Author Archives: Matthew A. Kaplan

DC Comics v. Towle: Batmobile Case Outlines “Objects as Characters”

Decision holds significant repercussions for licensed products, video games, 3D printing

In DC Comics v. Towle, 2013 WL 541430, __ F. Supp. 2d __ (C.D. Cal. Feb. 7, 2013) (“Towle”), the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California found that a vendor of car kits and customization accessories modeled after the famous Batmobile vehicle from the Batman comics, TV shows and movies infringed on DC Comics’ copyrights and trademarks. The decision, which holds that the Batmobile vehicle is a protectable character much like its fictional owner, has significant repercussions for copyright law as well as for several nascent business sectors within the entertainment, digital media and manufacturing industries. Continue reading