The well-known Kippa Man store located on Jerusalem’s Ben-Yehuda Pedestrian Mall is having hard times. Owner Avi Binyamin is being sued by Marvel Comics to the tune of 100,000 NIS for using the Spiderman logo on his kipot with license. According to the daily Maariv, a representative of Marvel visited the store on July 30th and he purchased a Spiderman yarmulke without identifying himself and with the proof in hand, the lawsuit was on its way.
Ivtsan, Netzer, Wolecki & Co. law firm that has represented Marvel in Israel for the past decade, said any business in Israel suspected of selling illegal Marvel merchandise would be sued for NIS 100,000. He added that Marvel received information about Kippa Man specifically, which is why representatives visited his store. After announcing the suit, Warner Brothers got on board too, suing for the use of the Batman logo without license. Warner is seeking 100,000 NIS as well.
For Binyamin, he simply doesn’t get it, explaining the kipot are manufactured in China, not Israel, and he simply sells them. He does not manufacture them. He adds that there are 20 stores on the block, all selling the same kipot, yet it appears he alone is being targeted in the lawsuit.
His store, described by most as “the size of a phone booth” is quite popular and a regular stop for most visitors from N. America and elsewhere. He speculates he is being singled out because his store is so popular.
For now, Binyamin has removed his Spiderman line, while the other stores on Ben-Yehuda have not. He continues to sell the other kipot however, which exhibit the logos of football, baseball, soccer and other sports teams, as well as car company logos and more.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)