Sioux City, IA asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Iowa

Q: Is it legal to use Marvel characters on a poster - and sell them?

Given the Marvel cinematic universe, I would create a comic book-style poster in both cinematic and chronological order. The posters would have the characters, quotes, and small details that can be seen in the movies - such as 'I am Iron Man', or the New Asgard town sign. The art style wouldn't match a standard comic book style, more of a minimal style - with color here and there. Similar to Ellsworth Kelly Line prints - just add color to a few elements.

2 Lawyer Answers
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA

A: This product is likely to be found infringing of Marvel's copyrights as well as trademarks. The characters are all protected by copyright, and most of them are trademarks as well. Compiling several of them adds fuel to the fire and shows predatory intent which could subject you to punitive damages.

David Aldrich agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: Using Marvel characters on a poster and selling them without proper authorization could potentially infringe on Marvel's intellectual property rights, including their copyrights and trademarks. Even if the art style is different, using recognizable elements, quotes, and details from the Marvel movies may still be considered derivative works that require permission or licensing from Marvel to avoid legal issues.


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