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Pow! Supreme Court Rejects Appeal in Batmobile Copyright Case

Image: Burt Ward and Adam West as Batman & Robin

American actors Burt Ward (left), as Robin, and Adam West, as Batman, ride in the Batmobile in a still from the television series, 'Batman,' c. 1967. 20th Century Fox / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court is staying out of a copyright dispute involving a California man who produced replicas of the Batmobile for car-collecting fans of the caped crusader.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said the Batmobile's bat-like appearance and high-tech gadgets make it a character that can't be duplicated without permission from DC Comics, the copyright holder.

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Mark Towle produced replicas of the car as it appeared in the 1966 television show featuring Adam West as Batman and the 1989 movie starring Michael Keaton. He sold them for about $90,000 each.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year sided with DC Comics in finding that the Batmobile is entitled to copyright protection.

Image: Batmobile
The original Batmobile from the 1960s TV series is seen in Los Angeles in October 2012. The 19-foot-long black, bubble-topped car was used in the TV show that starred Adam West as the Caped Crusader. Famed auto customizer George Barris transformed a one-of-a-kind 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car into a sleek crime-fighting machine. On the show, it boasted lasers and a Batphone and could lay down smokescreens and oil slicks. Courtesy Barrett-Jackson/George Barris via AP