Robot 6

DC Comics sues manufacturer of replica Batmobiles

1989 Batmobile, by Mark Towles

DC Comics has sued a California manufacturer of replica vehicles, accusing him of infringing on the company’s copyrights and trademarks by selling custom-made Batmobiles.

Hollywood, Esq., reports that DC filed the lawsuit last week in federal court against Mark Towles, whose business Gotham Garage specializes in the creation and sale of television and movie replica vehicles, from the 1989 movie Batmobile to the 1966 TV Batmobile and Batboat to Speed Racer’s Mach 5. Presumably none of those replicas is licensed, as the indicia on Towles’ website states that “Neither Gotham Garage nor Mark Towle are directly affiliated with Warner Brothers Inc., DC Comics., 20th Century Fox Inc., Walt Disney Inc., nor The Munsters Official Organizations.”

The publisher accuses Towles of copyright and trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting and unfair competition, and seeks a permanent injunction, the destruction of all infringing products and damages of no less than $750,000 for each infringement.



So wait – that’s a real, highway driving car? Awe-SOME!

Rather than sue him, why not tell him it’s cool to continue, just insist on a “DC Comics” nuisance surcharge every time he sells a Bat-vehicle, and then write it of as a business expense. I mean, really, how many of these could he possibly create a year? 3? 4? That’s some awesome looking work, by the way.

Unless they’re going to get into the business of selling their own custom Batmobiles, what business is DC losing? Seriously.

Unfair competition? Does that mean Warner/DC will start making automobiles?

DC is right on this one. The likenesses and properties of the Batman films belong to Warner Bros and DC. The vehicle is being sold as a Batman movie replica on the open market using the Batman brand name as the selling point. Heck they’re even using “Gotham Garage” as the company name. If it was a one-time special order they might have had some leeway, but as a line of vehicles..forget it.

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