Pow! Marvel Sues Kippa Seller Hawking Spider-Man Skull Cap
By: Yossi Eli Translated from Maariv (Israel).
The American giant Marvel Comics company that created the popular Spider-Man super hero has taken the rare step of suing the Kippa-Man store chain, owned by Avi Binyamin from Jerusalem. Binyamin produces and sells kippas featuring the image of Spider-Man. In the lawsuit, the American company argues that it is tired of the State of Israel’s authorities not enforcing international laws regarding intellectual property. Therefore, the company decided to back up its licensed distributers of Spider-Man and other figures of its comics such as Captain America, and bring lawsuits against stores that make unauthorized use of its characters.
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The American comic-book publisher Marvel is fighting copyright infringement in Israel by bringing a lawsuit against Avi Binyamin, the owner of the popular Jerusalem shop Kippa-Man, which sells kippas with the image of Spider-Man. Yossi Eli reports that the defendant does not seem to be taking the lawsuit seriously.Publisher: Maariv (Israel)
Spider-Man versus Kippa-Man
Author: Yossi Eli
First Published: September 13, 2012
Posted on: September 17 2012
Translated by: Sandy Bloom
Categories : Israel
“It should be noted that the State of Israel occupies a not-very-honorable place on the blacklist of the US Chamber of Commerce regarding breach of intellectual property — and that is an understatement. The court has also supported this claim,” wrote the company’s representatives in Israel, in a lawsuit for $25,000. The lawsuit is being brought by the law firm of Ivtsan-Netzer-Wolecki & Co. In August 2012, a company representative went to the store Kippa-Man on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem and purchased a kippa with the Spider-Man image for $26. A photograph of the purchased kippa was submitted before the court as evidence of copyright infringement.
“We emphasize that the aforementioned kippa is but one example of many products bearing the Spider-Man image that were, and are, offered for sale in the Kippa-Man store,” was argued in the claim. “The defendant distributes and sells kippas that carry the plaintiff’s symbols in a breach of the plaintiff’s rights to the product, including trademarks, the trademarked name and copyrights. The plaintiff has never permitted the defendant to make unlicensed commercial use of the trademark or image of Spider-Man.”
In the lawsuit, Marvel alluded to steps it will take in the future. “The defendant and many others in Israel who act as he does inflict great damage on the marketing efforts of original products in Israel by the plaintiff. At the very least, they turn a blind eye en masse in order to benefit from the plaintiff’s reputation and products, with the intention of raking in profits that do not belong to them.” Marvel also claimed that it have lost a lot of money as a result of the breach of the company’s intellectual property. “According to the assessment of the plaintiff, the defendant has thus far sold a large number of infringing products; thus the plaintiff has been prevented from making profits from its legal, original products that it would have sold in Israel, if these breaching products had not been sold by the defendant,” claimed the company.
The Marvel Comics company is one of the largest publishers in the world. Many of the figures they market have long been icons — besides Spider-Man and Captain America, the company boasts figures from the Ex-Men comic series, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, The Jolly Green Giant, Daredevil, Ghost Rider and more. The company zealously guards its copyrights throughout the world. In the current year of 2012, Marvel felt that a near-anarchic situation has reigned in Israel with regard to the illegal use of trademarked products based on figures from the Marvel series. Therefore, they decided to take legal measures, with their first target being Kippa-Man.
The Kippa-Man seller refuses to get excited over the lawsuit and directs the plaintiff to the manufacturers of the imitations. “We don’t manufacture the kippas at all,” Binyamin told Maariv. “We order them from China, so let them sue the Chinese. Everyone does this and will continue to do so, so this [lawsuit] really doesn’t bother me. After all, anyone can order a print of anything you want on a kippa in China.”
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