News & Analysis as of

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

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

DC Comics v. Towle d/b/a Garage Gotham - USCA, Ninth Circuit, September 23, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms that Batmobile is “character” entitled to copyright protection. In May 2011, DC Comics sued Towle in a California federal district court, alleging, among other things, causes of action for copyright...more

Holy Copyrightability Batman! The Batmobile Is Still A Superhero…

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

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

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

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

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- June 6, 2013

Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., U.S.D.C., N.D. Indiana, May 16, 2013 - District court dismisses computer software company’s trademark claims against Warner Bros. based on references in Batman...more

Trademark Review - Volume 3 | Issue 3 March 2013

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

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- February 22, 2013

In This Issue: - Hallford v. Fox Entertainment Group: District court grants defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim, finding that defendants’ television show Touch is not substantially...more

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