Batmobile A Copyrightable 'Character,' Not Just A Car: Judge

Law360, New York (February 8, 2013, 8:10 PM EST) -- A California federal judge on Thursday found a custom carmaker liable for making replicas of the Batmobile, ruling Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. has viable copyrights and trademarks protecting Batman's iconic crime-fighting vehicle.

U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew settled a dispute raised by Gotham Garage owner Mark Towle over whether the Batmobile, because it is a vehicle, is entitled to the same copyright protection afforded its superhero occupant. Judge Lew said several distinct Batmobile design elements, including tail fins that mimic bat wings and various gadgets,...
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