Man wins fight to make Stormtrooper helmets

Last updated 10:30 28/07/2011
Stormtrooper
Reuters
READY FOR BATTLE: A British prop designer will be allowed to keep making Stormtrooper helmets, as made famous by Star Wars.

Winehouse on charts, Lucas loses in court

Relevant offers

Film

New look at Batman vs Superman Cumberbatch makes Comic-Con premiere Halo TV series debuts at Comic-Con Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: The tease is on Virunga: Stunning beauty and devastating violence What's good this week at the movies? Doco looks at Aaron Swartz: The Internet's Own Boy Heath Ledger's Joker immortalised in Lego Film review: Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie Film fan's passion for the pictures

A British prop designer who makes replicas of the menacing Stormtrooper helmets featured in Star Wars films has won a legal battle against director George Lucas, who took him to the High Court in 2008 over copyright infringement.

The Supreme Court ruled that the replicas were not covered by copyright law because they were not works of art, the Press Association reported.

But the court also ruled that the director's copyright had been violated in the United States.

Judges said 62-year-old Andrew Ainsworth is free to continue making the helmets in his studio in Twickenham, southwest of London, although he cannot export them to the US.

"I am proud to report that in the English legal system David can prevail against Goliath if his cause is right," Ainsworth said in a statement. "If there is a force, then it has been with me these past five years."

Ainsworth, who made most of the helmets in the original Star Wars film uses original moulds and tools to make replicas for fans.

"We don't export to the US, so it doesn't affect us. We export everywhere else: Australia, Singapore - we're looking at that side of the world," he said.

Both the UK Court of Appeal and the High Court had already ruled in Ainsworth's favor in his battle with Lucas's production company Lucasfilm, who had successfully sued him in the US for $20 million before taking their legal battle to Britain.

After Wednesday's judgment, Lucasfilm vowed to continue defending its property rights.

It said in a statement it was committed "to aggressively protecting its intellectual property rights relating to Star Wars in the UK and around the globe through any and all means available to it, including copyright, trademark, design patents and other protections afforded by law".

It added it encouraged recent efforts by the British government to modernise copyright and design laws and added that film props are protected by the law in "virtually every other country in the world".

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which film do you think should take the Best Picture Oscar?

Gravity

12 Years a Slave

Dallas Buyers Club

American Hustle

Philomena

Her

Captain Phillips

The Wolf of Wall Street

Nebraska

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content