A lawsuit has been filed against Disney and Marvel Studios claiming copyright infringement and unfair and deceptive trade practices over the look of the Iron Man movie designs.
The Wrap reports two brothers, Ben and Ray Lai, are claiming Marvel has infringed on the designs of their Radix comic, as much like the movie version of Iron Man, the characters in Radix wear “highly detailed, mechanized suits of body armor.”
Note: Back when Iron Man 3 was released, the brothers filed a cease-and-desist letter with Disney over promotional material.
The gist of the current lawsuit contends that Ben and Ray Lai created Radix in 2001 and then were hired by Marvel a year later “to work as artists on its various comic book franchises.” The brothers claim the comic book version of Iron Man was simpler prior to their Marvel involvement and are claiming Marvel nabbed their idea from Radix for the upgrade.
The comics “typically depicted Iron Man wearing simple spandex-like attire and minimal armor,” the lawsuit reads, where the movie franchise depicts Iron Man “wearing a fully mechanized suit of armor” which becomes increasingly complex over the span of the films.
The lawsuit continues arguing: “In the films, Iron Man is depicted wearing mechanized body armor that appropriates the copyrighted artistic work of the Plaintiff without authorization or attribution.”
And also: “The plot of each Iron Man film centers on the protagonist as he creates and builds increasingly powerful and futuristic versions of this body armor … that allow him to fly, shoot projectiles, and perform other superhuman feats.”
In addition to the claim of copyright infringement, the lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and a permanent injunction barring further alleged copyright infringement.
Browsing the various Iron Man comic designs, it appears as if the Iron Man comic went with a more modern version of Iron Man around 1994-99, which was up to eight years prior to the two brothers having worked at Marvel, and something the lawsuit omits as part of its exhibit “A.”
The Prometheum armor in Heroes Reborn from 1996 seems to be the genesis of the modern day Iron Man:
This one is from 1999 (Model 18):