Recently TVRage informed you that the original Batmobile that was used during the filming of iconic television program 'Batman' was going to be auctioned off. And while that vehicle is expected to be bid up to multiple millions of dollars, it is a Batmobile knock-off that is today's news.
Mark Towle, a California resident who runs Gotham Garage, specializes in customizing vehicles to resemble those used in television and film. Two of his Batman related vehicles have sold for massive amounts of money - each nearing $100,000. Warner Brothers is not too happy with this, saying that Towle violated their copyrights and trademarks of DC Comics, a subsidiary of Warner Bros.
Both parties have submitted motions for partial summary judgment.
"This is a very important case that has far-reaching implications," reads Towle's motion. "While it is true that this case is ostensibly about the Batmobile, which some may find to be trivial, the fact is that the issues that will be decided will have a significant impact on automobile makers and manufacturers."
Jay Kogan, DC's vice president and deputy general counsel for intellectual property, argues that the publisher reserved all rights to the Batmobile and that Barris' original design was based on "the evolution of the Batmobile Vehicles over the course of the comics." In addition, certain things were required of George Barris when he designed the 1966 Batmobile.
I do not really see how this is a case. If the car were Warner Bros. property, wouldn't it be illegal to make and sell a knock-off?