British judge tips helmet to Lucasfilm


A British justice ruled Thursday that Lucasfilm is the sole owner of the iconic Stormtrooper costume designs — not a plastics manufacturer who was hired in 1976 to reproduce designs created by a team of Lucasfilm artists.

Andrew Ainsworth, a principal of Shepperton Design Studios, had claimed he created the designs and reproduced Stormtrooper helmets for sale. Ainsworth had sculpted the helmets for the first "Star Wars" film.

High Court judge Anthony Mann ruled that Ainsworth violated Lucasfilm's U.S. copyrights by selling the helmets to customers in the U.S.

Mann, however, also ruled that in Britain, the English copyrights for the outfits had expired. Ainsworth's attorney, Seamus Andrew, said the ruling meant his client can sell the helmets anywhere but in the U.S.