UK man wins fight to make "Stormtrooper" helmets
A British prop designer who makes replicas of the menacing Stormtrooper helmets featured in Star Wars...
A British prop
designer who makes replicas of the menacing Stormtrooper helmets
featured in Star Wars films won a legal battle on Wednesday against
director George Lucas, who took him to the High Court in 2008 over
The Supreme Court ruled that
the replicas were not covered by copyright law because they were not
works of art, the Press Association reported.
But the court also ruled that the director's copyright had been violated in the United States.
said 62-year-old Andrew Ainsworth is free to continue making the
helmets in his studio in Twickenham, although he cannot export them to
"I am proud to report that
in the English legal system David can prevail against Goliath if his
cause is right," Ainsworth said in a statement. "If there is a force,
then it has been with me these past five years."
Ainsworth, who made most of the helmets in the original Star Wars film uses original moulds and tools to make replicas for fans.
don't export to the US, so it doesn't affect us. We export everywhere
else: Australia, Singapore -- we're looking at that side of the world,"
Both the Court of Appeal
and the High Court had already ruled in Ainsworth's favour in his battle
with Lucas's production company Lucasfilm, who had successfully sued
him in the U.S. for $20 million (12 million pounds) before taking their
legal battle to Britain.
After Wednesday's judgement, Lucasfilm vowed to continue defending its property rights.
said in a statement it was committed "to aggressively protecting its
intellectual property rights relating to Star Wars in the UK and around
the globe through any and all means available to it, including
copyright, trademark, design patents and other protections afforded by
It added it encouraged recent
efforts by the British government to modernise copyright and design
laws and added that film props are protected by the law in "virtually
every other country in the world."