DC Comics wins 9th Circuit court of appeals today, that grants them full entitlement to copyright protection of the character of the Batmobile, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
This took place after a mechanic by the name of Mark Towle, challenged Warner Bros. after he was sued by the studio, for profiting off replicas of Batmobiles from the 1960’s Adam West television series and 1989 Tim Burton Batman film, which he sold for $90,000 US dollars a piece.
Towle argued that the Batmobile was merely functional, a “useful article” and not an artistic object.
The judge on the case Sandra Ikuta write the following statement:
“Here, we conclude that the Batmobile character is the property of DC, and Towle infringed upon DC’s property rights when he produced unauthorized derivative works of the Batmobile as it appeared in the 1966 television show and the 1989 motion picture.
In addition to its status as ‘a highly-interactive vehicle, equipped with high-tech gadgets and weaponry used to aid Batman in fighting crime,’ the Batmobile is almost always bat-like in appearance, with a bat-themed front end, bat wings extending from the top or back of the car, exaggerated fenders, a curved windshield, and bat emblems on the vehicle, this bat-like appearance has been a consistent theme throughout the comic books, television series, and motion picture, even though the precise nature of the bat-like characteristics have changed from time to time.”
To read the judge’s full statement and the full article, head over to HollywoodReporter.com.