Tuesday 8 April 2008

Star Wars damages enforcement case

George Lucas, the creator of the films, is suing prop designer Andrew Ainsworth who made the first helmets and suits for the original 1977 film and is now selling replicas made at his studio in Twickenham, south west London. According to the Daily Telegraph article George Lucas is trying to enforce the £10 million damages awarded to him by a California judge in 2006. However, Andrew Ainsworth is counterclaiming for a slice of the £6 billion in merchandising generated by Star Wars since 1977. The case deals with ownership and the existence of IP rights in the props as well as the quantum of damages to be awarded/enforced.

According to a quip in The Metro, the case which started this morning and is expected to last for ten days, commenced in amusing fashion with a stormtrooper staring down the judge:

Michael Bloch QC, representing Lucasfilm, looked at the armour and helmets surrounding him and told Mr Justice Mann today: "The gentlemen sitting in front of me and around me, who are known throughout the world, are the subject matter of the entire case."

The judge, looking at the white armour of the Stormtrooper in front of him, asked: "Will they be there for the entire case?"

Mr Bloch continued: "You will hear a lot about helmets and armour. As far as we know they are half human and half non-human and are known as Stormtroopers. What we are dealing with are characters of the imagination."

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