News & Analysis as of

Batman

The Batmobile Battle: Ninth Circuit’s Three-Part Test Creates New Landscape for Infringement as Supreme Court Denies Cert

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari over a Ninth Circuit decision (Towle v. D.C. Comics)1 upholding a district court’s findings that Batman’s vehicle, the “Batmobile,” is itself a character subject to...more

Holy Copyrightability Batman! The Batmobile Is Still a Superhero

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

A recent Ninth Circuit decision has endorsed copyright protection for Batman’s four-wheeled sidekick, confirming that copyright protection can extend to “sufficiently distinctive” elements of an original work, like comic-book...more

Holy Copyright Batman; the Batmobile Still Protected by Copyright Despite “Costume Changes” - DC Comics v. Mark Towle dba Garage...

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, recognizing that Batman’s personal crime-fighting vehicle, the Batmobile, is not just a cool car, but a character with “physical as well as conceptual qualities,” concluded...more

Holy Copyrightability Batman! The Batmobile Is Still A Superhero…

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

In the spring of 2013, this author reported on the then-recent decision, DC Comics v. Towle, 989 F. Supp. 2d 948 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 7, 2013), where Judge Ronald Lew determined that the Batmobile is a comic book character...more

Copyright Protection Goes ‘To the Batmobile!’ says the Ninth Circuit

by Reed Smith on

While the Caped Crusader drives around in his Batmobile protecting Gotham from its fringe, copyright law protects the Batmobile from infringers—this, according to the Ninth Circuit in DC Comics v. Towle. The Batmobile is more...more

Ninth Circuit: “Holy Copyright Law, Batman!” The Batmobile Is Copyrightable

by BakerHostetler on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Batmobile is a copyrightable character. The Ninth Circuit’s opinion explaining its ruling begins with the sentence “Holy copyright law, Batman!,” and goes on to quote Adam West...more

Pow! Boff! Thwack! Batmobile Wins Copyright Litigation

by Lewitt Hackman on

It's not every day a Ninth Circuit court opinion includes, "Holy copyright law, Batman!," or “To the Batmobile!” But in affirming a district court’s ruling in a copyright infringement case by DC Comics against the maker of...more

Holy Overreach, Batman! Fictional Software Trademark Row Rejected by Supreme Court

When Fortres Grand Corporation saw sales of its software program drop, it blamed – wait for it – Batman. Fortres’ software, called “Clean Slate,” erases user changes to public computers upon reboot, thus returning the...more

Trademark Review - Volume 3 | Issue 3 March 2013

by Knobbe Martens on

In This Issue: • NY Yankees Establish Rights to a Mark Despite Never Using It • Walgreen Is Denied Registration of WAL-ZYR for its Product Equivalent to ZYRTEC • The Batmobile Escapes a Motion to Dismiss -...more

Superheroes of Copyright: When Do Fictional Characters Enjoy Copyright Protection?

Several recent cases have highlighted the interesting issue of whether and when fictional characters – as distinct from the works they inhabit – are subject to copyright protection. Over the years, courts have developed two...more

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