Mark Towle, the owner of Gotham Garage is in a court battle to determine if his $90,000 real-life replicas of the Batmobile violates copyright law.







DC Comics Inc. filed a lawsuit against Towle who who sells cars that look like the Batmobile from the  1960’s TV show and from the 1989 Batman movie.

In oral arguements, the panel of judges appeared skeptical about DC’s claim.  However, the panel also did not seem to think that Mr. Towle has the right to profit from selling the cars.

Copyright does not cover functional designs, such as a car.  Comicbook characters, like Batman, are protectable by copyright.

It was no great surprise that DC argued that the Batmobile enjoys the same copyright protections as a fictional character, pointing to past court decisions that ruled against defendants who recreated characters from “Gone With the Wind” and J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye.”

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– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +