‘The Avengers’ Phase One Blu-ray Box Set Delayed Over Lawsuit

Published 1 year ago by , Updated May 12th, 2013 at 8:03 am,

When Marvel’s The Avengers hits store shelves later this month, there will be several different ways to pick up the film on DVD and Blu-ray. However, one of the previously announced options will not be available, as it has been indefinitely delayed.

That version is the 10-disc Phase One Blu-ray Collection that was to come packaged in a silver attaché case (similar to the one featured in the film) and would hold a replica of the Tesseract. In addition to the sublime packaging and perfect showpiece, the 10-disc set would deliver every film released under the Marvel Studios banner – which includes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and, of course, The Avengers.

When first announced, the Limited Edition was the ultimate Marvel fan’s dream set. But unfortunately, like many dreams, it has turned out to be too good to be true. Somewhere between finishing production on The Avengers and planning out this collection, Marvel failed to realize their set’s briefcase bared a striking resemblance to a popular company’s style of attaché case. Or, even worse, they knew it could misconstrued as a replica, but decided not to acquire proper licensing regardless.

The Playlist reports Rimowa BhmbH, the German company whose case the set resembles, has since caught wind of the Limited Edition’s design and filed a suit with California’s federal court. It is reported that Marvel acquired the proper approval to use a replica of the case in the film, but nowhere in that agreement was replicating the case outside of the film discussed, and certainly not for profit.

In the filing, Rimowa outlines the various pieces of the 10-disc set’s case that resemble their brand’s cases – namely, the “trademark parallel ridges around the body” - but reports on the suit don’t mention whether Rimowa is seeking compensation or would like the product removed from vendors’ lists. Fans are certainly hoping Marvel can work out a deal that keeps this set on the market, but for now that appears unlikely.

marvel avengers assembled blu ray the avengers 570x281 The Avengers Phase One Blu ray Box Set Delayed Over Lawsuit

With that in mind, retailers like Amazon and Best Buy have pulled the Phase One Collection from their pre-order options as a preventative measure. Going forward – if a deal is not reached – those pre-order holders for the set can expect to have their money refunded, but for now, the 10-disc collection is labeled only as “delayed.”

Prior to this news, Marvel had been releasing revelatory clips from The Avengers’ bonus features (including an entertaining blooper reel), but this delay brings enthusiasm to a screeching halt. At $219 (or $152.99 for pre-order), The Avengers: Phase One wasn’t coming cheap, but it was a small price to pay for a piece of cinematic superhero history.

However, case notwithstanding, the 10-disc set did come packaged with some worthwhile memorabilia – including cool cover art for each of the 7 films – which fans hope still can be released in one form or another. Receiving a Tesseract replica in standard packaging might not be the ideal option, but if it allows Marvel zombies to get their hands on exclusive Phase One items, then it’s better than nothing.

The Avengers releases on DVD and Blu-ray September 25th, 2012.

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Source: The Playlist

TAGS: captain america, iron man, iron man 2, the avengers, thor

61 Comments

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  1. that’s just downright sad, and pure evidence that money does indeed rule the world.

    • as far as i know bills dont get paid with air !

      • Yeah, but a phone call coulda fixed this. “Hey guys, looks like you didn’t realize it, maybe if you wanna square away some copyrights first, thank you so much. Not, “Avengers money dude! lawsuit!” That’s all their seeing.

        • What makes you think they didn’t? A phone call is a heck of a lot cheaper than a lawsuit, believe me. They would only do this if Marvel blew them off or offered something insulting.

          No one has pointed out that Marvel actually used one of the company’s briefcases in the movie, and now they are basing merchandise, on which Marvel will make a profit, on the company’s design. And by the way if they don’t vigorously protect their copyright, any future violation can use that as evidence against them.

          One more thing: these things never go to court. The parties will settle and everybody will get their fancy collector’s set in time for X-Mas.

  2. What possible hard could be done by a replicated briefcase from the movie do? It’s a movie set. Nothing but a bunch of babies throwing their hissy fit just because they can. They’re not being hurt, the worst that could happen is fans of The Avengers will recognize it as the same one from their movie set and buy one, ultimately making the company more money. And now, because that company has to act in such an immature way, a huge number of people will suffer and not receive what they paid for. This is clearly a collector’s item that many people, including myself, were extremely excited for. Thanks a lot, children.

    • You clearly don’t know much about actual business.

  3. What?!! well this sucks!!! how long can this go on? When will we know if were gonna get it or not… and or if and when we will get our money back? would rather have the set, but does anyone know how long before we get some type of answer???

  4. Well I was planning on getting the phase one collectors edition Blu-ray set, I guess the 4 disc Blu-ray will have to do for now. I hope this issue gets resolved and the phase one edition is released, I was really looking forward to all the extras that were included. :(

  5. This is very annoying, i have resisted buying any of the movies on Blu-ray as a knew there would be a kick ass box set, i ordered it and was looking forward to a good old fashioned marathon weekend, and now, because someone at Marvel has tried to pull a fast one I have to wait for a refund before I can order an alternative set or hold out and hope Marvel settles. and Zach i think the company are totally in the right to protect their copyright, Yes they may sell a few more cases due to the movie but Marvel will also be making money from the sale of the boxsets and the company deserve their cut.

    • Yeah, I’ve avoided everything to do with the movie because I though I’d be getting he set, I managed to pre order it too :(, and now I won’t be getting it at all because, as someone said, Marvel/Disney tried to pull a fast one with clearly illegal actions.

      But I don’t even have the option of buying another Set because this one was the only one with the 3D movies in it and I’m NOT paying seperately for them.

      So if Marvel/Disney want to play underhanded and break the law, then I THINK I WILL TOO.. I’LL JUST PIRATE THEM INSTEAD.

      • Well not really, but you know what I mean.

  6. Frivilous lawsuits, frivolous lawsuits everywhere… ;)

    But seriously though, even though this is a stupid and unnecessary lawsuit (yet it is understandable that the company would want to protect and maintain the rights to their creation – i.e. the case), Marvel/Disney has really dropped the ball with the home-release of this awesome movie.
    I’ve already ranted enough about the lackluster international version, and now the premier US box-set version is being delayed as well!

    They should have known that copying the case without permission could have resulted in legal action… and their “excuse” about Whedon not doing the commentary in time for the international versions is pretty flimsy as well.

    Gotta say, for a multi-billion dollar company, this whole things has been done very amateurishly.

    • You’ve contradicted yourself all over the place. Claiming it frivolous but also that it would result in a lawsuit makes no sense. You want to understand frivolous lawsuits, dig into the legal actions people take in our country daily. This is someones property, and Disney did drop the ball.

      • I contradicted myself ONCE (I don’t see how that counts as “all over the place”), and by that I only meant that it’s completely unnecessary to sue someone because of a suitcase that was made for a movie.

        I’ll admit this doesn’t count as a frivolous lawsuits and there are better examples (I remember a woman suing a studio because the movie was advertised as an action film, but ended being being a drama), but IMO it’s still pretty stupid to sue someone over something that was made for them anyway.

        Disney was being stupid, and they’re getting what they deserve, but I still don’t see why this lawsuit was even necessary (the only reason I can think of is because the company who made the suitcase wants more money).

        • When you own a brand, a product, anything, you HAVE to protect your ownership of it. Period.

  7. Dangit! I pre-ordered this thing months ago. Send all lawyers to the same prison as Loki.

    • Lawyers don’t come up with cases off the top of their heads- they are representing a client. blame the suitcase company.

  8. Don’t care, when i found out it was just a USA/Canada release i stopped caring. Instead i’m stuck with the international version of Avengers on blu ray which…surprise surprise….is a bastardised version. Total waste of money. Pretty much all the deleted scenes where released online, the gag reel was released online, “A visual journey” is totally pointless and the marvel one shot is some kind of Zooey Deschandel lookalike schtick. I cannot recommend this international release to anyone, if you need to see Avengers in HD then buy a stream or something, blu rays this bad should simply not be supported.

    • As you said yourself: most of the extras are useless anyway. So why care if they are on the release? I want the Blu-ray for the actual movie, not for the other crap.

  9. As unfortunate as it is they have a point. The really shocking news in this article is hidden in a small line, though:

    “It is reported that Marvel acquired the proper approval to use a replica of the case in the film”

    Are they serious? You need approval to use a freely available item in a movie? I mean, it’s one thing to offer money so that a certain item is being featured in a movie (product placement). But this?

    What’s next? Architects demanding royalties for every of their buildings that is featured in a movie?

    • Is Brand Protection ignorance really this rampant?

      • What does it have to do with brand protection if a character carries around a certain briefcase in a movie? In what way is the brand damaged by that? Because some FICTIONAL character carrying it is evil? Please…

        • ^ My point exactly…
          It’s a friggin’ suitcase.
          If this movie wasn’t a financial success, the company who made the suitcase would probably never have filed a suit against Marvel/Disney.

          • If it’s just a “friggin suitcase” then use another design and release the 10-disc set. But it’s not just a suitcase, it’s THE suitcase, and for that reason you must pay dues.

            There is something really wrong with a mega company weasiling out of paying mechandising rights to small company.

            • This particular sub-discussion is not about the Blu-ray box set but about the suitcase used in the movie that needed approval.

              • @TheLostWinchester  

                My PArticular comment in this sub-discussion posted above is about the suitcase the suitcase that needs approval, sir.

          • Ignur Rant is correct. It’s not some basic, run of the mill, leather bound suitcase. It’s a specific suitcase that likely has specific trademarks based on it’s design. I was looking forward to this set but Marvel dropped the ball in not getting the appropriate clearances. I’m sure this will all be settled and the set will still be released as intended, just a little drama along the way. My question to to suitcase company though is why did it take so long to provide notice since the set was announced some time ago.

  10. Apple is going to want to make a profit of this lawsuit some how…”If you hold the briefcase at a distance to 1 meter it looks like an IPad shape!”

  11. Sounds like the oddest of lawsuits. I suppose Disney/Marvel only have themselves to blame for choosing to use an actual briefcase for such as an ambitious Blu-ray edition. I suppose they could scramble and put out the same set of discs but without the fancy case. They should give you options. Actually, could you buy all the whole set without the case? I’d be shocked if they didn’t offer it.

  12. Hey Screen Rant. I like your name. I’m totally going to start my own website with the same name and a slightly altered URL. I intend to make a profit off of this. I am going to have “SCREEN RANT” plastered all over the site. Hopefully you will just let me do business using your trademarked website name. Everyone here thinks that lawsuits are petty, frivolous and for cowards. So don’t be that guy.

    Sincerely,
    Thief

    • lol +1

    • That is funny, but not quite what is happening here. I seriously doubt people are buying the whole Phase 1 set for the case that it is held in. Disney is not using the maker’s name or trying to profit by selling a replica case. They are using it as a design from a prop in the movie. Until this lawsuit I thought the case, both in the movie and the Bluray case, was any one of a thousand similarly styled briefcases/luggage. I remember seeing one in Ronin. Was that case made by the same company?

      However, a company needs to protect its property lest that property lose its protection under the law. So, even frivolous lawsuits are sometimes necessary.

  13. This is a very stupid lawsuit…and people should contact the suitcase company and complain. This is absolutely ridiculous. Now just because they are whining NOBODY will get this special edition box set unless Marvel & Disney change the packaging or the case. Which is what they really need to do anyway just to keep moving forward with it. They have produced all these special covers and collectors items why waste them put them in a different package and screw the suitcase company.

    • are you really this obtuse on how the real world works, especially business and copyright protection?

      feel free to boycott this company, but to call the lawsuit stupid only makes you look ignorant to copyrights, patents, intellectual poroperty, et al…

      • no, its stupid

  14. Marvel knew from the begining that they needed replica rights & should of had the foresight to work out merchandising rights since the 10-disc set was inevitable. It is noones fault other than Marvel/Disney.

    It’s not frivolous or downright sad to protect your investment. If someone is making money (potentially millions) off your design, you are entitled to a cut.

  15. I gather the box sets have already been manufactured, so the only way Disney can save this situation is with an out of court settlement. Changing the box set design would be a massive loss. This really is the dumbest mistake Disney could make, they deserve to get sued for this one for pure arrogance. Fans are writing this off as a “silly” lawsuit mainly due to them not getting the box set on time. Rimowa cases have a very specific look to them which the Avengers case copies 100%, that is not acceptable. This is not just a case of “flat phone with rounded edges”.

  16. Of f****** course this would happen. I was so excited for this set and pre-ordered on Amazon as soon as I heard about it. Hopefully Disney will just write a fat check and settle this whole thing.

  17. A “case” of someone wanting to make money?

  18. Well this blows.

  19. Petition – http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/rimowavsmarvel/

    • As much as I want the box set I am not paying to sign a petition dude.

    • That’s a stupid petition. You are basically saying that the briefcase manufacturer shouldn’t be sueing Marvel/Disney.

      Why haven’t you instead said that Marvel/Disney shouldn’t be stealing other companies designs to make a quick buck, thereby blatently breaking the laws that they are more than happy to legally enforce when it affects their profit.

      Stupid petition is stupid.

      • Marvel/Disney have been stealing other peoples works for YEARS, its just in this case, they got caught.

        R.I.P. Jack

  20. Well this sucks. Was going to pick it up eventually. Was going to wait til Black Friday and see if anyone had a major sale on it. Orginally was going to pre-order it but decided to wait. Glad I did save my money. Still as someone else said a simple phone call could have fixed this. Hopefully this can be remedied and the box set gets released in time for the holiday season. It’s obvious though someone saw the money coming from Hulk’s hands in the one picture you guys at Screenrant use quite often lol.

  21. This is copyright abuse. Copyright was NEVER iintended to be used as it is today. Copyright was to protect the creator/inventor from having someone esle profit from their creative works without first getting approval from the creator of said copyright.

    Marvel is selling a product to a buyer and its not trying to sell the product as somethings its not. If Marvel advertised the set as coming in a genuine Rimowa briefcase and it was in fact not a Rimowa case then that would be a violation of the copyright because Marvel would be profiting from someone elses creative works.

    This is just another example of copyright abuse by global corporations. Copyright intimidation is the new con that wiill be used to keep down the masses. From saying you don’t own your phone (Apple iPhone ruling) to claiming you have no right of privacy but any government oficial always has right of privacy anywhere including in public. Just wait, you’ll see more and more abuse of copyright laws in coming years.

    • It’s not copyright abuse, it’s copyright enforcement.

      Marvel/Disney went to the briefcase manfacture, who are known for quality products aimed at high business buyers, and ASKED for permission to use their case AND asked for and RECEIVED samples to be used as props.

      Marvels/Disney’s permission to use the briefcase certainly did not include the ability to make a quick buck from their name by making and selling unauthorised knockoffs.. but the WHOLE POINT is that Marvel/Disney KNEW they didn’t have the necessary merchandising rights, BUT DID IT ANYWAY.

      Marvel/Disney are 100% in the wrong here and their actions have been nothing but illegal and underhanded, they thought they could strong arm the company with their corporate clout, they certainly didn’t expect the company to fight for it’s rights.

      • By the way. I HATE the copyright system as it stands, but these big corporations like Disney shouldn’t be able to lobby for laws that usually only affect US, the people in the street, then be able to ignore them when they find themselves on the other side of the fences.

        The whole idea of copyright protection and IP laws came about to protect the corporations not only against things like piracy, but to stop unfavorable critisism like videos on Youtube, blog articles etc…anywhere where media clips or photos are used.

        I LAUGH at Disney being caught up in this, they have been hoisted by their own petard.

        LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL.

  22. The only reason they are making this lawsuit is because of the high box office revenue of ‘The Avengers’

    • Just, no.

  23. does it actually glow like that when you open it? :O If it does than I would definitely preorder if they get the dispute with the german case company sorted out.

  24. Hail justice, aside from the iron-Man,and hulk the rest of this is pirated crap, come on thor (helmsworth) wears a whig, hail Kirby

    http://freelanceink.blogspot.com/2012/02/occupy-marvel.html

  25. Ridges on a briefcase, whether you have a trademark for it or not, isn’t a “creation.” Companies shouldn’t be able to claim ownership over these types if insignificant things. Maybe I should file to own the process of opening one’s eyeballs before looking at something. A movie is a creation. Saying, “Hey let’s make our suitcase bumpy.” is not. Aren’t we lucky Captain Caveman and his buddies shared the wheel and fire with us royalty free.

    • Haha yes

    • You are entirely ignorant of the way things work.

      In an age where companies own the right to certain common words and basic design methodology (apple and ipad for example.. is there ANY other way a tablet could look?.. no), you are complaining about a company wishing to protect it’s CLEARLY well designed product that obviously adds unique brand distinction to the base design of a briefcase?

      WOW.. how about complaining instead of Marvel/Disney trying to wholesale STEAL the design of the case in order to make a quick buck off the unauthorised reproduction of someone else’s product.. you know, other wise known as PIRACY.

      You people really should buy a clue from somewhere. Marvel/Disney would be (and certainly have been in the past.. ALOT!!) more than willing to sue any other company into oblivion for doing the same thing to them.

    • So if I were to create a logo that had one big black circle with two smaller black circles on top of the larger one, that looked similar to Micky Mouse and tried to run a for-profit company with that do you think Disney would just ignore me and let me go about my business, especially if my business was something that could go against Disney’s family friendly reputation, say like a marijuana co-op or a porn site? Disney has a brand to protect so I’d almost certainly be shut down or at least be tied up in court for years until they broke me. Most suitcases are just rectangular and smooth on all facets, this briefcase company has designed a particular suitcase that is recognizable as it stands out from the rest. Just like Disney would have a right to protect their property, this briefcase company has the same right. Blame Disney/Marvel for dropping the ball.

      • And sadly so many people today miss the TRULY big picture. The greed of others does not justify the greed of others. Come on this is in large part a super hero site. Does anyone know the difference between right and legal? Because they are very different ideas. (tear drop)

        • I doubt that those who have clarified how things work in the world we live in today actually do miss the TRULY big picture, I know I don’t.

          In my comments I certainly don’t condone how things are but I am powerless to change anything as is any ordinary person in the street. Our governments are corrupt to the point of illegality and the system is fixed so that we only ever get an option to vote for people who come from the same pool of corruption so voting doesn’t help either.

          The world is irreparably broken and will remain so until people take the situation in to their own hands and spill the blood of the corrupt and self-interested in the streets. Only after a long and bloody war between the ordinary man and the power elite to rest power from the unworthy will there be a fair and equitable society, but it is going to take things to get a whole lot worse, if ever, before the ordinary people of the world accept that because people have become so complacent, so reliant on their comfort and technology that they would never actively give it all up, and giving it all up is absolutely necessary for meaningful changes to come about.

  26. “Trademark parallel ridges”? I had no idea that LINES could be trademarked

  27. Wow Marvel can not catch a break, they must be sick to death of copyright law by now.

  28. i just learned about this box set yesterday and came home last night to look for a price and a release date then i saw this and my excitement was crushed….im 17 years old and was going to save up for it i HOPE they settle and it is released the way it is expected because this box set was just amazing and i couldnt hold my excitement for it when i found out about it, i have the lunchbox the figurine set and the dvd but im going to college next year and the dvd stays (darn parents) sooo……I NEED THIS BOX SET TO COME OUT IN ITS ORIGINAL AMAZING AWESOME WAYS…….MARVEL AND GERMANS PEASE SETTLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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