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Star Wars court battle set for sequel
Fri, Aug 01, 2008
AFP

LONDON (AFP) - - There were some epic battles in the Star Wars saga -- and the stormtrooper fight at London's High Court showed no sign of stopping Thursday.

Star Wars director George Lucas's production company Lucasfilm is suing prop designer Andrew Ainsworth -- who made the costumes for the original 1977 film's stormtroopers -- for copyright infringement.

Judge George Mann was expected to bring the battle over who owns the copyright to a decisive end on Thursday.

But instead, he agreed to a further hearing for both sides to apply for permission to challenge his findings at the Court of Appeal.

Ainsworth is selling replicas of the costumes to fans of the film for up to 1,800 pounds (3,550 dollars, 2,300 euros).

Mann ruled on the copyright issues Thursday, with some of the helmets from the Star Wars films present on the court front benches.

He found that Lucas did succeed in his claim that Ainsworth infringed the US copyright.

But all the other claims aimed at stopping the replicas being sold from Ainsworth's shop in Twickenham, west London, failed.

The designer's own claim for copyright of the helmets also failed.

At the start of the case in April, Mann asked Lucasfilm lawyer Michael Bloch: "Will they be there for the entire case?"

Bloch replied: "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."

Lucasfilm has already successfully sued Ainsworth for 10 million pounds for copyright infringement in the US.

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