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Comics A.M. | Case of Sherlock Holmes rights isn’t over just yet

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #2

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #2

Legal | As the dust begins to settle on the ruling last month by a federal judge that Arthur Conan Doyle’s first 50 Sherlock Holmes stories have lapsed into the public domain in the United States, out march the analyses pointing out the buts. Chief among them, of course, is the possibility of appeal by the Conan Doyle estate, which contends the characters were effectively incomplete until the author’s final story was published in the United States (the 10 stories published after Jan. 1, 1923, remain under copyright in this country until 2022).

However, Publishers Weekly notes that because U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo didn’t rule directly on that “novel” argument, the estate may be satisfied with the ambiguity of the decision, given that uncertain creators still may seek to license the characters to steer clear of any trouble. Estate lawyer Benjamin Allison also insists that the Sherlock Holmes trademarks remain unaffected, an assertion that puzzles author and scholar Leslie Klinger, who brought the lawsuit. “There is a very good reason why the Estate did not assert trademark protection: The Estate does not own any trademarks,” he told PW. “They have applied for them, and there will be substantial opposition.” There’s more at NPR, The Independent and The Atlantic. [Publishers Weekly]

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Exclusive Preview | Star Wars: The Clone Wars — Defenders of the Lost Temple

Next week Dark Horse will debut a new Star Wars series set in the period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, followed in February by the miniseries Star Wars: Dark Times – Fire Carrier and in March by the revival of Star Wars: Legacy. However, the publisher isn’t stopping there.

March also sees the release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars — Defenders of the Lost Temple, a digest-sized original graphic novel set during the fourth season of the popular animated series.

Written by Justin Aclin, illustrated by Ben Bates and colored by Michael Atiyeh (and sporting a cover by Mike Hawthorne), Defenders of the Lost Temple centers on a clone trooper who, while contemplating his own worth, begins to realize what sets him apart from his brethren may be a connection to the Force. If the lightsaber-wielding clone trooper on the cover isn’t enough of a tease, the solicitation text reinforces it with “A clone trooper with the power of the Force?!”

Dark Horse has provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive preview, which you can see below. Star Wars: The Clone Wars — Defenders of the Lost Temple goes on sale March 13.

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