George Lucas loses stormtrooper battle

Helmet is officially not a work of art.

by Jennie Kermode

Even these dapper shades couldn't help George Lucas wring any more money from the Star Wars franchise
Even these dapper shades couldn't help George Lucas wring any more money from the Star Wars franchise

Star Wars creator George Lucas has lost the last in a series of legal battles to copyright the stormtrooper helmet design under UK laws. The decision means that Twickenham costumer Andrew Ainsworth can continue to produce and sell bespoke stormtrooper outfits to fans.

The decision, which could have far-reaching implications, hinged on whether or not the helmet design could be considered sculpture. Lucas' lawyers argued that it was an artistic design and, because it would not protect a soldier in a real interplanetary war, could not be considered a functional item. The court, however, ruled that it does not meet the definition of a work of art because it is a mass produced item.

Despite the decision, an earlier ruling means that Ainsworth's suits cannot be sold in the US.

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