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Batmobile Lawsuit: Batman Car Subject To Copyright, Judge Rules

Batmobile Lawsuit

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 02/ 1/2012 4:34 pm Updated: 02/ 1/2012 4:34 pm

To the batmobile! Or maybe not.

A federal judge ruled Thursday that it is a violation of DC Comics' copyright to make imitation batmobiles, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The company had sued Mark Towles, a California man who operated a business that made lookalikes of the iconic car.

Towles, who runs Gotham Garage, tried to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that copyright doesn't protect "useful articles."

However, U.S. District Judge Ronald Lew ruled that while the car itself is useful, it's unique design makes it special enough for copyright protection.

As Wired points out, the ruling doesn't mean that DC Comics has won the lawsuit, just that it can go forward. And things don't look great for Towles, who could face a $150,000 penalty for copyright infringement.

This isn't the first time a replica of the Caped Crusader has been challenged by the law. In 2009, DC Comics sued a Florida man who sold figurines that resembled Batman characters. The company ended up dropping the lawsuit.

To read the full ruling, click here (courtesy of Wired).

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