually non-existent evidence of copying, Marvel has introduced unrebutted evidence showing its independent creation of the Iron Man 3 Poster."
Downey recently brought his time as Iron Man to a close in Avengers: Endgame, which capped off an impressive run as the Iron Avenger.
What do you think Marvel fans? Let us know in the comments!