Lucasfilm loses appeal in U.K. over helmets

Lucasfilm had one of those up and down days in the UK courts. 

They lost their appeal of a prior rejection in the UK courts against Andrew Ainsworth and his stormtrooper helmet replicas.  In short, the stormtrooper helmets were considered to be utilitarian and not artistic (since they were used as a costume for a movie), so the “antiquated” UK copyright laws did not apply.

But, on the upside, Bloomberg says that this has established that companies can sue to enforce copyrights held in other countries. Corporate lawyers everywhere rejoice.

In the news: Colbert dings politician for Portman pregnancy remarks; U.K. atheists blast ‘Jedi’ census

Fake-pundit fun. Stephen Colbert blasted Mike Huckabee for his comments on Natalie Portman’s pregnancy. “Look, I’m no fan of single mothers either. But it’s Natalie Portman we’re talking about. That kid she’s pregnant with is Luke Skywalker,” Colbert said. “So logically, if you’re against her pregnancy that means you’ve aligned yourself politically with Emperor Palpatine. You’re alienating all of Tatooine. It’s a swing planet.” Of course Tatooine is a swing planet.

Serious matters. An atheist group in the U.K. has launched a campaign to convince folks not to write down “Jedi” on their census forms as a joke. No word on how they feel about ‘real’ Jedi. (via)

Legal. Lucasfilm is back in court again – the British Supreme Court this time – over the Shepperton studios stormtrooper replicas.

Random. Harrison Ford is helping to develop a Facebook game. Okay, so it’s an environmentally-concious Facebook game… But it’s still a Facebook game. Which I guess is better than watching him get his chest waxed again.

LFL wins Shepperton infringement case in the UK?

Lucasfilm has won their British copyright infringement case against Shepperton Design Studios. A High Court judge affirmed that LFL is indeed the rightful owner of the stormtrooper costume designs and that Andrew Ainsworth’s company infringed by selling unlicensed reproductions of the iconic armor. No damages are mentioned in the UK case, but LFL may choose to pursue an appeal under UK industrial design law.

UPDATE: A story from the AP notes that both sides are claiming victory; More details at TheLawyer.com. (via)