Looks like the ugly legal confrontation between George Lucas and British prop designer Andrew Ainsworth over the distribution of replica Stormtrooper gear just won't die down. As reported last year here on TFN, Lucas sued Ainsworth for infringing on his copyrighted design of the Stormtrooper costumes, and the legal battle has been re-visited once again.
See the following story posted by The Associated Press concerning the current state of the pending lawsuit:
"The George Lucas empire has struck back against a British prop designer who sold replicas of the iconic Stormtrooper uniforms from the "Star Wars" movies.
Designer Andrew Ainsworth has fought a long legal battle against Lucasfilm Ltd., which sued him over the replica suits and helmets he sold through a Web site.
The case ended ambiguously at London's High Court last year. A judge ruled that Ainsworth had violated Lucas's U.S. copyright, but rejected a copyright claim against him under British law.
Now lawyers for Lucas want the Court of Appeal to rule that the suits are sculptures and therefore works of art covered by British copyright law.
The case opened Tuesday and is scheduled to last three days."
UPDATE: Well, it looks like George Lucas lost his court appeal against Andrew Ainsworth but vows to continue the fight. From TimesOnline.co.uk:
"Andrew Ainsworth recently began selling replicas of helmets and armour made from his original mould, prompting a $20million (£12million) lawsuit from Lucasfilm. But the Court of Appeal agreed that even though Mr Ainsworth did not own the design, he had not broken any British law because his creations were not art.
“It’s taken five years but I think this should be just about the end of it,” Mr Ainsworth told The Times. He now plans to expand his memorabilia company.
Lucasfilm, however, said that it would take the case to Britain’s new Supreme Court and said that the ruling meant that famous props such as the Daleks from Doctor Who could be freely copied."